The so-called 'heating cost bomb' has increased the public burden, and public transportation fares such as buses, subways, and taxis have been raised or are about to be raised this year.

Transportation costs rose by nearly 10% last year due to high oil prices, recording the highest rate of increase since 1998.

Currently, most of the 17 provinces and cities across the country have already decided on or are strongly considering raising public transportation fares such as buses, subways, and taxis this year.

Seoul is promoting a plan to raise bus and subway fares for the first time in eight years, and plans to carry out related procedures with the goal of raising them in April.

An increase of 300 to 400 won is being discussed.

Currently, general fares for public transportation in Seoul are 1,200 won for city buses and 1,250 won for subways based on a credit card.

If the increase is confirmed, from April, the price will rise to 1,500 to 1,600 won for buses and 1,550 to 1,650 won for subways.

As for taxis, from 4:00 am on the 1st of next month, the plan to raise the basic fare for medium-sized taxis from 3,800 won to 4,800 won has already been confirmed.

The basic distance is also reduced from the current 2 km to 1.6 km.

The fare for deluxe and large taxis will increase from 6,500 won to 7,000 won per 3 km.

Other metropolitan municipalities are also pushing for rate hikes.

Incheon is considering raising subway and bus fares to the same level as Seoul, and Gyeongnam and Ulsan, which are also considering raising bus fares, are in a position to watch trends in other cities such as Busan, Jeonnam, and Daegu.

As for taxi fares, Daegu raised the basic fare from 3,300 won to 4,000 won from this month, and Daejeon will also raise the basic fare to 3,300 won during the first half of the year.

Gyeonggi, Gyeongnam, Gyeongbuk, Jeonnam, Jeonbuk, Chungbuk, Jeju, etc. are conducting services to increase taxi fares or plan to review whether or not to raise them this year.

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In addition to public transportation fares, a 'domino increase' in other public fares is also expected to continue.

After the increase in electricity and gas rates decided at the central government level, it is inevitable that local governments will influence the cost of retail supply of city gas.

Water and sewerage rates are also expected to increase in many cities and provinces.

Starting this year, Seoul raised the unit price of household water supply by 100 won, which was 480 won per ton, and Incheon, Ulsan, Daejeon, and Sejong also made plans to raise water and sewage rates this year.

In Gyeonggi, Jeonnam, Gangwon, and Chungbuk, some basic local governments in the province have confirmed or are pushing for an increase in water and sewage rates.

There are also regional governments in Gyeonggi, Jeonnam, and Gangwon that have areas that increase the price of volume-rate garbage bags in the province.

As various public utility charges that are closely related to people's lives have risen, it is expected that the perceived price will continue to rise this year as well as last year.

Considering the ripple effect of rising sales prices of various products and services due to increases in electricity, gas, and water prices, there are concerns that the price burden will increase for the time being.

Meanwhile, according to the consumer price index statistics by expenditure purpose of the National Statistical Office of the National Statistical Office, last year's transportation cost rose 9.7% from a year ago, the largest increase in 24 years since the 16.8% increase in 1998, when the aftermath of the foreign exchange crisis continued. In particular, oil prices As a result of the rise, personal transport equipment operation items such as oil prices rose by 15.9%.

(Photo = Yonhap News)