Seoul City said Wednesday it will raise basic taxi fare by one-fourth to 3,000 won ($2.79) starting Oct. 12 and will take measures to improve drivers’ services and working conditions.
After holding public hearings and reviews by the price policy committee, the city made a final decision out of three options, which differed in basic fares and surcharges for nighttime and inter-city operations.
In addition to the hike, the city government decided to reintroduce the 25 percent surcharge for passengers traveling between Seoul and surrounding cities. The special charge was repealed in 2009.
The hours for the late-night surcharge will remain the same, from midnight to 4 a.m. During the same time, the reservation fee for call taxis will be raised by 1,000 won to 2,000 won.
The basic fare of ordinary taxis had remained unchanged at 2,400 won since 2009.
The fare of large and luxury cabs will jump by 500 won to 5,500 won.
The city also announced a set of steps to enhance taxi services.
Drivers will be required to wear official attire and are prohibited from smoking inside their vehicles.
If they reject passengers upon their preferences, drivers will be obligated to take compliance education courses for 16 to 40 hours on top of paying the original 200,000 won fee. Only a four-hour class is currently mandatory. If the course is not completed, drivers will be prohibited from driving cabs or working at other taxi firms.
Installing black boxes to record both the inside and outside the cars will be required by the end of this year.
For female drivers’ safety, protective panels will be installed in 100 taxis on a trial basis.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (email@example.com