Electric scooters are parked by an entrance of a subway station in Seodaemun-gu, western Seoul, on July 7, 2021. (Yonhap)
Seoul will start towing illegally parked electric scooters, as the city asks service providers to take responsibility by preventing their products from disrupting traffic and causing inconvenience.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Sunday that it will start towing illegally parked e-scooters Thursday in six of its districts, before going on to do so in the remaining 19 districts. The city plans to levy a 40,000 won ($35) towing fee for each scooter and a 700 won storage fee for every 30 minutes that it remains in custody.
The central government has designated 13 places where electric scooters must not be parked, including bus stops and entrances to buildings.
As of last month, 55,499 electric scooters from 14 service providers were in operation in Seoul.
The eco-friendly means of transportation has been touted as a convenient ride for those traveling short distances, but careless parking of scooters has caused significant problems for pedestrians and vehicles on roads.
In some of the pictures the Seoul Metropolitan Government shared with the press, e-scooters were parked on motor roads, in front of subway station entrances, by bus stops, over Braille blocks and near crosswalks.
While the central government has set out parking rules for e-scooters, people continue to abandon them in prohibited areas.
The city government has started running an exclusive page for complaints about illegally parked e-scooters, which allows users to scan QR codes attached to e-scooters and type in locations when filing complaints.
Complaints will be transmitted in real time to e-scooter rental services, and they will have three hours to collect the illegally parked e-scooters to avoid fees. The outcome of each complaint can also be checked on the same website, the city government added.
By Ko Jun-tae (firstname.lastname@example.org