Ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee No-kun, who is a member of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee of the National Assembly, said on Oct. 13 that he tabled a revision to the Passenger Transport Service Act so that anyone who connects a rent-a-car or a private car to a passenger via an information network will be subject to punishment.
In fact, the current Passenger Transport Service Act has its own clause prohibiting paid passenger transport. According to it, paid passenger transport using a private car not for business purposes is subject to up to two years in prison or a fine of up to 20 million won (US$18,796). The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport recently told Seoul City to crack down on the Uber service based on this provision. Still, Uber is maintaining that it has no legal responsibility because it is merely a transport agent. This is why the lawmaker tabled the revision, in which the same punishment as above is applied to any agent of transport with compensation using an information network for its business.
Both the Ministry and Seoul City are in favor of the amendment. “Uber is illegal when the current regulations are applied comprehensively,” said New Transport Development Division Director Park Ji-hong at the ministry, adding, “Nonetheless, the regulations need to be further specified in order to ban the one-year-old service.”