....... Divertimento: Hong Kong Taxi Fares Increased

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Hong Kong Taxi Fares Increased

The flag fall for taxis was increased by $2 a trip on Sunday July 10th. Unlike previous increases, this one went by almost unnoticed. Taxi drivers feel that whilst it is a step in the right direction, the increase is not material. Twenty trips would generate $40 more, enough to cover lunch and a cold drink or two. As for the taxi taking public? Well, I guess in the scheme of things, $2 will not make or break my decision whether to take a taxi. For example, a 5 km trip from my home to the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre would involve a mini bus trip to Causeway Bay, a 1 stop MTR trip and a 10-15 walk – 45 minutes door to door. A taxi ride would be 10-15 minutes. The cost? Under $10 if I take the bus/MTR option and $45 for a taxi. Obviously, the choice between taking a bus/MTR and a taxi will not change for a $2 difference. In general, I do not take a taxi unless other available public transport is significantly inconvenient or I am in a group. I almost never take a taxi between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The tunnel fees are prohibitive (more about this another time!).

Up to date taxi fare information can be obtained from the Transport Department website:
Transport Department-Taxi Fare of Hong Kong

Briefly, the tariff for taxis on Hong Kong island is:
• $2o for the first 2 kilometers and $1.50 for each subsequent 200 meters or per minute idle time
• Surcharge for baggage in the trunk $5 per piece

To put this in context, the tariff in various cities are:

New York
• US$2.5o for the first 1/5 mile and 40₵ for each subsequent 1/5 mile or per minute idle time
• Flat rate US$50 from JFK airport to Manhattan

• €0.90 per kilometer, €2 minimum
• Airport trips surcharge €3.10, suitcase €1 each and after midnight surcharge €2
• Fare from El Prat airport to the city (La Rambla, photograph below) costs about €25 plus surcharges

• Pickup €2.30 plus €0.92 per kilometer (€1.17 after 5 pm), €6.20minimum
• Surcharge for 4th adult passenger €3
• Surcharge for 2nd and subsequent pieces of luggage €1
• Fare from Charles de Gaul airport to city (Arc de Triomph) costs about €45 plus surcharges

La Rambla, Barcelona

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