Government responds to taxi groups’ requests and proposes stricter measures against illegal carriage of passengers for hire or reward

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21st November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Government representatives from the Transport and Logistics Bureau (TLB) and the Transport Department (TD) held a meeting this morning with representatives of taxi groups to address their concerns and engage in a constructive dialogue. The purpose of the meeting was to gather insights and opinions from the trade.

During the meeting, TLB spokesperson reiterated the government’s firm commitment to combating the illegal use of motor vehicles for passenger transportation services, which is considered an offence. In order to strengthen the deterrent effect, the government has put forward a proposal to increase the penalties for such illegal activities. This proposal was introduced in the Legislative Council (LegCo) for examination in July this year as part of a relevant bill. The proposed measures include raising the maximum fine, extending the period of license suspension, and vehicle impoundment. Furthermore, taking into account the feedback received from the Bills Committee, the government will also propose amendments to increase the maximum term of imprisonment, aiming to enhance the deterrent effect.

The government also emphasised its commitment to conducting a comprehensive review of the existing legislation, with the goal of addressing the issue of illegal carriage of passengers for hire or reward more effectively. Additionally, the government expressed its intention to explore the regulation of online car-hailing platforms in order to intensify efforts to combat illegal passenger transportation.

The spokesperson highlighted that the government is determined to expedite the Second Reading debate on the relevant bills in the LegCo, with the aim of implementing the proposed measures at the earliest opportunity. Furthermore, the government will continue its rigorous enforcement actions against the illegal use of motor vehicles for passenger transportation.

Reiterating its longstanding concern for the operating environment of the taxi trade, the government assured that it will maintain close communication with taxi groups and actively listen to their perspectives. The government encourages the taxi trade to approach the issues in a rational and pragmatic manner, taking into account the best interests of the public.