Tech snare for ‘cherry pick’ taxis

Shanghai Daily - - METRO - Li Qian

AU­THOR­I­TIES in Lu­ji­azui in the Pudong New Area are us­ing plate recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy and road­side mon­i­tor­ing to crack down on taxi cherry pick­ing, a headache in the area for years.

There is al­ways a short­age of taxis in the city’s fi­nan­cial hub and pop­u­lar tourist haunt, and driv­ers have be­come picky. Dur­ing the evening rush, only a fifth of pas­sen­gers are able to hail a taxi within half an hour, and in one case a pas­sen­ger was re­jected by 20 driv­ers in 40 min­utes, ac­cord­ing to ur­ban man­age­ment of­fi­cials.

How­ever, un­like hik­ing fares or tak­ing de­tours, cherry pick­ing is sub­tle. And in most cases, com­plaints are left un­re­solved due to a lack of ev­i­dence.

So, au­thor­i­ties have turned to new ways to crack down on the prob­lem.

Once a com­plaint is made, of­fi­cials will quickly lo­cate the sus­pected taxi through plate recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy and will check mon­i­tor­ing videos to see what hap­pened, said Jiao Lingjun, an ur­ban man­age­ment of­fi­cial.

Since mid-Au­gust, four taxi driv­ers have been caught cherry pick­ing and each fined 200 yuan (US$29). Cur­rently, the sys­tem is linked to the mon­i­tor­ing plat­forms at Jin­mao Tower, Shang­hai Tower and the Shang­hai World Fi­nan­cial Cen­ter. Au­thor­i­ties are work­ing to in­tro­duce the sys­tem to the Grand Kempin­ski Ho­tel Shang­hai, Pudong Shangri-La and Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. Even­tu­ally, it will cover all pub­lic venues in Lu­ji­azui, of­fi­cials said.

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