Uber today raised fares substantially in Hong Kong – in the case of UberX, by as much as 80 percent.
The price hike comes alongside a flat fee on all rides in the city. “Uber will introduce a booking fee of HK$5 to all Uber rides, which will help cover administrative cost,” said the company in a blog post.
With UberX now starting at HK$45 (US$5.75) and UberBlack at HK$65 (US$8.30), both services are now more expensive than the HK$24 (US$3.20) base fare of a Hong Kong licensed taxi, which also covers the first 2 kilometers. Here’s Uber’s explainer of the change:
The fare changes are “based on an evaluation of the marketplace in Hong Kong,” said Uber.
The price rise means more money for Uber’s drivers in Hong Kong, which is one of the world’s most expensive cities. Hong Kong, ranked second behind Singapore, is 5 percent more expensive than New York, according to a cost of living study by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Uber might still work out cheaper for longer rides, as its local price per kilometer – which remains unchanged today – is below that of the taxi cabs. Plus, taxis have a HK$6 (US$0.77) surcharge for each item of luggage that goes in the trunk.
Uber remains in regulatory limbo in Hong Kong until the Chinese territory frames new laws on ride-hailing. Hong Kong police in May arrested 21 Uber drivers for operating a private car for hire without third-party risk insurance.
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