Across the country, utility fees are on the rise

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Across the country, utility fees are on the rise

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Fees for public transportation, water and sewage are on the rise nationwide, following last week’s announcement of an increase in the country’s electricity rates.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the Busan Metropolitan City Government announced yesterday that the Busan Transportation Corporation would raise fares by 11.1 percent to 1,100 won ($0.97) starting this month.

In Gyeonggi and Incheon, bus fares were raised by 100 won from 1,000 won, also an 11.1 percent increase, on Nov. 26 and will be raised by another 100 won in June 2012.

Local bus fares in Yongin, Gyeonggi, were also raised from 800 won to 900 won for adults, a 14.3 percent increase. Gangwon, too, raised its local bus fares by 100 won.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government had previously agreed to raise public transportation fares in conjunction with Gyeonggi and Incheon before the plan was nixed by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon after he took office. The Seoul city government says it plans to gather input from the public before raising subway and bus fares in the near future.

Furthermore, Seoul is currently considering a 20 percent hike in the surcharge added to taxi fares between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Increases in water and sewage fees are also under consideration.

In Seoul, an increase in sewage fees next year is being reviewed by the city government, while in Busan, a 12.75 percent hike in water utility fees will be implemented in May 2012 pending city council approval.

Incheon has already raised sewage fees by 30 percent on average this month, and in Ulsan, water and sewage fees will rise 13.5 percent and 13.99 percent, respectively.

Water rates have risen 30 percent in Buan County, North Jeolla, and the price of a garbage bag and cost of cleaning septic tanks have also gone up 30 percent.


By Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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