The Korean tech giant, Kakao, is set to roll out its ride-sharing service, “Kakao T Carpool” for all users on December 17th.
Users input their destination are paired with a driver who is also traveling in the same direction. Drivers are only allowed to accept 2 calls a day.
The base fee is $2.70 (3k KRW) for the first 2 kilometers with additional fees based on time and distance. The price is estimated to be 20-30% cheaper than regular taxis.
“We are actively discussing our carpool service with the Transport Ministry, the taxi industry and the government’s taxi-carpool task force. And based on the talks, we plan to formally launch Kakao T’s carpool services,” said Kakao Mobility CEO Jung Joo-hwan
There has been push back from Korean taxi unions who reject Kakao’s carpool service. In Korea, it’s illegal to use private vehicles for commercial reasons with the exception of peak commuting hours when taxi services don’t meet the demand.
Conflict escalated over the weekend in which the taxi driver, 56 year-old Mr. Choi, died of self immolation from Saturday’s protest. Korean taxi groups are worried that the ride-sharing app will undercut the industry as seen in other countries. Mediation is expected.