It will likely cost more to take a cab in Hong Kong starting July 17 after the Executive Council on Tuesday approved adjustments to all taxi fares.
The flag-down charges are proposed to go up by HK$3 for urban, New Territories and Lantau taxis, from the existing HK$24, HK$20.50 and HK$19 respectively.
There are also adjustments to the incremental charges.
For the first-tier distance after flagfall, the incremental charge for each 200 meters is expected to go up by HK$0.20 for all taxis.
For the second-tier distance after flagfall, the incremental charge for each 200 meters is proposed to increase by HK$0.10 for all taxis.
Officials noted that there will be corresponding adjustments to the charge for the waiting time as a result of the increase in incremental charges after flagfall, while the other additional charges will remain unchanged.
A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said that in processing the taxi fare adjustment applications, the government “has taken into account various relevant factors including changes in revenue and operating costs of taxi operators, public acceptability, and the fare differential between taxis and other modes of public transport.”
“As affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing operating costs, there was a decrease in the average monthly net income of rentee-drivers of urban, New Territories and Lantau taxis in 2021 after netting out inflation as compared with the 2019 level,” said the spokesman.
He added that the average monthly net income of rentee-drivers is lower than the average monthly salary for those employed in the transport trade.
“It is difficult to attract new blood to join the industry and there is a trend of aging within the trade. Through increasing drivers’ income, the trade hopes that new blood will be attracted to join the industry and the trade will be encouraged to improve their service and invest more in new facilities, so as to enhance the overall taxi service quality,” the spokesman said.
The fare increases are lower than those proposed by the trade body.
Under the government’s recommendation, the average rates of fare increase are 11.54 percent, 13.02 percent and 13.83 percent for urban, New Territories and Lantau taxis respectively.
Officials will table the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment of Schedule 5) Regulation 2022 at the Legislative Council on May 25 for negative vetting.
Upon completion of the procedure, the new fares are expected to take effect starting July 17.