The Shanghai city government has followed Beijing’s move in banning taxi-hailing phone apps during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening out of fairness to the industry and to other customers.
The apps allow customers to bid for taxis by offering increasingly higher flat-rate fares in addition to the cost per mile, allowing people to subvert taxi costs set by the government. But the Chinese population seems to have a divided opinion of them. Reuters reports that some drivers won’t get behind the wheel unless people can use the apps, but others believe it has created an unequal playing field in the fight to hail a ride. Some drivers have reportedly refused to pick up passengers who won’t offer a higher fee than the standard fare.
Tencent and Alibaba both offered versions of the app from which some taxi drivers claim to have received up to 100 yuan in extra fares, but since the model has created an unfair playing field for customers (and has proven to pose safety hazards to drivers) it’s now prohibited in Shanghai from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. local time, effective March 1.