Crackdown on grudging taxi drivers

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Crackdown on grudging taxi drivers

Has a Seoul taxi ever refused to take you where you want to go? Especially on frigid or rainy nights?

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced a package of penalties and incentives yesterday to put finicky cabbies in their place, especially those who refuse fares or drop passengers off short of their destinations.

Seoul will designate one day a week as an “on-site crackdown day” and police will scour 20 locations for uncooperative cabbies, including Gangnam, Express Bus Terminal, Hongdae, Jongno, Yangjae, and Dongdaemun.

A driver who is caught refusing a fare will be fined up to 200,000 won ($181) for the first offense. For a second offense, the driver will have his license suspended for 10 days. A third offense will lead to a 20-day suspension, and the license will be revoked if a driver is caught a fourth time.

The government will also crack down on call-taxi drivers who turn off their radio receivers, through which they get passengers. Cabbies often turn off the receivers late at night to avoid fares to unfavored destinations.

At the same time, the government will reward call-taxi drivers who take passengers from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. with 2,000 won to 3,000 won per fare. Part of the reward will go to the driver and part to his company. But the incentive will not be offered to call-taxi companies that employ drivers who are caught turning off receivers. And the company’s license will be scrapped if caught a second time.

The 120 Dasan Call Center received 15,165 complaints from passengers who reported they were rejected by taxis in 2010, up 13 percent from 2009.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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