Transport authority of the city of Shanghai has introduced a new regulation for taxi drivers which bans them from picking up passengers through booking apps that allow tips. The taxi booking service regulation was recently introduced by the Shanghai Transport and Port Administration, which said that the service provided by third-party taxi booking apps need to be incorporated with those of the taxi companies dispatch centers.
The smartphone apps allow users to offer tips to drivers and also bargain for rides. Such a practice is becoming hugely popular in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, where it is difficult to get a taxi during rush hours. The regulation by the authority has also urged taxi booking app developers to cooperate with taxi companies.
However, major taxi companies in the cities like Qiangsheng and Dazhong have not yet received any requests from the app developers. The city has about 50,000 cabs, out of which 67 percent are in the booking and dispatching system.
On the other hand, call centers of the city handle 57,600 taxi-booking services on an average per day, according to the administration.