In well balanced public transport systems all over the world, taxis are seen as feeders to bus and railway routes, which do not offer door-to-door convenience but are far more fuel and space efficient in carrying large numbers of people over long distances.
However, this is Hong Kong. Our new taxi fare structure makes longer journeys cheaper per kilometre than short ones. Whatever this may do for cabbies' incomes, it can only encourage more people to make long journeys by taxi, increasing Hong Kong's already horrendous road congestion and air pollution.
I have argued before that the Hong Kong government has no concept of an integrated transport policy. This latest move once again proves me right.
This is not, of course, their only silly decision. I am a great believer in restrictions on smoking, but these have to be balanced against the right of smokers to choose to ruin their health so long as they do not inconvenience others. So why is smoking banned in Hong Kong's public parks, where the smoke has plenty of room to disperse, but allowed in the crowded streets of areas like Mongkok, where it is literally in your face? I think we should be told.