Taxi and bus fares in major cities are expected to rise.
Seoul will decide whether, how much, and when it will raise taxi and bus fares this month after finishing the review of a bill, which was submitted by the Seoul Taxi Transportation Union last September to increase taxi fares by 28 percent, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Seoul City, and the taxi industry.
A Seoul city official said, We found a few reasonable reasons to raise taxi fares after evaluating surveys done by an outsourcing research center. Seoul city will determine whether it will increase the fares through necessary processes such as city council hearings and meetings with a special committee designed to prevent increase of prices in the city.
The decision by Seoul is likely to have effect on Busan and Ulsan because the taxi transportation unions of the two cities have already requested the authorities to increase basic taxi fares to 2,000 won, up by 33.3 percent from current 1,500 won.
Incheon and Gwangju taxi operators are also reportedly considering fare increases.
According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mokpo city in Jeonnam and Changwon, and Masan and Jinju cities in Kyoungnam have plans to raise bus fares by 18.05 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
Most major cities such as Seoul, Daegu, Daejeon and Gyeonggi increased bus fares last year, and Chungnam, Chungbuk, and Gyeongbuk raised fares last month.
An official from the Ministry of Economy and Finance predicted the outcome of the rise, saying Even though some cities raise taxi and bus fares, consumer prices in February will remain stable since few cities will increase bus and taxi fares and, especially, taxi fares do not play a great role in consumer prices.