Only 2 out of 10 in Seoul hail cabs the old fashioned way

According to a recent study, the most frequent complaints about taxis were "cabs refusing passengers" (22.5 per cent), "violent driving" (19.3 per cent), "drivers being rude" (15.5 per cent), and "unwanted small talk with the driver" (14.2 per cent).

Yoon Min-sik

Yoon Min-sik

The Korea Herald


File photo of a Seoul taxi. PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD

January 16, 2024

SEOUL – Using a mobile application has become the standard in catching a taxi in Seoul, as a recent study shows 72.2 percent of its citizens use taxi-hailing apps while only 22.7 percent hail a passing cab on the street.

The city-run Seoul Institute announced the result of its annual study on Seoul citizens’ perception of the taxi service in the South Korean capital, based on a survey of 4,370 people who used Seoul taxis, another online survey of 1,001 people living in Seoul, and a survey on 422 people in the industry. It was conducted from October to November of 2022.

The study showed that the percentage of those calling taxis on the streets nearly halved compared to 41.7 percent in the 2021 survey, while the percentage of those using apps to call a taxi went up 14.9 percentage points from 57.3 percent the year before.

About 85.9 percent of 20-somethings and 86.9 percent of 30-somethings said they use apps to call a taxi, considerably larger than the 64.6 percent recorded for 50-somethings and 43.5 percent for those in their 60s and older. Those aged 60 and up were the only group who were more likely to hail a cab on the street (47 percent) than use an app, while 8.3 percent of those in their 20s and 9.7 percent of those in their 30s called a cab that way.

The study showed that 5.1 percent of Seoul citizens use the call-based taxi dispatch service.

It also showed that passengers rarely use taxis for long distances, as 70 percent of taxi rides were under 30 minutes long.

The most frequent complaints about taxis were “cabs refusing passengers” (22.5 percent), “violent driving” (19.3 percent), “drivers being rude” (15.5 percent), and “unwanted small talk with the driver” (14.2 percent).

Accordingly, the top reason for using a taxi app was because the passengers “couldn’t hail a cab” (46.9 percent), followed by “(the app) shows the expected path and fare” (38.3 percent) and “I can see the information about the driver and the car” (35.6 percent). Respondents could pick multiple answers to this question.

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