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Seoul to expand late-night taxi service after lifting of business curfew

National 15:46 May 04, 2022

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul city government said Wednesday it will expand the operation of late-night taxis to cope with the growing demand for taxi service during late hours following last month's lifting of almost all social distancing measures and the business curfew.

Starting April 18, restaurants, cafes and many other business establishments were allowed to operate freely without a curfew, and people were permitted to gather in large groups with no limit in size, leading to a spike in nighttime traffic in urban areas.

The Seoul government said it will increase the supply of late-night cabs by about 3,000 to deal with the nighttime shortage of taxi service.

This file photo shows people trying to catch a taxi late at night in Seoul. (Yonhap)

It said the number of taxis needed in the capital between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. the next day is estimated at about 24,000, though the actual number of taxis currently in operation during the hours is only about 20,000. This means there are about 4,000 fewer taxis than the actual demand.

Considering that an additional 2,000 taxis are currently being supplied due to the lifting of the city's taxi shift scheduling system effective April 20, there is still a late-night shortage of 2,000 taxis.

The city government said it will extend the operating hours of late-night cabs by four by advancing their business starting time from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the extension is expected to accelerate the influx of private cabs into the late-night service.

According to city government officials, private cabs switching to late-night taxi service is expected to increase their daily income by up to 80,000 won (US$64) per vehicle.


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