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Friday, April 15, 2005

Hail a cab in Seoul

Normblog, writing from New York instead of Manchester UK where its proprietor is based, ponders the number of yellow cabs (are there any others?) in the city, and gets answers which give the number of somewhere around 12 or 13 000. As someone who every now and then blogs about taxis in Seoul (most recent entry), I couldn't but pay attention to the number of cars in NY: 12-13 thousand in a city of 8 million people. In Seoul, population 10+ million, there are 66 100 ordinary taxis [of which 9600 are "brand" taxis (pûrandû t'aeksi)], 3500 model taxis (mobôm t'aeksi) and 270 big van taxis (from Seoul Transportation Bureau), which makes less than 150 persons per vehicle. ("Brand taxis" are the ones with the interpretation service installed, so that the customer can get interpretation by phone to communicate with the driver.) In Helsinki, pop. 560000, there are approximately 1400 taxis. (400 persons/vehicle).

I'm not yet sure what else these numbers mean other than that there are hell of a many taxis in Seoul.

The yellow taxis are very New York, as everyone who knows America and New York so well from television dramas and movies is aware of. Silver taxis in Seoul are not as much Seoul, even though they perhaps should be, in good and bad. For me they quite are. I miss them in a way.

Update. The figure of ordinary taxis above corrected to 66 100. (Kiitos vaan Martille.)

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