SEOUL, July 28 (Korea Bizwire) – According to the Seoul Taxi Association, a pilot project for a late night ‘call bus’ service will launch in metropolitan Seoul on July 29 at 11 p.m.
Starting from the Gangnam-gu area, late night call buses will run to six adjacent districts including Gwangjin-gu and Yongsan-gu.
The basic fare is 3,000 won for 3 km, with additional charges of 800 won per kilometer for trips between 3 and 10 km, and 600 won for any distance beyond 10 km, which is only 70 percent of what a medium-size cab would cost for late night service.
Users can download a smartphone application on their mobile device to enter their departure point and destination and pay for the service before they board the bus. The call bus will then take passengers to the bus stop closest to their destination.
A navigation system is installed on the buses to locate and pick up other passengers who are traveling to nearby destinations.
The maximum number of passengers each bus can hold is 12, but the actual number is expected to be three or four.
The service will make use of 12 Hyundai Solatis, a light commercial van, along with four Mercedes Benz Sprinters. Another Sprinter will be added to the pool early next month.
Legal issues have been holding back the launch of the ‘call bus’ service in Korea, but Seoul revised the related legislation to issue a limited license and arrange a fee reporting system.
The pilot project will last for two months to determine official launch of the service.
The late night buses will run from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. with Sundays and holidays off.
“For PR purposes, anyone using a late night call bus for the first time will get one free ride after they sign up for a membership,” said an STA official.
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)