Taxies designed for foreign tourists set to run in 2009


A taxi exclusively designed for foreign tourists will debut on the streets of Seoul in the first half of next year.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Sunday that, due to mounting taxi-related complaints by foreign tourists, regarding soliciting passengers, suspicious prices, and the language barrier, it will run separate taxies for foreign tourists from as early as next March.

It will select 662 drivers who can speak foreign languages from among four Seoul taxi companies. This includes 506 English speakers, 150 Japanese speakers, five Chinese speakers and one Spanish speaker, who will all be tested on a voluntary basis and receive special training.

Tourist taxies will operate via advance booking through a 24-hour call center. The design of the new cars will distinguish them from other taxies, and their fares will be about 20 percent higher. Three-hour, five-hour, and one-day rates will be offered, and there will be fixed fares between Incheon International Airport and major city hotels.