March 31, 2016 10:30
KakaoTaxi marked its first anniversary with a whopping 97.19 million accumulated requests and membership of 8.59 million.
KakaoTaxi has also become practically synonymous with a taxi-hailing app.
Usage patterns over the last year show that one enthusiastic user summoned a cab 2,093 times, apparently a corporate client, while one driver was hailed 4,055 times. Another driver received 98 request in a single day or W294,000 in profit a day given a base rate of W3,000 per request (US$1=W1,148).
People in Seoul were the most frequent users with 43 percent of total requests, followed by nearby Incheon and Suwon, where many commuters live.
Usage peaked on Fridays, and it took an average of just 31 seconds for a cab to respond to a request.
Kakao surveyed 10,000 drivers and found that their average earnings rose from W110,894 to W125,807 a day after joining the app.
Kakao vice president Jung Joo-hwan said, "Both passengers and drivers are members of KakaoTaxi, and we will focus on improving service quality this year."
Critics grumble that requiring customers to inform taxi drivers of their destination makes it easier for the cabbies to turn them down, a common problem with drivers who do not want to go short or long distances or have their own peculiar ideas where they really want to go.
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