Citizens buy subway tickets at Nonhyeon station on Line 7, Thursday afternoon. (Yonhap)
Most regions across the country plan to raise public utility charges in the new year, including public transportation fares, water and sewage rates, and prices of standard garbage bags.
According to the public utility charge plan of South Korea’s 17 provinces and metropolitan cities, most regions have already decided to or are considering raising fares for public transportation such as taxis, subways and buses.
Seoul announced last week it would raise the basic fare for taxis from 3,800 won to 4,800 won from 4 a.m. on Feb. 1. The subway and bus fares — which are 1,250 won and 1,200 won, respectively — will also be raised by 300 won as early as April. The confirmation appears to have opened the door for increases elsewhere.
Gyeonggi Province, which has the largest population, is planning to raise taxi fares this year, and the increase rate is likely to be similar to Seoul.
Daegu and Ulsan also decided to raise the basic taxi fare from 3,300 won to 4,000 won within January, and Daejeon also plans to raise it during the first half of the year.
Incheon is considering increasing bus fares, but it has yet to decide on details, while Busan, which has frozen its bus fares for the past 10 years, and South Gyeongsang Province, Ulsan, are also considering raising bus fares.
Many regions will also raise water and sewage charges.
Seoul plans to raise water prices from January, while Incheon, Ulsan, Daejeon, and Sejong are planning to raise water or sewage charges. Several local governments in Gyeonggi Province, South Jeolla Province, Gangwon Province, and North Chungcheong Province also plan to raise water and sewage charges.
By Lee Jung-youn (firstname.lastname@example.org)