SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is pushing for a new type of transportation service catering solely to pets and women on a reservation basis, utilizing existing taxi networks.
According to the SMG, city officials are reviewing the adoption of new modes of taxi services including taxis for pets, the elderly, and women.
If the new measure is implemented, taxi drivers will be able to charge extra fees for various services such as the transportation of pets.
A law revised in 2009 allowed for similar services to be implemented, but taxis have not been able to launch differentiated services until now.
The city plans to bar taxis from charging excessively high rates, even though luxury sedans are allowed to charge higher-than-normal rates.
At present, luxury sedans such as Kia Motors Corp.’s K9 and models from Hyundai Motor Co.’s luxury Genesis brand charge 5,000 to 8,000 won (US$4.44-US$7.10) as the basic fare.
Previous transportation services for pets were criticized by taxi drivers for being non-commercial vehicles whose drivers lacked proper taxi driving licenses.
Despite opposition from taxi drivers, pet owners and other segments of the population have welcomed previous attempts, saying that the service would make it easier for pet owners to transport their pets to the vet.
But many hurdles must be surpassed before such services can be set into motion.
If improvements to revolutionize the industry prove to be slow despite efforts by the government to innovate the taxi industry, the government has stated that it might have no choice but to slowly allow carpooling services by a third party, such as the controversial platform implemented by the technology giant Kakao Corp. of late.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)