Taking a taxi during rush hour

Below is a receipt for my taxi ride from the bus station to the hotel during rush hour (6pm) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a busy metropolis of 8 million people.

Basically from top to bottom, it has the date (2010-6-21), time of departure (18:05, or 6:05pm), time of arrival (18:37), per-kilometer rate (2.00 yuan), total mileage (6.5km), time stopped in traffic or going below 5km/h (15 min 45 s) and total fare (24 yuan).

Note that in the 32 minute ride, the cab was stopped or going below 5km/h for just about half that time (15:45). The traffic in that hour was insane, probably worse than anything you’ll see in New York or Chicago or LA. Oh, did I mention that it took half an hour just to find an empty cab? Seemed like every one in the city was taken.

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