Seoul to increase late-night taxi service amid shortage

SEOUL– The Seoul city government said Tuesday it will expand the operation of late-night taxis to cope with the growing demand for taxi service during late hours.

Currently, an average of around 20,000 taxis are in operation in the capital between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., which is around the 80 percent level compared with before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city government said it will first increase the supply of late-night cabs by about 5,000 by temporarily scrapping a taxi shift scheduling system for private drivers starting Thursday.

Under the system, restrictions are in place for privately owned taxis, which require them to take every third day off. It would mark the first time in 45 years that the system is entirely lifted.

Instead, taxi owner-drivers will be divided into 10 teams and will drive during night hours in turn from Monday to Friday, the city government said.

Also, the city government plans to provide all newly hired taxi drivers with 200,000 won in monthly allowances for three months to help get more people into the industry. The city hopes to supply an additional 2,000 taxis through the program.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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