Ground TransportationTaxis for women and children, as well as taxis that cannot refuse passengers.

Seoul’s new fleet of special taxis takes the road

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Korea women-only taxis190208
Two new specialist taxi services will roll out early-February, providing child-friendly services as well as those will have to accept passengers regardless of their given destination. Photo Credit: Scharfsinn86/Getty Images
Korea women-only taxis190208

Waygo Lady taxis, driven by women drivers, will only pick up female passengers and boys below middle school age, or 12 and below. The taxis will be outfitted with car seats for babies and young children. Twenty such taxis will be operated during the trial, but by next year, there are plans to increase this to 500. 

In Seoul, a new class of women-only taxis equipped with child car seats as well as those that will accept passengers regardless of their destination are set to ply the streets as early as this month, the Seoul city government said on Thursday. 

Taxi franchise company, Tago Solutions, which consists of 50 companies with 4,500 taxis, is behind the new endeavour. 

It has been issued a business licence by the Seoul Metropolitan Government on February 1, and will test-run two services, Waygo Lady and Waygo Blue, for a period of three months, The Korea Herald reported. 

Waygo Lady taxis, driven by women drivers, will only pick up female passengers and boys below middle school age, or 12 and below. The taxis will be outfitted with car seats for babies and young children. Twenty such taxis will be operated during the trial, but by next year, there are plans to increase this to 500. 

The Waygo Blue service, meanwhile, will assign nearby taxis to passengers without revealing the destination until the passenger enters the cab. 

The new services come at a higher cost, costing 2,000 won (US$1.78) to 3,000 won more than ordinary taxis, with basic fares ranging from 5,800 to 6,800 won. 

Recent complaints about cabs refusing to pick up passengers have prompted the Seoul Metropolitan Government to enforce a “three-strike” system. 

Drivers caught refusing passengers on three occasions within two years face fines of 600,000 won and the cancellation of their taxi licenses, with penalties for their employers as well.

Seoul may soon also see the rise of this providing other value-added services, such as taxis that specialise in running errands, carrying cargo as well as pet-friendly ones. 

Meanwhile, increased taxis fares and metres for taxis in Seoul is due to kick in from February 16. 

Basic fares will be increased to 3,800 won from 3,000 won, while basic late-night fare from midnight to 4am will also rise from 3,600 wont to 4,600 won. 

Taxi metres will also run faster. 

The updated fare system will see the metre running per 132 metres per won, up from the 142 metres per won. When taxis travel slower than 15km/h, 100 won will now be added to the fare for every 31 seconds, faster than 35 seconds previously. 


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