Beijing taxi drivers face a lifestyle makeover before the Olympics that will mean the end of spitting, smoking, weird hairstyles and dangly earrings Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and the beginning of regular baths.
Under the new regulations, which came into effect yesterday, drivers whose cabs are smelly will be suspended for two days while they undergo Ã¢â‚¬Å“rectification and reformÃ¢â‚¬Â guidance, the Beijing News said.
Cabbies who spit or smoke, and female taxi drivers who sport big earrings or radical hairstyles, will also be banned under rules aimed at improving the city’s image ahead of next year’s Olympics.
Beijing’s taxi drivers, who typically earn around 1,500 yuan (US$200) a month, often sleep, eat and smoke in their vehicles.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Many drivers pay no attention to appearances,Ã¢â‚¬Â Yao Kuo, the head of the transportation management office, was quoted as saying.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Their mouths stink of garlic and their bodies smell, making the whole cab foul. It creates a bad impression for the taxi industry.Ã¢â‚¬Â
My girlfriend and I visited Beijing for a week in the beginning of June 2008. We never had a problem with any of the taxis that we took. The taxis are also far better than the metro system. Consequently, this article sounds doubtful and extremely slanted against Chinese cab drivers! Beijing was a very interesting place and hope to return next year.
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