South Korean startup Callbus is a ride-sharing startup that uses buses for late-night customers that need a ride home. The startup started just two months ago but they have already gotten investors from not only the Korean government but from angel investors. The Callbus has taken home 10,000 passengers so far and have gotten very positive feedback.
Those that have traveled to Seoul knows just how hard it is to find a taxi late at night when late night partiers are all looking to get home at the same time. The Seoul subway is not an option because it closes close to midnight. Taxi drivers are also very picky on which customers to take to maximize their fare. Some even won’t turn on the meter and settle on an inflated price up front. Uber tried to solve this problem but got a lot of resistance from the Korean government and the local taxi drivers. Uber was banned in Korea last year and instead came the rise of KakaoTaxi. Uber however was able to reach a deal to operate only their high end UberBLACK service.
Callbus agreed to operate only between 11pm and 4am while using buses(vans) and drivers that belonged to taxi companies. This way taxi drivers would get work and they won’t have to face competition from Callbus outside of the heavy demand period. They also will not run on Sunday.
So how does Callbus work? Customers in need of a ride at night will use an app to put in their location and destination. They will then get notified to go to a designated pick-up point which would be within walking distance. They will must likely join other passengers that are going the same way. The passengers will pay through their app which would be linked to their credit card. This method of transportation is about 30% cheaper than riding a taxi. Callbus gets a transaction fee for every ride. Pickups will be in Gangnam and take customers to the other nine districts in Seoul.
Callbus at the moment has 20 vehicles and continues to grow. Callbus vehicles are not buses but rather high class vans such as the Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai 12 seater vans or buses that look like vans. If you are fine with riding with strangers to get home, this service is perfect for you. Instead of waiting around for a taxi which will cost you a lot more, try this new Callbus service.