SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul government said Monday it will increase the supply of taxi services in anticipation of a spike in transportation demand around the end of the year and strengthen a crackdown on taxi drivers refusing passengers.
The municipal government said it will increase the number of privately owned taxis operating on Fridays by 2,000 by temporarily lifting as many taxis from their regulatory off days.
Under the current system, all private-owned taxis in Seoul are divided into four groups and take turns having approximately two days off per week.
The municipal government plans to increase taxis on the road on peak-demand days, like Fridays, by temporarily changing the weekly schedules of some private-owned taxi drivers.
It will also increase taxi services on weekends and holidays by allowing taxi drivers to curtail the duration of their non-working hours.
In addition, the city government will team up with police to reinforce crackdowns on taxi drivers refusing to take passengers.
In South Korea, passengers are often refused by taxi drivers if their destinations are deemed too short or unlikely to ensure sufficient fares.
It will also increase the operations of late-night city buses until Jan. 11 to cope with the seasonal surge in transportation demand.
Municipal officials said Seoul’s taxi shortage has been further aggravated, as the number of drivers of company-owned taxis fell 24.6 percent from 29,000 on a daily average in 2014 to 22,000 this year.