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A new contracted South Korean taxi company began serving Yongsan Garrison on Saturday, according to Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials.

Friendly Taxi Network Holdings Co. Ltd. now runs the garrison’s taxi dispatch service and offers a "deluxe taxi airport service," according to an AAFES news release.

Customers can expect to pay about $63 for a one-way trip to Incheon International Airport using the new service, including the highway toll fee. However, the fare can be more in heavy traffic conditions, with 100 won (about 7 cents) added for each 35 seconds the taxi is stopped or traveling less than 15 kilometers per hour.

The new vehicles, mainly minivans, offer more luggage space, according to AAFES.

On-base taxi service has been spotty for much of the year in Area I and in Seoul.

AAFES fired its former taxi provider, World Cup Arirang Tourism Co., in June because the company’s drivers had been on strike since April. World Cup drivers also went on strike in 2006.

AAFES contracts with two other taxi companies and has offered 128 taxis on Yongsan in recent months. AAFES officials say that’s the most they’ve ever offered.

Customers can call 1544-9080 to request a taxi. A 1,000 won fee — about 80 cents — will be added to all requests.

The 1,000 won is "the industry standard approved by the Korean Ministry of Transportation," according to the AAFES release.

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