Beijing (ANTARA News) - Beijing taxi drivers face a lifestyle makeover before
the Olympics that will mean the end of spitting, smoking, weird hairstyles and
dangly earrings -- and the beginning of regular baths, AFP reported.
Under the new regulations, which came into effect on Wednesday, drivers whose
cabs are smelly will be suspended for two days while they undergo "rectification
and reform" 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 (200 dollars) a
month, often sleep, eat and smoke in their vehicles.
"Many drivers pay no attention to appearances," Yao Kuo, the head of the
transportation management office, was quoted as saying.
"Their mouths stink of garlic and their bodies smell, making the whole cab foul.
It creates a bad impression for the taxi industry."
Yao said that outrageous dress styles were also now off limits for drivers of
the 70,000 cabs on the streets of the Chinese capital.
"As a service industry, taxis have to think about appearances," Yao said.
"So from now on dying hair a bright red or yellow and making weird hairdos is
Shi Xiangpeng, a top political advisor visiting from Hong Kong last month,
complained bitterly about the odour of Beijing`s taxis.
"Sometimes I could smell an unbearable stink once I got into the cab, but was
afraid of being too rude to get out immediately," he was quoted by Xinhua news
agency as saying.
"A smelly cab, though a trivial thing, may impair the country`s
international image when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games next year, as it`s not
polite to the guests," he said