Carpooling endorsed and legalised in Beijing

In January 2014, Beijing issued the carpooling regulation for small vehicles, a lawful endorsement which officially legalised carpooling in Beijing.

However, there are illegal taxicabs, which are often called “black car”, in almost every city in China. These black cars do not have legitimate operating licenses from the transportation management department, but they provide transport services and make a profit in return. There are several types of black cars, such as motorcycles, tricycles buses, and even ambulances. Therefore, the aforementioned regulation the Beijing government announced raises questions. In order to clarify the doubts, a report from People’s Daily provided answers1.

Illegal taxicab in China, Ai Chi-Han

How to distinguish legal carpooling from black cars?

Carpooling needs to be built on long term cooperation between the owner of the car and the passengers; in short, people involved in carpooling know each other. Since the goal of carpooling is to reduce carbon emissions and the number of vehicles on the roads, most carpooling will be performed during commuting time. The price of carpooling

should not be expensive either.

Who is responsible in case an accident happens?

For carpooling, the driver and passengers should have an agreement, so it is recommended that the issue of liability for any possible accident should be stated clearly and that the insurance related to the carpooling should be arranged previously.

How much does carpooling cost?

Normally, the cost of a private vehicle for carpooling is half the price of a taxi for the same distance. Passengers can therefore calculate the fee with reference to the taxi fee and divide it by the number of the passengers.

The goal of Beijing’s legalisation of carpooling is to ease traffic congestion and conserve energy. Since the new regulation may enable black cars to earn more unjust profits, the challenge ahead for Beijing, the first city legalising carpooling, is for the government to enforce strict laws and distinguish legal carpooling from black cars.

  1. Beijing chutai zhidao yijian guifan xiao keche he cheng xingwei, http://right.workercn.cn/157/201401/03/140103114024450.shtml, accessed 18 February, 2014 []

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

More Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.