The taxis in the modern era are quite unique. Their appearances and services are becoming diverse. ST introduces emerging taxi startups.............Ed
Orange or gray taxis have become rare to see around Seoul. As you know, orange taxis are corporate taxis, and gray taxis are private taxis. Instead, we often meet strange-looking taxis: Taxi with characters on it, pastel-toned taxi, taxi-related platform promotion vehicle, etc. What kind of taxi businesses are these, and why do they do this? There might be too many to know what the difference is.
Do you remember ‘Legislation against TADA’? On December 6, a revision to the Passenger Transport Service Act (Passenger Motor Vehicle Act), also called the ‘Legislation against TADA,’ was passed in a plenary session of the National Assembly’s Land Infrastructure and Transport Committee. While the world is paying attention to the mobility market and focuses on development centered on CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electrified) in the automotive industry, Korea is running against the world’s current flow. Nevertheless, startups are lining up with new taxi-related business models. Unlike TADA, these actually succeed.
The Beginning of Sweet Movements
Macaron Taxi is a brand taxi operated by KST Mobility, and was launched as an open beta service on April 15 this year. The service was born after approaching the problem of worsening taxi suppliers’ profitability and being shunned by consumers. KST Mobility sought to create innovation by discovering additional services in its mobile experience itself because it found it difficult to share rides in Korea. Macaron Taxi has a Macaron Chauffeur instead of a taxi driver. Chauffeurs are drivers in Britain who offer professional services that a regular driver cannot provide.
Macaron Taxi implements a performance-related monthly pay instead of the company payment system to create an ideal working environment for Macaron Chauffeurs. They are safe and friendly to passengers, and provide high -quality service with no refusal to ride. The brand Macaron Taxi, which includes not talking unnecessarily, driving only on navigation, not dropping off in front of narrow alleys, and providing cell phone chargers and free Wi-Fi, is in line with the slogan, ‘the beginning of sweet movements.’ In addition to the real-time call service, the company is also offering customized mobile services, such as ‘infant car seat-mounted service,’ ‘bicycle holdermounted service,’ ‘hospital-bound mobile service,’ and ‘companion animal-moving service.’ It aims to release 20 services by the end of this year.
Healing Massage on the Way
In January, the vehicle massage service DUDU began to operate in Macaron Taxi. It was launched by Gomgyu Mi and has a DUDU-only payment system. The fare is 1,000 won for 5 minutes, 1,500 won for 15 minutes, and 2,000 won for 20 minutes. DUDU is different from existing businesses because it divides revenue by 5:5 with drivers. Its business is based on sharing, and coexistence shows the vision of a company that can result in a win-win situation. Furthermore, the partnership with Macaron Taxi, which provides convenience goods and additional services, disproves that taxis are not simply a mode of transportation, but a platform that provides new experiences to customers through convergence with new services. If DUDU becomes more active, it is expected that taxis equipped with DUDU care service can be operated separately by developing separate applications.
Kings of Saving on Taxi Fare
Banban Taxi, operated by Kornatus, is a bridge of riding together platform aimed at resolving the shortage of taxis. People with similar routes ride together and split the fare in half. Two of the same sexes were allowed to ride in front and back of the vehicle. Taxi drivers receive incentives ranging from 3,000 won to 5,000 won depending on the time zone, allowing passengers and drivers to be in a win-win situation. Under the current law, sharing a taxi is illegal, but it has been selected as the No. 1 regulatory sandbox* of mobility, so Kornatus can start the business legally. Kim Ki-dong, CEO(Chief Executive Officer) of Konatus, which operates Banban Taxi, said, “In foreign countries, sharing a cab is common like Uberpool, but no one has attempted this in Korea. We started Banban Taxi by applying the concept of riding together in taxis to save on users expense.”
* This refers to a system that exempts or suspends existing regulations for a certain period of time when new products or services are released.
Under the passage of the ‘Legislation against TADA,’ TADA, the van-based call service has virtually been removed, but taxibased call services are steadily gaining popularity. The above-mentioned services, which are steadily expanding their share of the market and receive as much as tens of billions of won in investment, have a common direction of co-prosperity with taxi drivers. This is clearly different from TADA’s profit structure. Macaron Taxi implements a salary system. DUDU halves the profits, while Banban Taxi offers incentives. These examples of startups show the future of the brand taxi industry. Mobility innovation, which resolves conflicts between the platform industry and the taxi industry, is welcome in the market.
Lee Hae-been (News Editor)