Uber App Bypassing Seoul Ban Using Taxi Drivers

Despite the small war against the most disputed ride sharing app in Seoul this summer, the citizens can actually use it now and have a ride pick the up. The only thing is that, instead of a black car, a standard taxi will pull over next to them.
Taxis in Seoul 1 photo
Photo: Google Maps/edited by autoevolution
According to a report, Uber Technologies Inc. has signed up an undisclosed number of Seoul taxi drivers who are not paying commission but receive a subsidy worth 2,000 won ($1.9) per ride booked using the app.

The app is now called UberTAXI and works in the same way as before: pull out your phone, search for a ride nearby and it will come pick you up. The difference lies in the legislation, because only licensed taxi drivers can use it, therefore solving the problem in some way.

Earlier this year, Seoul put a ban on all Uber services in the area claiming that drivers signing up for the job are not qualified as professional drivers, like taxi ones do, thus breaking the law and also creating unfair rivalry to normal taxi companies.

Although the launch of the new app using qualified taxi drivers was done without prior consultation with the city council, drivers using it are happy to report 30 to 40% improvements in their business. And since they are already licensed, they can also work as freelancers with their personal vehicles.

This comes in a funny way though, as earlier this year, Seoul said it was working at it’s own taxi hailing app. And no, it’s not ready yet.
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