Taxi fares for short trips in Tokyo to be slashed

Taxi fares for short trips in Japan's capital have been slashed to encourage commuters to take more short rides.
Taxi fares for short trips in Japan's capital have been slashed to encourage commuters to take more short rides. PHOTO: ST FILE

TOKYO - Taxi fares for short trips in Japan's capital will be slashed to encourage commuters to take more short rides, Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday (Dec 21).

But this also means higher fares for long trips.

The starting fare and price for the first 1.052km will be adjusted to between 380 yen (S$4.70) and 410 yen from Jan 30, 2017.

The current fare is 700 to 730 yen for the first 2km.

Fares for distances beyond 6.5km will be higher than the current rates.

Taxis will now charge 80 yen per 227m, or every 90 seconds when the vehicle is travelling at a speed of 10kmh or slower.

The change will be rolled out to about 40,000 taxis in Tokyo and the cities of Musashino and Mitaka.

"The new pricing will effectively mean a savings for passengers who travel under two kilometres," said Asahi Shimbun.

The changes, which were proposed by taxi companies, had to be approved by the Transport Ministry.

The companies hope that more elderly people and tourists will take taxis after the price reduction.

Mr Takashi Nomura, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Nihon Kotsu Co, told Japan Times: "Using a taxi in Tokyo has been pricey for short-distance travelers when compared to other cities like New York and London. By making the rate closer to that of other foreign cities, we hope to attract more foreign tourists to use our service."