Good news for those who have been denied a taxi ride for being a foreigner or because your destination was too close for cabbies to consider driving.
From tomorrow, cabbies will lose their taxi driver’s license when caught three times in two years for refusing to accept passengers.
Under the revised law which takes effect on January 29, taxi drivers will be slapped with a fine of 200,000 won ($185) for the first offense of rejecting a passenger and if caught twice, 400,000 won with a suspension of license for 30 days.
If a driver is caught for the third time within two years, the offenders taxi license will be cancelled and they will receive a 600,000 won fine.
Previously, drivers had to pay a fine of 200,000 won with a maximum suspension of license for 20 days.
Taxi companies may also lose their business license if their drivers are found to repeatedly reject customers.
Kim Seong-jae, deputy director at the Korean Taxi Workers’ Union, showed a mixed reaction on the law revision.
“We welcome the move, but the law has many loopholes,” he said.
“People may mistakenly report taxi drivers when they cannot take passengers because they are heading for lunch or going back to the company after their shifts.”
Local governments dispatched regulators at peak times in crowded areas but it had not been effective in reducing the number of passenger refusals.
In Seoul, you can call 02-120 then press 9 to select foreign language service to report on taxi drivers’ refusal to take customers. The service is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Mongolian.