But the excitement was short-lived as Uber was forced to pull out of Korea just two weeks later after public opposition grew against the government’s ban.
Despite the fact that Uber has operated in more than 200 cities all around the world, the local governments of Korea continue to oppose Uber’s operation.
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon even claimed that he would never allow Uber to operate in Seoul again after finding out about problems with insurance for users and drivers.
Uber Alternatives in Korea
Uber’s withdrawal from Korea, however, has created a vacuum for the people in Seoul to find transportation alternatives.
1. Kakao Taxi
Kakao Taxi is an app for users to request a taxi. Users can search nearby taxis on the map, and once they have found their taxi, give their driver’s license plate number so that they can find where the user is waiting.
Kakao Taxi is currently only available in Korea, but it will soon expand its services, which are currently limited to finding a taxi driver, carpooling and food deliveries.
Mangoplate is an app that connects users with restaurant menus. Users can search for local restaurants based on different categories, such as the price of the menu, whether they serve lunch or dinner, and what kind of food they are specialized in.
It’s not a taxi app but it does help users to find the nearest restaurant based on their location.
Papago is a mobile translation app that allows foreigners to speak with a native in the language of their choice.
Papago is currently available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. It also contains translation apps for when users are shopping or riding transportation.
Yogiyo is an app that helps people looking for a native home cook, who can prepare an entire meal from scratch.
Yogiyo is currently available in Korea and China. Users can choose what kind of dish they want to eat based on the ingredients provided by the user. Yogiyo’s chefs will then make a custom menu to fit the user’s request.
Are Taxis Safe in South Korea?
Yes, taxis are safe in South Korea. Taxi drivers in Korea go through a very strict process. Generally speaking, it takes up to 6 months before they can obtain a license.
All taxi drivers must obtain a license from the government, and pass an examination that mainly tests their knowledge of South Korean geography and traffic laws.
Once they have obtained this license, taxi drivers must follow rules set by both the city they work for and by Kakao Corp., which runs Kakao Taxi.
Korea also has a very strict law for people who drive without the proper license. According to this law, if someone drives without obtaining their license and causes an accident, he or she can be subject to up to seven years in jail.
Are Taxis Cheap in Korea?
On average it costs about $5 to $15 for a taxi in Korea, depending on your location. You can pay with either cash or a card.
Make sure you don’t get ripped off, this happens quite often if they see that you’re a foreigner. Look up prices before taking a taxi to avoid getting ripped off.
This has happened to me multiple times. Luckily it doesn’t happen as often as it used to be because it is out in the open now that this is happening.
It’s a common scam for a taxi driver to pretend that he doesn’t have a small change, so you’ll have to pay with a larger bill. If you don’t speak Korean, they might not tell you about it and just keep your change as extra income.
What are the safety precautions that I should take before getting into a taxi?
First, ask the driver if they have their license with them. This is to make sure your taxi driver has gone through the proper licensing process mentioned above.
How Much Do Taxi Drivers Make in Korea?
On average a taxi driver in Korea makes about $1,500 up to $4,000 a month depending on the area and how many other taxi drivers there are.
Other factors that come into play are the seasons. If it’s summer, then there will be more tourists and during the winter there will be less.
So, it differs a lot because some passengers give a tip while others don’t. But you can expect to make at least $1,250 a month on the worst months.
At best it could be $4,000 or even more.
All in all, getting a taxi in Korea is fairly easy and you won’t have any problems if you avoid the scams.
To make sure your journey goes smoothly, we recommend that you download the Kakao Taxi app before catching a ride.
Not only will it show you how busy or available taxis are in your area, but also it will allow you to pay for the taxi and give feedback.