|Women-only taxi services will begin within this year. Yonhap|
By Lee Min-young
New taxi services in Seoul tailored to women will roll out by the end of the year. The service is aimed at transporting women safely and tackling the problem of sexual harassment and assault in taxis.
Along with the women-only cab service, call taxis will be offered to prevent taxi drivers from rejecting passengers in the street. According to the service, taxi drivers will not get prior information on where the rider is headed, so they would not be able to choose passengers based on their destinations.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Wednesday that the new services will be introduced sometime in December. Local taxi company Tago Solutions will be the sole provider of the new cab services once the city authorizes its operation.
This is part of the city's franchise taxi business aimed at launching various new taxi services to suit specific needs from riders. "The city government currently allows taxi companies to start new services if they secure more than 4,000 taxis to run the new business," city official Park Byung-sung told The Korea Times. "Tago Solutions has met those qualifications and will run two types of call taxis ― Waygo Blue, instantly allocated call taxis, and Waygo Lady, women-only taxis ― once the city gives them the go-ahead."
The new services will run on a trial basis with 20 taxis. Women-only taxies will improve safety by hiring only female drivers. Only women can use Way Go Lady taxis with the exception of children up to the age of 13. The taxis will operate only through reservations, and have smartphone chargers, water bottles and air fresheners prepared in the vehicle for riders to freely use, and classical music will be played during transportation.
"We are in the midst of trying out many transportation services to satisfy the needs of many different groups in society. Starting from the carpool service introduced most recently, the city government is trying to adapt its services and policies according to changing social trends," city official Park said.
Tago Solutions is also planning to launch special taxi services including pet taxis and elderly-only taxis within the next year.