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199 35 We Are Resolved to Rectify the Taxi Industry1 August 19, 1988 Some say the taxi industry is just experiencing a short-lived storm, but I think this is a welcome storm. The current manner in which taxis operate has become intolerable and a major problem affecting the improvement of Shanghai’s investment environment. Outside newspapers, particularly those in Hong Kong, have described Shanghai’s taxis as an utter mess, which is indeed the case. I’ve said that foreigners have confidence in Shanghai, but actually their confidence isn’t all that great. If you can’t even manage your taxis well, how can you manage your investment environment well? Some of the incidents recently described in the papers are really outrageous . The Xinmin Evening News, for example, reported that when a passenger from the military was overcharged and spoke up, the cab driver beat him and then drove off. That is really too much! Rectification of the taxi industry is an important issue in improving Shanghai’s image. [Problems with] taxis as well as buses must be corrected—we are determined to do this well. After about two months of intensive work, our colleagues at the Municipal Construction Commission and the Office of Public Utilities Management have proposed a tentative rectification program. To do a good job, we must pay attention to three aspects of this work. 1. Rectify Labor Discipline A key concern is labor discipline, but it can’t be remedied just by relying on high-pressure methods—ideological work is also needed. What’s more, this 1. This is part of a speech by Zhu Rongji at a Shanghai conference on improving citywide traffic , rectifying taxi management, and improving traffic safety. In order to rectify and standardize its taxi market and improve its investment environment, Shanghai established the Dazhong Taxi Company in December 1988. The company borrowed RMB 63.5 million to purchase 500 red Santanas. At the same time, it introduced the following service measures: taxis were to stop when hailed; ask for directions when boarding passengers; accept telephone orders and show up on time; provide fair and reasonable computerized fare calculations, along with clean cars and courteous service. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 199 12/26/17 12:00 PM 200 We Are Resolved to Rectify the Taxi Industry must be done meticulously and in depth. I hope that Shanghai’s taxi drivers will approach this issue by proceeding from the big picture of Shanghai’s revitalization. To revitalize Shanghai, we must use foreign capital; therefore we must improve the investment environment, attract foreign investment in Shanghai, and draw many tourists here to sightsee. At present tourism generates forex roughly equivalent to RMB 1 billion a year—but that’s not enough; there should be more. Shanghai has many highend hotels that need greater occupancy if they are to make money. If people are willing to come to Shanghai but then are annoyed to death by the bad behavior of taxis, why would they want to return? I hope all those in the taxi industry will proceed from this big picture, support the government’s decision, observe labor discipline, and contribute to Shanghai’s revitalization. I believe that the vast majority of cab drivers are of high caliber. Once things are explained to them clearly, they will help the government do a good job. 2. Implement Scientific Management As a first step, we must strengthen taxi management and introduce unified dispatching and centralized direction. Some taxis belong to state-owned enterprises , others to joint ventures; still others are run by hotels or are individually operated. We must manage the industry with rules and systems, rewards and penalties, rates for fares—all of which must be standardized. The public transit section of the Municipal Office of Public Utilities will be responsible for managing the industry. No matter whom your taxi is affiliated with, you must accept the management of that section. In the future, we will also have telephone dispatching and strengthen our command communications. Right now you can’t summon a cab, nor do you know where all the cabs have gone. Second, fare meters must be installed in all taxis, their reliability must be ensured, and they must be strictly managed. Each cab must be marked with the sign “Taxi.” Agencies that hire out their cars must also be fitted out with “Taxi” signs and meters, and their fare charges, drivers’ photos, and car numbers must be prominently displayed. If any...


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