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Ha Noi taxi firms slash fares as fuel price falls

Update: January, 08/2015 - 09:38
Taxis run in a Ha Noi street. Sixty-nine taxi firms in the capital have reduced fares since last November. — Photo vnexpress.net

HA NOI (VNS) — Fares have been slashed by 69 taxi and 15 long-distance passenger transport companies in the capital since last November, after authorities urged them to do so following fuel price reductions.

The municipal Department of Transport told VnExpress online that the taxi firms have reduced fares by VND500 to 1,000 (2.4 to 4.8 US cents) per kilometre and that transport companies have lowered their fees by 10 to 15 per cent.

The agency noted that, however, most of them had made the adjustment in November, following drastic inspections by the authorities. Few had done so after domestic petrol prices fell sharply by VND2,050 (9.8 cents) per litre on December 22.

Recently, only five taxi firms reported fare cuts, including Mai Linh with a VND400 cut, Tien Thanh with a VND500 cut and Xuan Thanh with a VND500 to 1,000 cut. Vinh Ha and Hoang Gia also reduced their rates by VND1,000 per kilometre.

Some of the transport companies that have cut fares recently include the Thang Long Transport Cooperative, which cut fares by VND30,000 ($1.43) per ticket, and Hong Ha Transport Services JSC, whose ticket prices are down VND10,000 (48 cents) per unit.

The leader of a transport enterprise, who chose to remain anonymous, toldVnExpress that transporters are bearing rising costs related to road use, insurance, wages and equipment, so they will need more time to consider any further fare cuts.

Ha Noi Transport Association Chairman Bui Danh Lien told Dien dan Doanh nghiep (The Business Forum) that any fare changes are proving to be costly for transporters as they have to reclaim old tickets and print new ones.

While the association recently called upon enterprises to register a fare reduction by January 15, some firms are also worried about more fluctuations in petrol prices every time they adjust their fees.

The Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association's Chairman Nguyen Van Thanh noted that the fare reductions of VND500 to 1,000 per kilometre by the aforementioned taxi firms are reasonable, since fuel costs account for 30 to 50 per cent of their total expenses.

He also suggested that functional agencies should inspect other companies to ensure reasonable rate cuts across the market.

In the south, HCM City Taxi Association Chairman Ta Long Hy said almost all member firms have cut fares by VND500 per kilometre after a gasoline price drop on January 6. Local taxi firms had already cut their fees by VND500 to 2,000 about two months ago.

A leader of the Mien Dong (Eastern Area) Coach Station in the city said the station was notified about the fare cuts by about 100 transporters after the last two fuel price reductions. The transport fees have been pushed down by 5 to 10 per cent as a result, he added.

On January 6, retail petrol prices were cut by VND310 (1 cent) per litre. Prices for a litre of RON 92 and E5 gasoline were slashed to VND17,570 ($0.81), while the price of diesel was reduced to VND16,630 ($0.77) per litre. — VNS

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