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How to take a taxi in China

During the 1920s and 1930s China had came into a period of great development of taxi industry, in the early 1920s, there were only 1231 taxis in Beijing and 91taxis in Shanghai. Till the late 1920s, because of the sharp increasing number of foreign nationals living in Harbin, the taxi number had added to 500. Since the opening up ceremony of third plenary session of the 11th Party Congress on December 12th, 1978, the state implemented the policy of reform and opening up, the urban economy has been more and more prosperous, and foreign economic and cultural exchanges have become far more frequent, people’s living standard has been greatly improved and enhanced.
In addition, with the increasing number of people do business and travel to China from home and abroad, taxi is no longer the “patent” of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guangzhou. After 1980, taxi began to appear in many small and medium-sized cities across the country and continuous wave of several high-speed developments has taken place. In order to meet the needs of different levels of passengers, the nation implemented a policy that the state, collectivity and the individual could be involved in the operation of the taxi, which brought the new development for the taxi industry.
Taxis in Beijing
People in Beijing often call taxi “的”(Pinyin: di1) and the taxi driver “的哥” (Pinyin: di1 ge1)or “的姐”(Pinyin: di1 jie3), and in 2005 Beijing began a new round of upgrading and eliminated the 10-old-year red Xiali. The color of the main body of the new generation taxi is golden with roof blue, green or purple. Printed on the roof light box as well as the door is the abbreviation of company’s name.
(The origin of “的哥” and “的姐”:Taxis were first appeared in the developed areas such as Hong Kong and Guangzhou, so people of these districts called taxi “的士”. With the economic development of mainland, later on taxis were introduced into mainland China. Chinese people often use “打的” instead of “搭的士” and call the male driver “的哥”, the female driver “的姐”. )
Taxis in Shanghai
The same as Beijing, people in Shanghai also call taxi “的”(Pinyin: di1), however, in Shanghai dialect the taxi is called “差头”(Pinyin: cha1 tou2). The Taxi is an important part of the urban public transport in Shanghai. There are more than 261 taxi companies and 43000 taxis in this modern city.
( “差头”, pidgin English, is the transliteration of “charter”. People in Shanghai call a taxi “差头” which has the meaning of dispatch. Over time, “差头” has been on behalf of Taxi.)
Some precautions you should make when taking a taxi
  • Ask for an invoice
Printed on the taxi invoice is some detailed information which includes the billing date, subordinate units, special hotlines and car license number. This can not only strengthen the drivers’ self-discipline, but also prevent driver from bypassing the road or other cheating behavior. If you find anything you are not satisfied with or you leave something in the car, with the invoice you can contact with the customer service center. Considering that some drivers may refuse to offer the invoice, you have the right to refuse to pay the fare.
  • Choose the right place and right time to take the taxi
Taxis cannot stop at the places like intersections and traffic lights, so you may not wait the taxi at these places. In addition, the best way to take a taxi at the airport or train station is to wait at the taxi rank area. Generally the traffic peak hour occurs at 7:00-8:00a.m and 4:30-6:00p.m every day, just avoid taking a taxi at these periods.
  • Prevent the counterfeit money
When getting the charge, be careful about the money.
◆Do not take the unlicensed taxi and cloning car.
What is cloning car? Car cloning is the practice of making a stolen car appears to be legal by 'cloning' legitimate identification such as license plates and VIN numbers. Taking the unlicensed and cloning car can be very dangerous. The best method to identify them is to see whether the transportation card can be used.
  • Wear the seatbelts
When taking the taxi, remember to wear the seatbelts. People who do not wear the seatbelts in the car is somewhat putting their lives at stake. You should also pay attention to the small ad screen behind the seat. Just keep away from that, if your head hit the screen when the driver slams the brakes, there may be quite risky.
Most frequently used sentences when taking the taxi
---你要去哪里?Where are you going?
  Ni3 yao4 qu4 na3 li3?
---去… I am going to….
能开窗/能开空调吗? Can you open the window?/ Can you put the air-conditioner on?
Neng2 kai1 chuang1/neng2 kai1 kong1 tiao2 ma?
我要发票,谢谢。I want the invoice, thanks.
Wo3 yao4 fa1 piao4, xie4 xie
你能在这里等我一会儿吗? Can you wait a minute here?
Ni3 neng2 zai4 zhe4 li3 deng3 wo3 yi1 hui3 er ma?
还有多久到?How much longer does it take to get there?
Hai2 you3 duo1 jiu3 dao4?
多少钱? How much?
Duo1 shao3 qian2?
Table of fees in different cities
City Base fare Each additional mile Telephone appointment Complaint call
10CNY/3 km(daytime)
11CNY/3 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
96103 or 961001 68351150 or 68351570
14CNY/3 km(daytime)
18CNY/3 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
2.7CNY/1km(>3) 96822、62580000、96961、96965 63232150
8CNY/3 km 1.7CNY/1km(3-10km)
26353731 、26352844、26300013 022-23549000
8CNY/3 km
1CNY fuel surcharge
1.9 CNY/1km(>3km) 0451-55531555 84517388、84517488、96366
3CNY/<1 km
5CNY/1-2 km
8 CNY/2-3 km
1.4 CNY/1km(>3km)
1CNY fuel surcharge (>3km)
027-59210000 027-82633333 or 82632205
6CNY/2 km(daytime)
7CNY/2 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
1.8 CNY/1km(>2km daytime)
2.16CNY/1km(>2km 23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
0731-83848460 0731-84303488
7CNY/2 km(daytime)
8CNY/2 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
1.8 CNY/1km(>2km daytime)
2.16CNY/1km(>2km 23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
7117777 0791-6506001
8CNY/3 km
1CNY fuel surcharge
2.4CNY/1km(>3km daytime)
2.7CNY/1km(>3km 23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
15CNY/3 km
1CNY fuel surcharge
28811111 96520
7CNY/2.3 km
1CNY fuel surcharge
96900 96900
12.5CNY/2 km(daytime)
16.5CNY/2 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
2.4 CNY/1km(>3km) 96511 0755-83228000
6CNY/2 km(daytime)
7CNY/2 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
1.5CNY/1km(>2km daytime)
2.7CNY/1km(>3km 23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
96716 029-68615035
8CNY/2 km(daytime)
9.6CNY/2 km(23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
1.8CNY/1km(>2km daytime)
2.7CNY/1km(>3km 23:00p.m-5:00a.m)
3312533 0871--3312533