Taxi drivers

Kakao to introduce paid subscriptions for taxi drivers with good ratings

Kakao Mobility corporate logo (Kakao Mobility)

Kakao Mobility, the company behind South Korea’s leading taxi service, Kakao T, said on Sunday that the company would allow drivers with good passenger ratings to have a better chance of being booked.

New contract terms will apply to taxi drivers who recently sign up for Pro Membership, a paid membership program designed to help them pick up more passengers.

Under the new terms, Kakao Mobility can deny membership to drivers with low ratings or kick out existing subscribers if their ratings drop below a certain level.

Kakao Mobility passengers can already rate drivers, awarding them one to five stars based on the quality of the driving experience. But until now, the rating system was only used to create an average rating for each driver that passengers could refer to when hailing taxis.

Kakao Mobility expects the change to lead to improved services for passengers.

Taxi drivers, however, are crying foul over the introduction of a paid membership scheme, as well as the rating system, claiming the company is abusing its market dominance.

Kakao Mobility’s share of the national VTC market is estimated at more than 80%.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)