SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Tens of thousands of taxi drivers staged a protest rally near the National Assembly on Thursday against the planned launch of Kakao Corp.’s commercial carpool service, calling for the swift passage of a revised bill that would ban its entry onto the market.
Members affiliated with four taxi industry associations and labor groups joined the demonstrations in what they called “a resolve for survival.”
This is their second massive protest following a nationwide stoppage and demonstrations by some 60,000 taxi drivers on Oct. 18.
They oppose the planned launch of Kakao T Carpool, a ride-sharing service designed to connect ordinary drivers to passengers during the morning and evening rush hours. Taxi drivers claim the top mobile-messaging company’s service would kill the industry.
During Thursday’s rally, they urged the National Assembly to pass the revised bill regarding transportation businesses. The pending bill has removed the clause allowing non-registered commercial drivers to provide passenger vehicle services.
“The carpool app is clearly an illegal business with the sole purpose of making money,” they said in a statement. “We strongly condemn the plan that would destroy the livelihoods of 300,000 taxi drivers. It must be put to a halt.”