Taxi Strikes Spread to Hong Kong

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The latest in a wave of taxi strikes throughout the country took place in Hong Kong last night. Angry about a new urban-taxi fare structure, about 1,000 Hong Kong drivers from the city’s rural New Territories region launched an impromptu strike at the city’s airport, paralyzing traffic for several hours. The issues in Hong Kong are different from the mainland however. Whereas mainland cabbies, from Foshan to Sanya and Chongqing, are angry about the proliferation of illegal cabs and high rental fees from taxi companies, Hong Kong’s New Territories drivers are upset that, under the new fare structure, it’s now cheaper to take an urban taxi for a long-distance trip rather than a New Territories taxi. They’re asking the territory’s government to apply the new fare structure to their cabs as well. The Legislative Council and Transport Advisory Committee have said they will discuss the issue before the end of the year. That means more strikes could be in the works over the next four weeks.