|Basic taxi rates in Seoul are increasing by 500 won, from 1900won to 2400 won (from 12:00am-04:00am the basic fare is increasing by 600 won). This basic fare covers the first two kilometers of the trip. Charges for additional distances traveled will remain the same: 100 won for each additional 144 meters or 35 seconds. Currently the taximeter of each taxi is being changed to accommodate the new fares. Until the work is done, a notice about the increase in fares will be placed on the passenger seats.
On June 1, Seoul City Government also abolished the 20 percent surcharge for taxi trips to 11 cities within Gyeonggi-do province. These include Uijeongbu, Goyang, Gimpo, Bucheon, Anyang, Gwacheon, Seongnam, Hanam, Guri, Namyangju and Gwangmyeong. However, in the case of trips to cities that do not border Seoul, such as Yongin, the 20 percent surcharge will still apply.
The basic taxi fare increase is expected to put even more financial stress on the passengers already struggling with Korea’s economic slowdown. However, there is good news. From this month, the “compact car taxi” will be introduced. Compact cars with engine power below 1000 cc will be used as small–sized taxis and fares for these taxis will be 20~30% lower than the standard sized taxi. The compact cars that will be used are Kia’s Morning (999cc) and GM Daewoo’s Matiz (800cc).
The small-sized taxis will be cheaper thanks to the lower costs of the cars and of fuel. Moreover, these taxis release lower carbon emissions and so will be better for the environment.