The Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to launch special “Ra” owner-operated cabs that get every Wednesday and Sunday off, as well as the second and fourth Fridays of the month, starting on August 1 (Fri).
The “Ra” group of Seoul’s owner-operated cabs was instituted to allow cab drivers to take regular days off, in order to provide a safer taxi service by preventing cab drivers from becoming overworked and providing them with more time to maintain their vehicles (Passenger Transport Service Act, Article 23, Clause 1). Currently, three groups, “Ga,” “Na,” and “Da,” which were launched in 1978, and the “Late-night Taxi (9th group),” launched in 2012, are in operation.
Among the 49,000 owner-operated cabs, about 15,000 belong to one of the Ga, Na, or Da groups, and the 1,797 Late-night cabs (9th group) are operated independently in Seoul.
(Unit: No. of Vehicles, as of May 2014)
|Total||Vehicles in Group System||Deluxe/Van|
The existing group system allows owner-operated taxis in the Ga, Na, and Da groups to take only every third day off. However, with the rising demand for leisure activities, the system prevented cab drivers from enjoying any regularly scheduled weekend leisure activities, such as club activities or attending church. Therefore, after surveying those who work in the industry, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to implement a special group to improve the existing system.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government opened the recruitment of owner-operated cabs that wished to participate in the special “Ra” group, with a total of 4,760 applicants, despite the fact that the cab drivers would have to take six to eight more days off per year than in the existing three-group system. Among them, 3,000 were selected for a trial run of the group. The special “Ra” group will carry out its trial run by the end of this year. The city government plans to monitor the operation of the group, take the opinions of the people into consideration, and gradually expand the system in the future.