Taxi rides in Korea not so economical

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Taxi rides in Korea not so economical

Here’s this week’s tip on Korean language and customs:

I’ve lived in Seoul for a little more than a year. As soon as I learned a few expressions in Korean, I began riding Korean taxis.

Here’s what puzzles me. Sometimes when I’m riding in a cab, the driver will pick up someone else along the way if we are going in the same direction. When I share a ride with a friend we each pay half. I tried to do the same thing with the random man the driver picked up, but the driver got angry and wanted the full fare from both of us.

What is the general rule here?

Sharing a ride between two, or more, different groups of passengers is in fact illegal. In Korean, it is referred to as hapseung. Taxi drivers here, however, engage in the practice to earn extra money. This is especially true when there is a limited number of taxis available at an extremely busy place, often late at night.

In most cases, regardless of the number of passengers who are headed to the same destination, everyone is expected to pay full fare. If you’re forced to share a ride and aren’t happy about it, you can report it. Call #120 to speak to a special division of the Seoul city government responsible for such complaints.

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