The head of the city traffic division of Seoul’s city government filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Uber mobile application which connects riders to private car owners, promising to punish drivers cooperating with the taxi-hailing service, Indian news service IANS said on December 22.
In statements to the local Yonhap news agency, Kim Kyung-ho claimed that the service violates South Korean law.
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Last Friday, the city passed an ordinance saying that anyone who reports the local activities of the U.S. firm will be rewarded with the equivalent of $910.
However, the company has continued to operate in South Korea’s capital despite several suits by the government against Uber Korea, the company’s South Korean subsidiary, and a proposal to revise the country’s law to bring the service to an end.
According to Kim, the service is illegal not only because it uses unlicensed taxi drivers but also because it does not conform to the regulations regarding cab rates.
“Uber goes against a just economy based on sharing and participation within a legal framework, ” Kim told Yonhap, adding that the company was also unable to ensure passenger safety.
“The city will punish drivers and rental cars that cooperate with Uber through a system of monetary rewards to return order to the transport sector, ” Kim warned.
The ire of taxi drivers in Seoul has been on the rise ever since the app was launched in the country in August 2013.
Uber, which started its operations in San Francisco in 2010, is currently under investigation in several countries, including India, that have banned the service saying it is a threat to professional cab services, among other reasons.