GPS-based taximeter app wins green light for commercial use in S. Korea

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 9, 2021, 16:08 Updated : February 9, 2021, 16:08

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport ]

SEOUL -- A GPS-based taximeter app will make its commercial debut in South Korea this year as an alternative to traditional ones. Passengers can use taxis at a rate fixed in advance after being notified of the route, time, and fare before boarding.

Currently, taxis calculate fares based on the distance traveled and the elapsed time of ride using electric pulses generated according to the number of wheel turns. Taxi drivers and companies are required to regularly visit designated centers to check for the authenticity of meters.

After a successful test run, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said that an enforcement ordinance would be promulgated on February 10. New regulations will take effect during the first half of this year. "It is a service innovation that will vitalize the operation of brand taxis, prompt the merge of services with platforms, and offer customers a variety of choices," a ministry official was quoted as saying.

The GPS-based taximeter will give an estimated fare based on traveling distances and routes before moving. Passengers can check the fare in real-time while on the move to reduce the chances of misunderstanding and disputes with drivers.

Taxi drivers and companies can have their meters remotely checked instead of visiting service centers, the ministry said, adding that a new form of taxi fares such as regular subscriptions can be developed to provide convenience and competitiveness. Drivers will be given time to adjust to the new device as they can use their old equipment for a while.
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