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Taxi fares jump whopping 12%

Date Posted: 2007-10-02

Okinawans must now pay a lot more for taxi service, with government-approved increases kicking into effect October 1st.
On average, fares rose 12% Monday, with the base starting fare jumping from ¥450 to ¥500. Of Okinawa’s 109 taxi companies, 94% raised their rates. Aside from hikes in base fares, the after-hours surcharge now kicks in at 10 p.m. instead of the previous 11 p.m.
Taxi meters will run faster now, with the ¥60 travel charge assessed for each 359 meters, 42 meters shorter than the old 401 meters. Officials report taxi companies have differed in how to apply the travel charge, with some opting to only increase ¥20~30. Okinawa’s main island has 3,651 taxis operating, with 3,417 choosing to go with the fare boosts.
Taxi union officials say the increases were triggered by higher crude oil prices. Elderly people are the most frequent users of Okinawa taxi services.

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