Qualified drivers can operate both traditional taxis and online ride-hailing taxis, according to a draft regulation on taxi management released by the Shenzhen Municipal Transport Bureau on Tuesday, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reported.
Now in the process of soliciting public opinion, the draft gives a new definition of taxis in the city, which incorporates both app-based ride-hailing taxis and traditional taxis, and changes the seating capacity restriction for taxis from five seats to seven seats.
According to the transport authority, as of this February, Shenzhen had 63 traditional taxi operators and 21,789 traditional taxis. Meanwhile, there are 17 licensed app-based cab operators and 54,582 online ride-hailing taxis.
For the two types of taxis, the draft formulates the same standards for vehicle type, operating service, driver qualifications and the supervision and management of vehicles.
Combining drivers’ requests in a survey and drawing on the practices in Guangzhou and Hangzhou, the draft proposes to extend the age limit for drivers to 65 years old. Drivers who meet other requirements but fail to obtain a Shenzhen hukou or a residence permit are allowed to apply for the qualification certificate.
The draft further strengthens the protection of personal safety and other legitimate rights and interests of taxi drivers. For instance, it is explicitly stipulated that taxi operators are prohibited from transferring business risks to drivers and pets are not allowed in taxis without the driver’s consent.
It is also specified that new traditional taxis shall be operated directly by the operators and shall not be transferred, leased or entrusted to other operators or third parties for business operation.