Outside a subway terminal in west Beijing, dozens of illicit cabbies are seen drumming up passengers almost every day. These illegal cabbies occupy the roadside outside the subway station, and it's very hard for buses to stop at the bus station. When asking about the price, you'll find it much higher than real taxis.
The similar situation can also be found in the Beijing South Railway Station. The prices can be ten times higher than that of legal taxis.
When the undercover reporter asks about the price of taking the black cab to a place, about 10.8 kilometers away from the railway station, the driver asks for 300 yuan. However, it only costs about 29 yuan to take a real taxi.
Why are there be so many illegal cabs running on the road in the city? One city management officer near the subway station in west Beijing explains.
"We do try to stop these illegal cabbies, and we do know they are illicit drivers. However, we could not get proof of their illegal operation, when we checked them, they would say they just stopped near the roadside. Only when they are driving the car and the passenger would like to testify can we get proof of their illegal behavior."
When black taxis scoop up passengers, legal taxi drivers complain it's unfair, because legal taxi drivers slog throughout day only to see the illegal ones pocket the gains.
And the only way to compete with these illegal drivers is rough driving, some taxi drivers say. They have huge burden on their shoulders - paying his rent and the taxi company's charges, and higher living expenses.
They can survive only if they pick up as many passengers as possible, for which they often have to drive very fast. However, it endangers the lives of passengers as well as the drivers. Here is a taxi driver, who complains about the illegal cabs in Lanzhou, Gansu Province.
"Illegal taxis badly influence our legal taxi operation. Apart from seizing our business, these rogue cabs have a negative impact on traffic, as they often stop on the road to bargain with potential passengers."
In a bus station in Lanzhou, there are numerous illegal taxis scrambling for passengers. One passenger says these illegal cabs cause so much trouble.
"When I pass through this area in a taxi, I don't dare to get out of the car here, because when you just open the door of the car, these illegal cab drivers will take away your luggage in hopes of getting me into his car. And if the legal taxi drivers help me stop the rogue driver, there would probably be a fight."
Qi Jiansong, head of the local traffic administrative office says the reason behind the situation is that there is small number of legal taxis serving a growing population in the city.
"In Lanzhou there have been legal 6,500 taxis since 1996. And the number remains the same today. However, the population has been growing rapidly these years in Lanzhou, therefore, it gives illegal taxis opportunities to make money. Based on our statistics, the city has about 7,000 full-time rogue cabs, plus about 3,000 part-time illegal taxis. So Lanzhou has more than 10,000 illegal taxis in operation."
It's a similar situation in Beijing where the number of taxis has remained at 60,000 to 70,000 since 2004, while the population has been fast growing in the city. By the end of 2011, the population in Beijing has exceeded 21 million, that is to say, there is one taxi for 300 citizens.
For CRI, I am Zhang Wan.