|Late-night Taxis (fastpick.co.kr)|
The Seoul government has revealed that discussions on extending late-night taxi hours will start after the local election on June 1st. Recently, while the late-night taxi shortage intensified as the demand surged after social distancing rules were lifted, the number of taxi drivers decreased due to the pandemic situation. Thus, the municipality considers revising the starting time of late-night hours to 10 p.m. to encourage taxi operation at night; the original late-night hours are from midnight to 4 a.m. With the new late-night hours, the base fare increased from ₩3,800 to ₩4,600, and the distance rate increased to ₩120. The late-night fare is similar to a fare boost, and the increase in fees can lead to backlash from the public. According to the Seoul Broadcasting System’s interview, a citizen Lee Byeong-hun said that taxi fares are already expensive, and it is better not to raise them. The revision of the late-night hours needs to go through steps like a consultation from a taxi policy committee and a public hearing. Before the pandemic, there was a discussion about the measure to extend the hours, but the municipal assembly rejected it, considering the burden on the citizens. Though taxi companies have constantly demanded the extension of late-night hours, given the soaring prices and the civil unrest, it remains to be seen whether the late-night hours will be extended.
<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>