SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, February 7, 2019 — Automatically allocating call taxis and women-only taxis, which are not allowed to “pick up” passengers, will be operated in Seoul as early as February.
These taxis will discard the “fixed daily money” system taxi drivers should pay to their company to receive the base monthly wage, which is considered as a main cause of poor treatment of taxi drivers, and implement a full monthly salary system led completely by the private sector without any central government or local government support. They will create a good quality of employment, providing differentiated services to passengers through service education and new recruitment.
As of February 1, 2019, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has granted an official business license to Tago Solutions, a taxi company that recruited around 4,500 taxis for these new taxi services – “Waygo Blue Taxi,” automatically allocating call taxis, and “Waygo Lady Taxi,” women-only taxis.
Once a passenger calls a taxi, the nearest Waygo Blue Taxi is automatically allocated. A taxi driver does not know the destination nor cannot refuse the call until the passenger takes in. It is the system of its kind that is structurally impossible for a taxi driver to “select” a passenger.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government prepares for various preventive measures against taxi driver’s refusal of automatic taxi allocation and arbitrarily picking up passengers. It will establish the monitoring system within the Seoul Taxi Information System, or STIS, in case participating drivers select passengers by using several call taxi applications.
In an effort to maintain a differentiated level of service, only taxi drivers who complete professional service training program will be dispatched. Also, to provide a pleasant environment inside the taxi, seat covers, air fresheners, and smart phone chargers will be installed.
Both drivers and passengers of the Waygo Lady Taxi are all females. Car safety seats for infants and young kids will be equipped in these women-only taxis for the first time in Korea. After its pilot operation, an introduction of additional junior car seats and its application to the Waygo Blue Taxi will be examined.
During the trial operation period, about 20 Waygo Lady Taxis will be run, and their number will be increase to 500 taxis with 1,000 female drivers by 2020, contributing to the job creation for women. The Waygo Lady Taxi also adapts the full monthly salary system, and introduces flexible working hours and welfare schemes to encourage women to work at the transportation service industry.
The Waygo Blue Taxi and Waygo Lady Taxi will have a three-month pilot period of operation before the full operation, and their fare will be set at 2,000 to 3,000 won depending on the operation hour.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has signed a business agreement with Tago Solutions as a taxi carrier, Korea Smart Card for payment system, and Kakao Mobility for car allocation platform operation technology and operation know-hows for stable service operation of the two kinds of taxis. It also plans to launch pet-friendly taxi, demand-responding taxi, taxi for freight, and taxi for senior citizens in phases to strengthen the competitiveness of the taxi service.