I made an important promise today to taxi companies and drivers.
Effective 4:00 AM on October 12, base taxi fare in Seoul will be raised from 2,400 won to 3,000 won. It’s the first raise in four years. Most of the other cities have raised taxi fare, but Seoul has delayed the increase due to the public’s difficult economic situation.
I rode in taxis in June and listened to the opinions of taxi drivers. During that time, I heard a lot of feedback from many people, including those running LPG gas filling stations, and taxi companies. All of them had many complaints to make. Over the past four years, gas prices have risen by more than 40%, which meant less income for taxi drivers. People complained about taxi drivers’ unkind attitudes and refusal to take passengers whose destination they didn’t like.
I decided that taxi drivers’ situation should be improved through the rise of taxi fare. So far, the increase of taxi fare has not lead to the improvement of the drivers’ service. Taxi drivers complained that the rise of taxi fare was only good for the companies, not for them.
After lengthy negotiations, it was decided to raise monthly income for taxi drivers from 1.26 million won to 1.53 million won. Up to 35 liters of LPG will be provided to them.
The daily amount that a taxi driver should pay to the company will be raised from 105,000 won to 130,000 won, 84% of which should be spent for improvement of benefits provided to taxi drivers.
The top complaint item made by taxi passengers is taxi drivers’ arbitrary refusal to take passengers whose destination they don’t like. During the late night when such refusal to take passengers occurs the most, late night buses on 9 routes and late night-only taxis will improve the situation. Those from taxi companies will monitor many locations to prevent taxi drivers’ arbitrary refusals. Taxi drivers caught for such a refusal will be subjected to 40 hours of education (currently, 4 hours).
Seoul Metropolitan Government officials will work hard to see to it that taxi passengers have no complaints about taxi drivers’ quality of service. We hope people will find taxis a convenient means of transportation and taxi drivers will find theirs a stable and quality job.