SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul Metropolitan Government, which is in the process of developing a taxi fare hike plan, is considering the implementation of a “one-strike policy” that would result in the suspension of taxi licenses if drivers are found to refuse passengers.
The measure is aimed at addressing public criticism that could arise if the chronic problem of passenger refusal is not dealt with in line with the proposed fare increase.
According to an announcement made by the Seoul government yesterday, the city is working with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to amend current guidelines regarding the issue.
The current measure follows a “three-strike” policy for drivers who try to select their passengers. On the first offence, drivers are given a fine of 200,000 won and a warning.
The second instance warrants a fine of 400,000 won and a 30-day driving suspension.
On the third and last violation, drivers are slapped with a 600,000 won fine and a cancellation of their taxi driving qualification. If the new measure is implemented, it would be a big blow for taxi drivers as they would not be able to drive for 10 days.
This would translate to an income loss of more than 700,000 won on average per month in addition to the 200,000 won fine.
The Seoul government plans to increase the basic taxi fare from the current 3,000 won to 3,800 won starting next year.
The late-night basic fare is expected to rise from 3,600 won to 5,400 won. In order to ensure that the taxi fare hike benefits taxi drivers, the government and taxi companies have agreed to freeze the current fees that taxi drivers must pay their employers for use and maintenance of company taxi vehicles.
Until now, social commentators have been critical of previous taxi fare hikes that did little to improve the treatment of taxi drivers, as taxi companies would raise their fees along with the hike.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)