SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – Uber Korea, a mobile app operator linking drivers and passengers, decided to make its ride-sharing service Uber X free of charge in Seoul in an attempt to counter the city government’s ban on its operations, and to protect its Uber drivers.
On February 25, Uber said, “The decision was made to protect Uber drivers from the city’s ordinance rewarding cash for reporting them, and to reduce the negative impact on the drivers.”
Allen Penn, head of Uber’s North Asia operation, said, “Ride sharing is being introduced rapidly in the world. However, as it is a new concept, many countries are not prepared for the service in terms of their legal framework. We will actively work toward a consensus, and the first step in the process is the elimination of the fare.”
Prior to the announcement, Uber promoted its free Uber X service targeting holiday travelers going to their hometowns on February 17 and 18 during Seollal, the Lunar New Year’s Day holidays.
The Seoul city government has banned the service, citing violations of local transportation laws, and announced that it would reward up to 1 million won in prize money to those who report Uber drivers. Faced with the threat, Uber has countered by paying fines levied against its drivers.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)