NATIONAL

Seoul City privatizes struggling International Taxi service

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Apr 15, 2018 - 13:30
  • Updated : Apr 15, 2018 - 13:30
Seoul Metropolitan Government said Sunday it would privatize its International Taxi service for foreign tourists, and withdraw financial support for it.

Seoul City will no longer subsidize the special taxis and a private taxi reservation services company named HIGH& will take over the business.

HIGH& is a subsidiary of transportation services company Korea Smart Card which is behind the T-money transportation cards in Korea.


 
(Seoul Metropolitan Government)


The International Taxis, with drivers who can speak English, Chinese and Japanese, was launched by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2009. Drivers were selected through separate interviews, and the taxis were available for reservation from the information desk at Incheon and Gimpo Airports.

Upon reservation, the taxi drivers came to the information desk to personally escort the guests on to the taxi. For the extended service, the International Taxis charged 20 percent more than normal taxis.

But the average number of foreign visitors who opted to take the taxis was less than one a day throughout the years the taxis were in business.

There are currently 378 International Taxis. They will operate as before under HIGH&.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)