Seoul to block Uber taxi application

Settings

ⓕ font-size

  • -2
  • -1
  • 0
  • +1
  • +2

Seoul to block Uber taxi application

By Kim Se-jeong

Uber app
Seoul will block the app-based ridesharing service Uber, calling it an illegal "call taxi" business.

"We are consulting with the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) to cut off the Uber app, which is unregistered," Choi Eul-ko, a Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) official, told The Korea Times. All apps are required to be registered with the KCSC.

"Uber users can fall victim to crimes. Vehicles used in the service are rented, meaning that users don't have any protection if the vehicle is in an accident.

The city's move comes amid global protests by cab drivers against the app.

"We have visited Uber's registered office in Samseong-dong, but it didn't exist. We've tried to call them, but they haven't answered," another city official said asking not to be named.

Uber's business model violates the Korea's Passenger Transport Services Act which only allows registered companies to offer call taxi services, the official said.

Based on a complaint from the SMG, the prosecution is currently investigating the service.

A car rental agency has been fined for providing Uber with too many vehicles. Choi hopes the prosecution's ongoing investigation will answer any lingering questions about Uber's operations.

The Uber application helps passengers find drivers of vehicles for hire. Vehicles in service are mostly rented, and Uber contracts with the drivers.

The price is said to be almost triple the normal taxi fare, but it is slowly gaining popularity among users because of its luxury vehicles. Founded in San Francisco, the startup launched services in Korea in June of last year.

Uber Technologies has operations in 30 countries, and side effects have been reported.

A newspaper in Atlanta, Ga., in the U.S., reported a female user was robbed by a fake Uber driver earlier this month.

In Virginia, taxi companies filed a lawsuit to stop the company's operations. According to the Washington Post, "Eight Virginia cab companies contend that the drivers who contract with Uber and similar services are ferrying passengers illegally because they lack taxi licenses."



Korean Language

서울시, 불법 콜택시 '우버' 앱 차단 추진

'사고 시 보상받기 어렵고 기사 검증도 안 돼'

서울시가 불법 콜택시 '우버'에 대해 관련 모바일 애플리케이션(앱) 자체를 차단하는 방안을 검토하는 등 강력하게 대응하겠다고 21일 밝혔다.

우버는 스마트폰 앱을 이용해 호출하면 근처에 있는 차량과 연결해주는 주문형 개인기사 서비스를 뜻한다.

그러나 우버는 여객자동차운수사업법상 '자가용승용차 유상운송행위'로 불법이다.

우버는 렌터카나 자가용 승용차이기 때문에 보험에 가입돼 있어도 이용객은 제3자에 해당하므로 사고 시 보험사가 거부하면 치료비를 보상받을 수 없다고 시는 지적했다.

아울러 일반 택시는 성범죄자 등 전과자나 무자격자가 운행할 수 없도록 시가 사전에 걸러내지만 우버는 이를 검증할 방법이 없고, 차량 정비 여부도 확인하기 어렵다고 강조했다.

시는 또 우버 앱에 가입하면 필수적으로 신용카드 정보를 입력해야 하는데 이때 개인정보가 유출될 우려가 있고, 택시 면허도 없이 비싼 요금을 받아 일반택시 운수사업자의 영업환경도 침해하고 있다고 설명했다.

이에 서울시는 우버 관련 앱 자체를 차단할 수 있도록 법령 개정을 검토 중이며, 지난 16일에는 국토교통부에 여객자동차운수사업법상 유상운송행위 알선금지 규정 신설을 건의했다.

시는 앞서 5월에는 우버코리아와 차량대여업체를 경찰에 고발했으며, 4월에는 우버 운전자에게 벌금 100만원을 부과하기도 했다.

김경호 서울시 도시교통본부장은 '캐나다 토론토 등 외국 도시들도 우버의 심각성을 인식하고 규제에 나서고 있다'며 '앞으로도 불법 사항은 철저히 밝혀내 엄중 처벌하겠다'고 말했다. (연합뉴스)



By Kim Se-jeong

Uber app
Seoul will block the app-based ridesharing service Uber, calling it an illegal "call taxi" business.

"We are consulting with the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) to cut off the Uber app, which is unregistered," Choi Eul-ko, a Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) official, told The Korea Times. All apps are required to be registered with the KCSC.

"Uber users can fall victim to crimes. Vehicles used in the service are rented, meaning that users don't have any protection if the vehicle is in an accident.

The city's move comes amid global protests by cab drivers against the app.

"We have visited Uber's registered office in Samseong-dong, but it didn't exist. We've tried to call them, but they haven't answered," another city official said asking not to be named.

Uber's business model violates the Korea's Passenger Transport Services Act which only allows registered companies to offer call taxi services, the official said.

Based on a complaint from the SMG, the prosecution is currently investigating the service.

A car rental agency has been fined for providing Uber with too many vehicles. Choi hopes the prosecution's ongoing investigation will answer any lingering questions about Uber's operations.

The Uber application helps passengers find drivers of vehicles for hire. Vehicles in service are mostly rented, and Uber contracts with the drivers.

The price is said to be almost triple the normal taxi fare, but it is slowly gaining popularity among users because of its luxury vehicles. Founded in San Francisco, the startup launched services in Korea in June of last year.

Uber Technologies has operations in 30 countries, and side effects have been reported.

A newspaper in Atlanta, Ga., in the U.S., reported a female user was robbed by a fake Uber driver earlier this month.

In Virginia, taxi companies filed a lawsuit to stop the company's operations. According to the Washington Post, "Eight Virginia cab companies contend that the drivers who contract with Uber and similar services are ferrying passengers illegally because they lack taxi licenses."



LETTER

Sign up for eNewsletter