By Nam Hyun-woo
Seoul will provide estimated taxi fare prices for routes between frequently-visited tourist spots to save foreign tourists from being ripped off.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Sunday that it will make public estimated fares of 56 most-traveled routes by the end of this month.
Among the routes are two airports in and around Seoul -- Incheon and Gimpo International Airports -- and major accommodation locations and five tourist spots in the city.
For Instance, the estimated fare between Incheon International Airport and Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, is some 47,000 won ($41.35), with driving time estimated at 80 to 90 minutes.
The fare was calculated based on when a taxi takes the shortest path to a destination in average traffic conditions without night-time extra charges.
The city office plans to notify tourists of the estimated fares on the Seoul tourism website (www.visitseoul.net) and release further information through smartphone applications and city guide books.
Currently the basic taxi fare for the first two kilometers in Seoul is 2,400 won and 100 won extra to the fare for each 144 meters travelled.
The city predicted that the estimated fare may differ from actual fares depending on traffic conditions, but it will help prevent foreign tourists from being ripped off when visiting the capital.
The latest move came after the city announced on May 28 a plan to enhance the two airports' information services to tourists regarding their taxi use.
With the plan, information desks in Incheon airport will be operational 24 hours to provide information to tourists who use taxis.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has also reiterated his keen interests in stamping out taxis' price gouging against foreign tourists, which tarnishes Seoul's image as a "sightseeing city."