Seoul announced the 2016 Seoul News Top 10 Chosen by Citizens among the 2016 policies that have gained adoration from the citizens.
The ‘Midnight Call Bus’ took 1st place, which anyone could appreciate who tried to catch a taxi around Gangnam Station in the middle of the night. It has a similar operation system to call taxis, which provide transportation service for those who have similar destinations and paths at around midnight (11 pm – 4 am; excluding Sundays and holidays) through an app running on smartphones. It is in its infant stage so the transportation is provided in 13 districts including Gangnam, Seocho, Songpa, Gangdong, Gwangjin, Seongdong, Yongsan, Dongjak, Gwanak, Mapo, Yeongdeungpo, Dongdaemun and Jungnang, but the service only starts from Gangnam-gu. This service is getting positive feedback so Seoul will continuously extend it to mitigate the difficulties to taking a taxi in the middle of the night. It is considering adding starting points including Hongik University (in Mapo-gu) and Jongno (Jongno-gu), where there are frequent transportation shortage issues.
The ‘Hangang Summer Festival’ took 2nd place with the support from all ages. This is one of the representative summer festivals of Seoul, which has been annually visited by over 9 million citizens since 2013. With the title of “Hangang, filled with excitement and art,” the festival was held for 38 days from July 15th (Fri) to August 21st (Sun) with 83 programs under 3 themes (▴Staying Cool at Hangang _Swimming‧Water Leisure Sports·Challenge ▴Touching Moments at Hangang_Performance‧Movies‧Concert ▴Together at Hangang River_Ecological Experience‧Camping‧Resting) and was visited by 12 million citizens.
Third place was taken by the ‘Dream Together: School Bathroom Remodel Project’ to transform bathrooms of elementary, middle and high schools into joyful and pleasant spaces considering the opinions of students. As a collaborative project of Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, the ‘Dream Together’ is a policy to simply improve bathrooms as well as to reinforce their functions for welfare such as adding more toilet bowls and increasing ratio of female bathrooms. Last year, the first year of the implementation of the policy, public schools saw improvement in 175 school bathrooms and this year will see it in 265 bathrooms.
Additionally, the citizens have shown high interest in daily-life policies including Extended Operation of Seoul Public Bicycle, Ddareungi (4th, 4.8%), Support of Sanitary Pads for Girls from Low-income Families (5th, 4.5%), 2030 Youth Housing in Areas Close to Subway Stations (6th, 4.1%), Development of Public WiFi Infrastructure (8th, 3.2%), and Women’s Safety Metropolitan City 2.0 (9th, 3.0%). Especially, the Public Bicycle, Ddareungi took 1st place for the most beloved policy among male citizens in their 10s to 30s. The 2016 Seoul News Top 10 also includes The Memorial Site for the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery (7th, 3.8%) to comfort victims and remember the bitter history and 3rd Best MICE City (10th, 3.0%) to raise the status of Seoul as an international city.
The News Top 10 survey was carried out for 4 weeks from November 14th to December 11th online and offline. 132,590 citizens were allowed to make choices of up to 5 out of 45 policies regardless of ranks and 224,185 selections were made. The 2016 Seoul News Top 10 can be checked at the website of Seoul Metropolitan Government (http://www.seoul.go.kr) or by searching ‘Seoul City’ on Daum (http://www.daum.net).