We are no stranger to those picky taxi drivers who turn their backs on us because the distance of a trip is too short. Soon, this behavior could be a thing of the past thanks to a new regulation proposed by the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission (SMTC), as taxi drivers won’t know where you are going.
It’s no secret that long-distanced trips are much more profitable than the short ones. As a result, some drivers refuse to take passengers when knowing the destination of their trip is too short.
The use of taxi Apps, as convenient as they are, have somehow aggravated the issue. Previously the taxi drivers refused passengers face-to-face, now all they have to do is turn a blind eye to the short-distanced orders on the App.
“Getting a short-distanced taxi pickup is like a mission impossible,” complains Cheng, who lives in Xuhui District. “I never succeed in ordering a taxi to take me to the nearby hospital. However, last time I wanted to go to Pudong International Airport, which is much farther, the order was picked up within seconds.”
“There are a lot of factors to weigh in on,” says Huang, who has been a taxi driver for over 30 years. “The distance is only one of them. If the passenger wants to go to Ruijin Hospital, even if the distance is short, I will still take the order because it’s a densely-populated spot. I can receive another order promptly after I get there.”
However, the situation may change for the better. Since last week, more and more Didi users and drivers have received alert texts advising a passenger’s destination will no longer be shown on the App to the driver.
“We will gradually modify the functions of our App,” says the manager of Didi. “In the latest version released on December 19, the drivers can only see the destination after taking the order. In future versions, the information will only be available after the trip begins.”
According to SMTC, this new regulation aims to improve the quality of the service as well as elevate the user experience.
It is notable that even though the drivers can no longer see the destination from the App, they can still acknowledge the information by calling the passenger and cancel the order unilaterally.
So, it still remains to be seen whether this new regulation can improve the problem, but at least it is an active step towards positive change.