I have lived in Kunming the last 3 years. Year by year the taxi service in Kunming has degraded the worst service ever.
I'm talking about how the taxi driver decides if they want to take you where you want to go. They prefer to drive in circles only in the city center so they can repeat 8 RMB drop charges. The taxis should be required to accept people and take them wherever they need to go in the city. Apparently Kunming has no regulations and allows these drivers to make their own rules. I've never seen such poor service in any other city.
What do you all think? How can we submit a complaint and have Kunming govt look into adopting a taxi licensing/operating policy? Anyone have ideas????
Yes, it can be frustrating to not be able to find a taxi to take you a remote location. The other side of the coin is that gasoline prices have skyrocketed, traffic is a nightmare and the drivers typically work alternating 12 hour shifts (usually one owner/driver and one employee/driver or co-owner/drivers) who are barely making it. I suggest that if you need to take a taxi (rather than using Kunming's awesome bus system) try negotiating a fare that will at least cover the driver's return gasoline costs. The need for taxis in more "remote" areas is limited so drivers want to avoid driving back empty. It will be a premium over the meter rate, but it can definitely work to convince a driver to go beyond the second ring road. Good luck!
Ahmet, so downtown to the airport is a remote location? Saint John's hospital from city center a remote location? I don't think so.
I DO think it has everything to do with greed over service. Yes gas prices have risen, so taxi's charge a 1 yuan fee surcharge on the fares. I don't buy your explanation.
If I owned a restaurant, maybe I should serve your food cold so I can save some cost of cooking it because food prices have gone up. Sorry this excuse doesn't hold water. Fact is the taxi system needs proper regulation so they will service properly. If the owner cannot make a profit, get into another line of work. That's how free enterprise works. It could be said that because of no regulations, too many taxis are clogging up the roads anyway. Time to cull the bad taxis and allow the ones who do their job to survive. Regulation would serve this purpose nicely as it does in most cities.
The bus a a rare option for me. I do not enjoy the thieves and potential bombers that mingle amongst the crowds of people coughing, spitting and pushing their way inside the buses. I prefer taxis and am quite happy to pay extra for the service. I also cannot read Chinese and find it difficult to know which bus goes where.
There's actually already a law against refusing fares, and a hotline for complaints, but I don't know the number. The problem is lax enforcement.
The problem that gets me is that all the taxis switch drivers in the middle of the evening rush hour. They need to start staggering those times a bit. If they did that, we'd have much fewer stranded drivers
Bucko, just get over it. I've lived here for the last 2½ year as well. I could afford a taxi anytime I want but the bus is good enough for me... or you could buy a bicycle or a scooter which is a better choice in this traffic.
You still haven't learned how to read Chinese after 3 years? Either you are not trying or you don't want to. I think we all should learn Chinese including the written language if we are to stay in China. The language is not that hard. After 2 years of studies or less you will be able to read a newspaper.
Stop being an annoying laowai... you are probably one of those who just hang out over at the foreigners street feeling like a King in China. Well get over it man...
Jeff, my husband actually called the cab company a year or so ago to suggest that they stagger times, but of course they didn't listen! It is infuriating when you can't get a taxi for at least an hour due to all of the taxis switching shifts at the same time.
I'm in Beijing now and you sometimes get the same thing with taxis refusing fares (and the ever popular scenic route. At least the scenic route in Kunming meant maybe an extra 4 RMB, not an extra 40). There isn't much you can really do about it except report them. If enough people report taxis refusing fares perhaps the authorities WILL do something about it.
FYI SwedishGuy, I own a bicycle,moto,and a car. I'd probably own plane as well if one could in China. What the hell does that have to do with taxi's? Must be a Swedish thing.
No, I haven't learned to read Chinese. I would guess I have more of a life than you do, so my priority's don't afford me the schedule for it, nor would I if I had the time anyway.
Just for curiosities sake, just what is your function here, (besides being a ass)?
I have to agree with bucko in that this was about taxi's NOT wether or not you know chinese. Everybody that comes to China has a right to choose to learn the language or not. I'm sure that bucko knows enough to communicate what he needs to otherwise, how could he have survived for 3 years. I've been here for 2 and a half years and still can't read the newspaper even though I study chinese for 1 year. Not everybody has the same goal. I know enough to get by and I'm cool with that.
I don't think that taxis here are too bad. About 80% of the time the drivers take me by what I believe to be the most direct route. The other 20% of the time, it seems to be that the driver takes a route that is not the most direct, but is certainly not a sightseeing tour. I think this 20% of routes may be attributed to the fact that taxi drivers here don't really use maps, and may not be able to visualize a map of Kunming very clearly in their heads. I've never really felt like I was being taken for a ride here in Kunming, and drivers always listen to my directions and route suggestions.
Hehe, sour response from Bucko :) Haha
Sure it wasn't about language skills but I didn't intend to learn the language as a major either. I just took some classes during my first year. Chinese is really quite simple.
I don't see why you complain then if you have your own car and a motorcycle. Personally I don't see where your problem is. As for me, I am here to hang around with Chinese people. Wonderful people really... and I don't mind it being almost impossible to find a taxi sometimes. Then I just wait another hour and there will be a taxi that picks me up. If you are in a rush there are a few mian bao che that you can discuss the fare with as well. They are usually quite nice people.
I am just working as a Director at a company here. Minor function in society but fun.
I think Taxi's here are ok, they usually take me where I want to go and if you speak the local dialect with them they will open up and you have a nice conversation with them as well.