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Consumers’ Foundation warns LNY taxi fare hike in Taipei could backfire

Additional NT$30 will be charged for taxi rides during extended Lunar New Year holiday

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(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Consumers’ Foundation on Tuesday (Jan. 4) called on the Taipei City Government to reduce the taxi fare hike for the Lunar New Year holiday, pointing out the markup is greater than in past years.

The foundation noted Taipei City Government had recently announced that an additional NT$30 (US$1.08) will be charged for taxi rides during the extended 15-day Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 23 to Feb. 6, CNA reported. This is a 50% increase from the NT$20 added during the 10-day surcharge period in past years.

Consumers' Foundation CFO Chen Chih-yi (陳智義) said he found the price of meals at eateries had gone up nearly 20% and that other consumer prices have also been marked up. He lamented that this will add pressure in the lives of both private-sector workers and civil servants, whose wages have only increased by 3% and 4%, respectively.

Foundation Chairman Terry Huang (黃怡騰) said the fare increase during the LNY period could backfire because exasperated members of the public could turn to public transport instead.

According to Taipei Public Transportation Office Director Chang Hua-chen (常華珍), the fare hike was proposed by the Taipei Motor Drivers Union. Chang cited the union as saying that its members have earned less over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the NT$20 surcharge in the Taipei metropolitan area was the lowest in the country for years, whereas a minimum surcharge of NT$50 was the norm in other special municipalities, CNA reported.