View Full Version : Beijing strives for a uniform ride

07-08-08, 16:52
BEIJING, China – In the Imperial China, only the Emperor wore yellow. Beginning on August 1, the numerous taxi companies in Beijing required their drivers to wear the same color — but this time as part of a uniform: a light yellow buttoned-up shirt and blue trousers complete with a striped tie. In the front pocket, the company’s name is stitched in Chinese pinyin.

Taxi drivers were generally reluctant to talk — about the uniform or any other topic. One driver mentioned the company instructed them to avoid interviews with journalists.

After finishing his dinner break, a driver pulled the yellow garment over his white sleeveless undershirt. A client waited for his taxi, while the driver was shoving the shirt into his trousers, thus becoming ready for work.

A different driver, however, was willing to be photographed. A taxi driver for more than 10 years, Chen Qingfu, 47, said he likes the uniform, and he’s happy to continue wearing it after the Olympics, which he said would be company policy. Each driver is given two sets of uniforms.

Taxi driver Sun Zhaoguo believes the new work policy is a great thing to implement, especially in preparation of the Olympics. Sun fits the employment criteria for his profession in Beijing. He said all taxi drivers are native to the city.

The yellow uniform might not be the haute couture of Imperial China, but drivers seem to be happy with the new policy.

With a heavy Beijing accent, taxi driver Chu Fumin said in Mandarin, “I like how the shirt is light yellow; if it were bright yellow, I would find it uncomfortable.”