Cabs in Shanghai

May 6 2013

(Photo Via: Shanghai Daily)

Shanghai is a big metropolis like New York City!

They are two very different cities, but they do share one commonality, which is that both the Shanghainese and New Yorkers take cabs all the time! (Well…not students in New York because cabs are expensive, and we take the Metro! We 爱 (ài), or love, the Metro! Annnd we walk at the fast "New Yorker Pace," which is helping me get to places here quickly.)

I want to talk about Shanghai’s cabs in this blog post because all of you guys will probably start taking cabs here on the first day of your internship or when you have to get to the airport. (Unfortunately, a lot of internship offices are not located close to subway stations, which is a little strange, if you ask me…)

Shanghai’s cabs are much cheaper than New York’s cabs. So don’t worry too much if and when you get lost in Shanghai, and you don’t speak Chinese very well--you can just hail a cab to get home … But I’m not suggesting you to take cabs all the time!

Although cab fares are much cheaper than NYC’s cab fares, they add up pretty quickly! Plus, walking around the city and in the subway can give you chances to exercise and learn more about the subway lines and the city in general.

1) Cab Fares

In the day time, the price is RMB 14 for the first three kilometers (1.9 miles) and an additional charge of RMB 2.4 for every succeeding kilometer within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). After 10 kilometers, it's RMB 3.6 for every succeeding kilometer.

At night, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., the cab fare is RMB 18 for the first three kilometers and an additional charge of RMB 3.1 for every succeeding kilometer within 10 kilometers. After that, it's RMB 4.1 for every succeeding kilometer. Note: you can bargain over cab fare when taking cabs at night.

Whether you take a taxi during the day or at night, RMB 2.1 (RMB 3.1 at night) will be added for every five minutes of stop time.

Taxis in the suburbs of Shanghai usually charge less. The price is RMB 10 for the first three kilometers (1.9 miles) and RMB 2.4 for every succeeding kilometer.

2) Types of Cabs

In NYC, all you see are yellow cabs, hastily turning from here to there to get to Union Square, Columbus Circle or wherever it is you are going. In Shanghai, cabs have different colors, which range from sky blue to orange. Each color designates one of the seven major cab companies in Shanghai.

Here are the companies each color represents:
Sky blue: Dazhong
Orange: Qiansheng
White: Jinjiang
Green: Bashi
Sapphire Blue: Haibo
Red: Fanlanhung
Navy Blue: Lianmeng

Dazhong and Qiansheng are the two largest companies so most of the cabs you will encounter on the streets are probably either Dazhong or Qiansheng taxis. Try to avoid the red cabs because they tend to overcharge!

3) Some numbers you can call to book a cab…

During rush hours (from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. or so) or on Thursday, Friday and weekend nights, it is impossible to get
cabs! (Just like in New York.) So sometimes it is easier just to call the cab company, tell them where you are, and they will send a cab your way.

If you want to get to the airport for an early flight, you can book a cab the night before so you don’t have to worry about trying to get a cab or arriving late.

Below are the telephone numbers for some of the cab companies in Shanghai.

Dazhong (Simple English can be handled): 021 96822
Qiangsheng (No English service): 021 62580000
Jinjiang (Simple English can be handled): 021 96961
Bashi (Simple English can be handled): 021 96840
Haibo (No English service): 021 96965

Regarding some evil cab drivers… they might try to rip you off or overcharge you by taking a longer route. So you have to be very watchful of the meter. My Chinese is not perfect, and the cab drivers immediately notice that I am a foreigner. So I just tell them “我现在没有太多时间 (wǒ xiàn zài méi yǒu tài duō shí jiān, I don’t have much time right now)” to rush them…even if I am not in a rush. (Am I terrible? Haha.)

Also, sometimes it is necessary that you ask for a 发票 (fā piào) or a receipt when you are getting out of the cab. Say you accidentally leave behind something in the cab, you can actually track down the cab using your fa piao. So make it a habit of getting one every time you exit a cab.

Now you are ready to ride cabs and explore Shanghai!

Hi. My name is Stacy, and I spent a semester in NYU Shanghai. love travelling. I am in love with Yoga. I love eating Sushi. When I am stressed, I put a spoonful of wasabi on a White Tuna Sushi. I love my family and friends. And I love writing bits and pieces about my sometimes exciting and sometimes tedious life. Hope you all enjoy Shanghai, and I know y'all have tons of exciting days ahead.