Going Unconventional, Kaohsiung Public Taxi Service Achieves Outstanding Outcome
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Kaohsiung CityGovernment

    Going Unconventional, Kaohsiung Public Taxi Service Achieves Outstanding Outcome Print
    • Publishing Date:2018-04-26~2018-08-31
    • Update Time:2018-04-23 09:50
    • Clickthrough Rate:30

     [Kaohsiung News] “Unlike conventional taxis, the City has seen outstanding outcomes in its promotion of the Kaohsiung public taxi service!” The Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City initiated the first public taxi service in Taiwan, effectively addressing the problem of low bus ridership and empty bus trips in remote areas and achieving the goals for two quantitative indicators (namely, occupancy rate and subsidies) and one qualitative indicator (door-to-door service). The ridership on the bus routes has increased by 10 times, the highest with an annual increase of 50%. The service not only helps the City Government to save approximately 32% of its subsidy expenditure (nearly NTD 3 million), but also provides the public with a quality home pick-up/drop-off service. The public taxi service has received several academic awards and attracted significant attention from the public, for it offers a service different from conventional taxis. The service has been well received by local citizens and there are 16 routes in operation currently.
    Chen Ching-Fu, the director-general of Kaohsiung City’s Transportation Bureau, stated that the Kaohsiung public taxi service replaces buses with taxis to provide shuttle services. The City initiated the country’s first public taxi service in 2014. In 2018, in accordance with the "one fixed day off and one flexible rest day'' policy, the City has integrated a public taxi service into several city bus routes, which alleviates the bus driver shortage and provides a door-to-door service better than buses. The service connects the shuttle services offered by buses and taxis, making mass transit more convenient. It helps reduce the local government’s expenditure, supports the taxi industry, and increases the drivers’ income. The service has been highly praised by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, council members of various administrative areas in Kaohsiung City, village chiefs, and citizens and it should serve as a role model for other cities and counties.
    Chen stated that, to continue to improve the-first-of-its-kind Kaohsiung public taxi service, the City introduced brand new imported automobiles, and initiated night services on particular routes in 2018 to address citizens’ worries over night transport and offer door-to-door night transport services. It is evident that, through quality services provided by public taxis, the public’s interest in taking mass transit has increased considerably. In addition, public taxi carpool services help the taxi operators to change their operation strategies and help update the taxi industry to adapt to an ailing economy. 
    The public taxi service brings multiple benefits; it not only provides citizens with door-to-door shuttle services, but also combines with the diversified taxi service to initiate night transport services that take passengers directly to their homes. It has seen a 100% satisfaction rate among the passengers who have utilized the service. The City can gain from economics of scale; the more routes that are in operation, the more the City saves. Ms. Chen, from Siaogang District, said that, “The City Government organized the public taxi for night transport service that could take me home directly. I can save some time walking back home and it is more convenient and safer.” Ms. Lin, from Linyuan District, said that, “My house is located in a small lane. I need to walk a long way to get home when getting off at a bus stop. Therefore, every time I go grocery shopping, I buy as much as I can. Now with the public taxi service, drivers drop me in front of my home in the lane. It is free for the distance from the bus stop to my home. What’s more, it saves a lot of time!”
    The Bureau stated that it would continue to conduct an operational performance review for Kaohsiung City bus routes in the future and replace buses with public taxis on low-use routes, as well as incorporate public taxi information searching and taxi reservation services into the Kaohsiung i-Bus App to provide the public with instant searching services and real-time bus information.
    For more information, please contact Su Chun-Chin, the division chief of the Transportation Supervision Division, at 0963-111-811.