In the sort of fantasy scenario indulged by many an aggrieved taxi passenger, undercover police officers last night swooped in and, disguised as revelers, arrested a cabbie for hiking a fare from Central.
According to Apple Daily, the early morning crackdown on overcharging — a common complaint from those attempting to get a ride after the MTR stops running — saw officers get in a taxi on D’Aguilar Street and request a ride to a hotel in Jervois Street, Sheung Wan.
Arriving at the destination, the 73-year-old driver, who didn’t turn on the meter, demanded HK$100, about four times the normal price of about HK$24.
Then … the reveal.
The driver was arrested for overcharging and refusing to use the meter.
Meanwhile, over in Wan Chai, an argument over fares and destination between a cabbie and two drunk passengers also didn’t end well.
According to Ming Pao, police are looking for two foreign men who attacked a 65-year-old driver after disputing the fare from Lockhart Road in Wan Chai to Tseung Kwan O.
The incident follows an eruption of violence against a taxi driver in Tsim Sha Tsui just two weeks ago, when a 28-year-old, upset at being refused a ride, threw a bar stool through a cab’s window and chased the driver around the car.
The Transport Complaints Bureau, according to its most recent statistics, received a total of 2,720 reports about taxi services in the last quarter of 2017. The figure marked a 6.8 percent drop from the previous quarter, though represented a 2.8 percent increased compared to the same period in 2016.
But really, how many people who have issues with the city’s taxis have the willpower to actually file a complaint.
Some 97 percent of the cases related to “driver malpractice,” which included cabbies refusing fares, improper driving behavior, overcharging, meter irregularities, and failure to take the most direct route.