Biz / Tech

Didi to levy Spring Festival surcharge

Ding Yining
An extra service fee of up to 9 yuan across 268 cities will apply during the peak period of the Spring Festival travel rush.
Ding Yining

Didi Chuxing will levy a surcharge of between 1 and 9 yuan (US$0.10-$1.30) a trip during the peak of the Spring Festival rush to address a shortage of drivers and vehicles, the company said yesterday.

The extra service fee in 268 cities from January 28 to February 10 — the busiest period of the 40-day rush — will be paid in full to drivers, with nothing to Didi which normally charges a 20-25 percent commission on standard fares.

The actual amount passengers will pay will depend on when and where they hail their ride.

Didi will also pay a subsidy to drivers in key areas of the 268 cities from January 28 to February 19.

But some passengers complain that even with driver incentives at busy times they often have to wait hours longer than normal.

Didi will also monitor weather across the nation and alert drivers and passengers of extreme conditions during the festival rush.

And earlier this week, Didi announced a special task force under President Liu Qing and Chief Executive Officer Cheng Wei to oversee safety.

Last year, the ride-hailing platform came under fire over safety after a rape and murder by a Didi Hitch driver in Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province and an earlier murder, also by a Didi Hitch driver, in Zhengzhou in central Henan Province.

Didi has vowed to devote more resources to ensure that security measures are put in place, and also added a “safety center” to the Didi passenger app offering a one-click “Call Police” button in case of emergency.

During the spring rush it has pledged to work more closely with police.

The Spring Festival travel rush is expected to see 2.9 billion people on the move across the country during the 40-day period as they head to their hometowns during the Lunar New Year holiday.

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