09.23 Mon


Seoul gov’t will pay for taxi drivers’ uniforms

Aug 05,2017
Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to re-introduce uniforms for the city’s corporate taxi drivers. [SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT]
This series features articles written by high school students participating in the Korea JoongAng Daily’s internship program. All articles were written under the guidance of our staff reporters. -Ed.

Lee Seung-yeon, a 17-year-old who often rides taxis, says she often encounters unpleasant situations, especially during summer, as taxi drivers greet her wearing white sleeveless running vests and flip flops.

Outfits like these have actually been prohibited for taxi drivers to wear since 2009 as they can make passengers feel insecure. In the same year as official dress code for taxi drivers was established. However, due to floods of complaints from taxi drivers that the dress code was too strict, it was abolished in November 2011.

In yet another twist, following civil complaints that the drivers’ were too casual, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the city’s 255 taxi companies agreed to re-adopt the taxi driver uniforms starting this fall.

“Civil complaints over unpleasant taxi ride experiences due to the improper clothing of some taxi drivers increased ever since the dress code was abolished in 2011. The revival of the dress code was mainly to tackle this problem,” said an official from the Seoul City Government, adding that the introduction of uniforms will enhance the quality of service.

Although the regulations on the dress code have always been ambiguous and thus there were limitations to the crackdown, the Seoul City official said, adding that the exact regulations state provocative clothes such as shorts and flip-flops are prohibited.

Of course, there are people that aren’t happy about the proposed change.

“Some of the taxi drivers are against the reestablishment of uniforms because they want more comfortable outfits at work,” the official said. “However, there was a survey held asking the opinions of the taxi industry and its related personnels which indicated the majority agreed to the change in policy. Some even stated choosing between different clothes requires unnecessary effort.”

The Seoul city is set to cover for the payments necessary to make this change happen. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, it will pay for taxi driver’s uniforms, an expense that is expected to cost the city 1.61 billion won ($1.4 million).

This change, however, will not apply to non-corporate taxis. This means that about 49,000 individual taxi drivers in Seoul will not be affected. Instead, all non-corporate taxi drivers will be offered one dress shirt in August, the officials said.

All News