SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — As the difficulty in hailing a cab at night remains persistent, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and taxi companies are renewing efforts to recruit taxi drivers.
The city government and the city’s 125 taxi companies plan to host a job fair for taxi drivers on Wednesday, the first of its kind in South Korea.
For those who become a taxi driver through the job fair, the taxi industry will provide a job settlement allowance of 600,000 won (US$507) per person and subsidize the cost of acquiring a taxi license (91,500 won per person).
According to the city government, the average number of taxi users during nighttime peak hours – between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. – stood at 28,972 during the first week of November when the ‘living with COVID-19’ policy was launched, up 75 percent from 16,510 in the first week of October.
However, the number of drivers working for taxi companies declined to about 20,000 in October, down more than 30 percent from about 30,000 in 2019.
The primary factor behind the sharp decline in the number of such drivers is that many taxi drivers have left for other sectors like food and parcel deliveries after suffering a sharp decline in income due to the decrease in the number of passengers resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
In the first nine months of this year, the utilization rate of corporation-owned taxis averaged 34.5 percent. In other words, only three out of 10 corporation-owned taxis were in service, with the remaining seven being left idle at garages.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)