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SEOUL — A second South Korean taxi company began operating at Yongsan Garrison this week, and offers less-expensive fares for short on-base trips and possibly cheaper fares for some off-base trips, according to AAFES officials.

The new company, Yonhap Transportation, charges initial fares of 1,900 won ($2.10), with increases of 100 won (11 cents) based on time and distance. The company began working on base Sunday.

World Cup Arirang Tourism Company Ltd., which had provided all taxi service in Areas I and II, recently signed a contract with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service to calculate fares in dollars.

Arirang fares start at $2.50, and increase 25 cents for every quarter-kilometer after the first 1.75 kilometers.

Yongsan Garrison fares are capped at $3 for all one-stop, on-base trips with Arirang, which uses black taxis. Yonhap uses taxis of varying colors.

AAFES spokesman Master Sgt. Donovan Potter said Yonhap will help ease the demand for taxis during peak hours by providing an extra 50 taxis.

“We wanted to make sure we give the soldiers (at Yongsan) the best possible options for transportation,” he said.

The company’s manager, Kim Hong-yeon, said it was too early to know if customers like the change.

“I think that it will hurt our business because we are supposed to compete with one another,” he said.

Of the 2,000 taxi rides taken at Yongsan each day, a little more than half go off base, AAFES officials have said.

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.


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