Provisional Legislative Council Panel on Transport

Consultative Paper on Taxi Licensing System


The Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) has issued a consultative paper (copy attached) to consult members of the public about the existing taxi licensing system.


2. Taxi licences have been issued by public tender since 1964 and at regular intervals between 1976 and 1991; none were issued in 1992 and 1993 pending the outcome of the Taxi Policy Review carried out by the TAC. Since 1994, new licences have been issued as and when necessary, having regard to the demand for taxi services, the financial viability of the trade, and the likely impact of the increase in the number of taxis on traffic conditions. Between September 1994 and May 1997, a total of 410 new licences were issued. There are now a total of 18 138 taxi licences (15 250 for urban taxis, 2 838 for NT taxis and 50 for Lantau taxis).

3. Members of the public have expressed concern to the TAC about a sharp increase in taxi licence premiums in 1996 and early 1997, and requested a review of the taxi licensing system. In March 1997, the TAC reconvened its Working Group on Taxi Policy Review to undertake this review. On 31 July 1997, the Working Group issued a document for public consultation from 1 August to 30 September 1997.

Present Position

4. According to the findings of the Working Group, there is no evidence to suggest that increases in taxi licence premiums have any direct effect on taxi fares and rentals. However, the consultative paper sets out six options, including maintaining the status quo, which have been proposed to the Working Group. It should also be noted that the Working Group considers that any changes to the taxi licensing system should not affect the rights of the existing taxi licence holders.

Way Forward

5. The TAC Working Group has not taken any position on this subject and will take into account comments from all concerned before making recommendations to the TAC.

Transport Bureau
Government Secretariat
8 September 1997

Last Updated on 24 October 1997