In a move that will be welcomed by taxi app users, the local transportation commission has blocked drivers using Didi Chuxing from seeing the destination of passengers before accepting their requests.
The new rule, which will come into play from December 19, follows complaints about drivers cherry-picking passengers.
"For example, if there are two requests — one for the airport, the other for a destination close by or in an area with heavy traffic jam — the driver would most likely accept the first one," an officer from the commission said.
Didi Chuxing confirmed the new rule yesterday.
Wang Mingze, the PR manager of Didi Chuxing, told Shanghai Daily that they were coordinating with the commission to build a better marketing environment. "We have notified the drivers and passengers well in advance so they are prepared," Wang said.
A taxi driver surnamed Chen said he normally accepts orders from Didi according to passengers' destinations. But with the new rule, he will return to looking for passengers on the street.
"At least they are already there on the street. I don't have to drive a long way to pick them up. It is also a waste of time," said Chen.
Drivers choosing passengers of their choice has long been an issue in Shanghai.
"I can hardly recall the last time I got a taxi on the street during rush hour," said a man who was waiting for his Didi cab at the crossroads of Furongjiang and Xianxia roads when Shanghai Daily caught up with him.
The new rule will only apply to taxi drivers using Didi Chuxing in Shanghai, but the online-hailing cars of the app firm will not be affected, Wang revealed.