SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Korea Bizwire) – The Seoul Metropolitan Government and Korea Smart Card Co. have joined hands to help solve a problem that 79 percent of 3,109 taxi drivers have experienced at least once: access to a bathroom.
A survey of taxi drivers conducted by the city in April revealed that a significantly large number encounter difficulty both in finding and accessing bathrooms.
To point drivers in the right direction, Seoul and Korea Smart Card’s collaboration resulted in an added feature to the credit card readers in taxis that reveals the location of the nearest public bathroom with a push of a button.
The technology is currently being tested by a selected taxi company as a pilot. The city plans to eventually make it accessible in every taxi.
To address the problem of access, the city intends to receive financial support from businesses that maintain taxi stops through the city and use the funds to supply 443 gas stations with monthly supplies of tissue paper, soap and other commodities.
The reason for doing so is because 89 percent of the taxi drivers surveyed reported gas stations as the location they would most likely go when in search of a bathroom.
Gas station bathrooms are classified as public facilities under current regulations, but a lack of enforcement has resulted in cases where taxi drivers can be refused access, as 62 percent of those surveyed stated.
The city issued a statement declaring, “The 400 or so gas stations within city limits will be supplied with necessary commodities and [the city government] will ensure that the public bathrooms serve their intended purpose.”
This is an uplifting news among the terrible stories about abuse in the “gap eul” power structure. Access to bathrooms is a basic human right, which is surprising that the taxi workforce is getting to access now in the age of “smart devices.”