Executive Council approves taxi fare adjustments, introducing incremental increases to enhance taxi services

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14th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Chief Executive in Council has given its approval today, for the adjustment of taxi fares in urban areas, New Territories (NT), and Lantau. The adjustments include an increase of $2 in the flagfall charge, $0.2 in the incremental charge for the first-tier distance after flagfall, and $0.1 in the incremental charge for the second-tier distance after flagfall. These adjustments aim to improve the quality and sustainability of taxi services.

The new fares are as follows:

Flagfall charge for the first 2 kilometres or any part thereof:

  • Urban taxis: Existing fare of $27 will be increased to $29.
  • NT taxis: Existing fare of $23.5 will be increased to $25.5.
  • Lantau taxis: Existing fare of $22 will be increased to $24.

Incremental charge for each 200 meters travelled after flagfall:

  • Urban taxis: Existing fare of $1.9 per jump will be increased to $2.1 per jump for the first-tier distance of 2-9 kilometres. For the second-tier distance after 9 kilometres, the existing fare of $1.3 per jump will be increased to $1.4 per jump.
  • NT taxis: Existing fare of $1.7 per jump will be increased to $1.9 per jump for the first-tier distance of 2-8 kilometres. For the second-tier distance after 8 kilometres, the fare will remain at $1.3 per jump.
  • Lantau taxis: Existing fare of $1.7 per jump will be increased to $1.9 per jump for the first-tier distance of 2-20 kilometres. For the second-tier distance after 20 kilometres, the existing fare of $1.5 per jump will be increased to $1.6 per jump.

Corresponding adjustments will also be made to the charge for waiting time due to the increase in incremental charges after flagfall. However, the other additional charges will remain unchanged.

The adjustments come as a response to calls from the community and the taxi trade to enhance the quality and sustainability of taxi services. To address these concerns, the government has implemented various measures to improve the overall operation and management of the taxi industry. These measures include the introduction of a taxi fleet regime, increasing the maximum passenger seating capacity from five to six, and implementing a Taxi-Driver-Offence Points System and a two-tier penalty system for certain taxi-driver-related offences.

The government believes that periodic reviews of taxi fares and the financial viability of taxi operations are essential to ensure the long-term development and stability of the industry, as well as to meet passengers’ needs.

Under the new regulatory regime known as the taxi fleet regime, the Transport Department (TD) will issue Taxi Fleet Licences and regulate the operation and management of taxi fleets. This includes setting requirements for fleet size, vehicle age, and services provided by fleet licensees, such as online booking channels and e-payment options. It also encompasses the installation of CCTV systems and technological devices to enhance passenger safety. The TD has already invited applications for Taxi Fleet Licences, with the results expected to be announced in mid-2024.

The fare increase applications were a result of consensus among the urban, NT, and Lantau taxi trades. The urban and NT taxi trades proposed increasing the flagfall charge by $5 and $4.5, respectively, while the Lantau taxi trade requested a $6 increase. Additionally, incremental charges for the first-tier distance after flagfall were proposed to increase by $0.2, and the second-tier distance after flagfall by $0.2. Other requested changes included shortening the waiting time for a hired taxi not in motion and increasing additional fares for baggage and animals carried.

The government has carefully considered various factors, including public acceptability, changes in operating costs, fare differentials with other modes of public transport, and the financial viability of taxi operations. The recommended fare increases are 8.86% for urban taxis, 9.56% for NT taxis, and 10.92% for Lantau taxis, with a weighted average rate of increase of 8.98%, lower than the trade’s proposal.

The Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 2024 will be tabled at the Legislative Council (LegCo) on May 22, 2024, for negative vetting. Once the procedure is completed, the new fares are expected to take effect from July 14, 2024.