Car-hail­ing rules aim to im­prove ur­ban traf­fic

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DU JUAN in Bei­jing and XU JUNQIAN in Shang­hai

Trans­port au­thor­i­ties in Bei­jing and Shang­hai in­tro­duced rules on car-hail­ing ser­vices on Wed­nes­day, aiming to reg­u­late the in­dus­try and im­prove city traf­fic.

Ac­cord­ing to the rules, which were opened for pub­lic opin­ion in October, driv­ers from car-hail­ing plat­forms such as Didi Chux­ing are re­quired to have lo­cal house­hold reg­is­tra­tion and ve­hi­cles must have lo­cal li­cense plates.

Ma Rui, deputy di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port Com­mis­sion, said that dur­ing the opin­ion col­lec­tion pe­riod only 25 per­cent of the sug­ges­tions op­posed the reg­u­la­tion on driv­ers’ house­hold reg­is­tra­tion.

How­ever, many changes were made, such as the stan­dard for en­gine dis­place­ment be­ing low­ered from 2 liters to 1.8 liters, and the wheel­base re­quire­ment low­ered from 270 cm to 265 cm in Bei­jing.

Ma said the changes al­low more ve­hi­cles to be used for car-hail­ing ser­vices. Mean­while, the stan­dards are higher than for taxis, which will dif­fer­en­ti­ate the ser­vices.

Zhou Zhengyu, head of the com­mis­sion, said that un­like many other coun­tries, China has al­ready given le­gal sta­tus to car-hail­ing ser­vices.

“We are mak­ing ef­forts to in­te­grate the devel­op­ment of the tra­di­tional taxi in­dus­try and car-hail­ing in­dus­try,” he said.

For Shang­hai, sim­i­lar changes were made. Com­pared with pre­vi­ous draft rules, the min­i­mum wheel­base of ve­hi­cles al­lowed to of­fer car-hail­ing ser­vices was low­ered from 270 cm to 260 cm, and ap­plies to ve­hi­cles fu­eled by ga­so­line and re­new­able en­ergy.

Ding Zhe, a Bei­jing cit­i­zen who of­ten uses car-hail­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, said he has no­ticed a grow­ing num­ber of cars with plates reg­is­tered out­side of Bei­jing, which has caused se­vere con­ges­tion.

“Some­times, they don’t fol­low traf­fic rules and park their car in ran­dom places,” he said. “I’m glad that the au­thor­i­ties de­cided to reg­u­late the cars in the in­dus­try. I would hap­pily pay a bit more money for bet­ter ser­vice and a bet­ter trav­el­ing con­di­tion on the road.”

Han Jun, a driver with carhail­ing plat­form Didi, said he has been work­ing full-time in the in­dus­try for one year, but his car would not qual­ify un­der the new rules.

“I used to be a taxi driver in Bei­jing. When I saw that peo­ple could make more money with the plat­form, I quit my job and be­came a Didi driver us­ing my own car,” Han said.

“Now, I have two choices: I can go back to be­ing a taxi driver again or up­grade my car to stay in this in­dus­try,” he said. “I have to talk with my fam­ily and see which is a bet­ter choice.”

The Bei­jing gov­ern­ment said car-hail­ing plat­forms have five months to elim­i­nate un­qual­i­fied cars and driv­ers, while in Shang­hai the rules are ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

I’m glad that the au­thor­i­ties de­cided to reg­u­late the cars in the in­dus­try.” Ding Zhe, a Bei­jing cit­i­zen

Con­tact the writ­ers at du­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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