If you're going to pay double, use the uber-like taxi services. Cars are nicer, cleaner, and drivers more professional.
Better to pay the professional than the price gouger. You MIGHT consider reporting the government agency responsible for managing the taxis to the State Discipline committee for potential breach of fiduciary duty...just a thought...
London tube, Shanghai Metro, Hong Kong MTR, all have seats along the side facing in. It allows for more standing passengers during peak travel times. This probably trebles the potential passenger carrying capacity.
Uber in Beijing is actually cheaper than a taxi. They are fighting for market share and subsidizing the rides.
www.ecns.cn/2016/08-16/222823.shtml - Kunming exempts seniors of starting taxi fare in a pilot project.
Seniors aged 70 or above can take taxis for free for the first 3 kilometers.
If you can swing the Chinese language interface Didichuxing (Dididache) is usually way better than the normal taxi service. Clean, modern cars, usually arriving fairly quickly. No unforseen pricing. And they are hoping for good reviews which helps the quality of their service. (For the most part) I use it almost exclusively now.
Yesterday over about a 20 minutes period I had seven (7) official Kunming taxis that were both empty and had their lights on drive past, in each case the drive shook his head and waved his hands. I was limping on crutches and it was about to rain. Finally one guy stopped for me, asked me where I was going, then said no. I had to tell him "seven taxis have already gone past, nobody will take me" and he took pity on me ... taking me to his shift-change, then having the next driver deliver me to my destination. Then of course the second driver tried to get me to pay for the whole trip out of my way, when the first driver had agreed to a fixed price and explained it to him as well. Truly a shit experience. I am truly amazed that Kunming's older and less mobile residents are able to make do with this situation.
It's too bad... I've noticed in this country, many service provider businesses (taxis, hospitals, police stations) often do or nearly shut down during mealtimes or shift changes. This could easily be changed by slightly altering work shifts.
@voltaire. sucks to be a laowai during shift change, more so if your injured. But the elderly in Kunming take the bus, or if they are less mobile, then relatives with an suv or just don't bother to go out except for fresh air around the xiao qu.
@goldie122. Just the backwater tier2s like Kunming. Tier1 cities don't have shift change or mealtime slowdowns.
When I lived in Qingdao, which is tier 1, I had the same issues.
Can't you just learn the bus routes or taxi shift change times? A lot of foreigners here moan about people not bending over backwards to help them, salaries which in general are as good as if not higher than their home countries' and certainly higher than the average Chinese citizen's, food, hygiene, locals and in general, the whole system. I'm sure you can cope.