Seoul Government Cracks Down on Korean Taxi Drivers

South Korean taxi drivers have been refusing to take certain passengers late at night. By law, they are required to pick-up all passengers. However, some of them choose passengers based on whether the fare is worth the distance, and whether the fare goes in the same direction as their drive home, refusing other passengers and leaving them stranded. This conduct has led to many citizen complaints, and led the Seoul government to come up with a penalty– heavy fines.

Article from Money Today:

If Taxi Drivers Refuse Passengers Even Once, Hefty Fine of 200,000 Won ($183)

To decrease the number of taxi drivers refusing passengers around the end of the year, the Seoul City and Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency have decided to work together to push forward regulations strengthening the crackdown on taxi drivers, and increasing the supply of alternative transportation.

seoul taxi drivers refuse passengers 2

On Dec. 16, the city announced that it was putting forth these regulations because taxi drivers are still refusing to take passengers late at night despite the continuing crackdown.

The number of reported incidents of taxis refusing passengers has decreased by 38.9% when comparing October this year to last year, but in some areas in the city, the problem still exists, causing headaches for the citizens.

To eradicate these unlawful acts, the government says it is necessary to strengthen measures and has plans to intensively crackdown on taxi drivers who commit these acts. Until Dec. 31st, in 24 regions where taxis have persistently been turning away passengers, the government plans to deploy a total of 397 people, including 120 Seoul city government employees and 277 policeman, as well as 4 regulation vehicles equipped with CCTV.

They will pay attention to and expose actions such as refusing passengers, extended stopping, and soliciting. They will also go after taxis that turn off their signs indicating availability, and choose passengers to pick up.

Starting from this month, the city will also without exception fine transportation company representatives for refusing passengers even if it’s a first time act. They will not give warnings for first offenses and will fine drivers 200,000 won without exception.

At Gangnam Station, Hongik University Station, Jongro 2-ga station, and Yongdeungpo Station, there are also crackdowns against Kyunggi and Incheon Taxis that illegally conduct business. Every Friday this month, they plan to work with private operators and labor unions of personal and corporate taxis to deploy a total of 279 people, who will take empty cars to Seoul to pick up passengers. Simultaneously, they will teach these people about the regulations surrounding the crackdown and give them guidance.

In addition, the city plans to expand their support for and increase the number of late night taxis. They plan to increase the less than 6000 won support for fees to a maximum of 10,000 won.

Until the end of this month, in regions where taxis are commonly refusing passengers, 92 inner city buses that service 10 routes will extend their service hours, running from 12:00 PM midnight to 1:00 AM. These routes are: Hongik University Station, Gangnam, Jongro, Shinchon, Yeongdeungpo, Yeoksam, Yeouido, Konkuk University Station, Guro and Myungdong.

In Gyeonggi region, three buses that go through Seongnam, Buchon and Goyang will also extend their service from midnight to 2AM in the morning for citizens’ convenience. These buses are the 661 (Yeongdeungpo to Buchon), 707 (Shinchon to Goyang), and 0404 (Gangnam to Seongnam). Notices about the bus routes and changes in service time have been posted in each bus terminal, and citizens can also check the times on the “Seoul Transportation Portal” app.

Kim Kyung-ho, the Director of Seoul City Transportation says, “I look forward to seeing the joint crackdown effort between Seoul City and the Seoul City Police Department help eradicate incidents of refusing passengers and speeding taxis, and lead to noticeable improvements in taxi service.”

Comments from Naver :



tnlf****[Responding to above]:

Taxi fares are so expensive.


Because taxis are acting like this, they shouldn’t obtain the status of being considered public transportation. [Note: There has been some debate over legally acknowledging taxis as public transit.]


Wow, last time I was refused by a taxi twice, so I eventually just gave up and walked…I’m so mad.


Take away their taxi licenses.


Will they be able to catch one out of ten occurrences?


When it’s written that the taxi takes credit cards, why do they sigh when you pay with a card?


It’d be nice if members of the National Assembly had to give 200,000 won every time they lied.


Although it’s not in Seoul, “We don’t refuse passengers” is written on taxis and they don’t refuse passengers. But they whine and grumble as if they want passengers to hear them. Can we do something about making the passengers in the car feel uncomfortable?


These mean groups of people who refuse to take passengers, yet demand the status of public transportation.


I waited near Jonggak Station for an hour trying to get a taxi, but they refused to take me, so I took took a late night bus. Please crackdown heavily on them.


Actually when it comes to refusing passengers, when you say “Please take me to x,” and they say “I can’t,” this is refusing passengers. What about the taxis that open the window one centimeter, lock the door, and drive around? They should be caught and have to pay a fine too. What empty policies.


It’s tiring to hear the excuse that they do so because of the money taxis have to pay companies from their daily earnings. Stop being picky with passengers.


When it’s too far to walk, but close by car, it’s good to take taxis. But I don’t want to get grumpy looks from the drivers, so I just end up walking.


I should buy a hidden camera. I’ll record it and report it all.

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