Seoul to Cut Airport Bus Fare by 1,000 Won for 17 Bus Routes

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will reduce the fare of the airport limousine bus to Incheon International Airport by 1,000 won starting in January 2017 for the first time since the opening of Incheon International Airport in 2001. In addition, Seoul expanded the family discount system to all airport bus routes to Incheon International Airport.

The fare cuts will be applied to 17 routes excluding the five routes operated by KAL Limousine, some of the luxury airport limousine buses to Incheon International Airport. The fare for transportation cards and ticket users will be reduced by 1,000 won.

In addition, the family discount system, in which one person can use the airport limousine bus free of charge when three or more direct family members who are accompanying minors use the transportation, will also be expanded. The airport bus fare reduction and the extension of the discount system will be applied starting on January 20th, 2017, after going through procedures for reporting of the airport bus fare changes.

Contents of Rate Adjustment

□ The current status of luxury airport limousine buses to Incheon International Airport

(Unit: won)

DivisionBus
No.
Departure Point and DestinationCurrent
(In general)
Change (proposed)Note
Departure PointDestinationTransportation cards and tickets
Luxury type6001Incheon AirportDongdaemun15,00014,000Apply current fare for cash payment
6005Incheon AirportInsadong15,00014,000
6010Incheon AirportWangsimni15,00014,000
6015Incheon AirportMyeong-dong Station15,00014,000
6017Incheon AirportSeoul National University Hoam Faculty House15,00014,000
6018Incheon AirportSindorim D-Cube City15,00014,000
6019Incheon AirportNaebang Station15,00014,000
6030Incheon AirportCapital Hotel15,00014,000
6006Incheon AirportJamsil (Mongchontoseong Station)15,00014,000
6009Incheon AirportIrwon-dong15,00014,000
6020Incheon AirportTeheran-ro (Yeoksam Station)15,00014,000
6200Incheon AirportHanam (Hwangsan)15,00014,000
6300Incheon AirportGodeok-dong15,00014,000
6500Incheon AirportThe K Hotel Seoul15,00014,000
6103Incheon AirportCity Airport15,00014,000
6100Incheon AirportMangu Station15,00014,000
6101Incheon AirportSurak Terminal15,00014,000

※ Family discount system applies to all 36 routes including regular airport buses

□ Family Discount Application Example

Family discount application
○ Number of people using the bus: 2 adults, 1 youth
○ Fare: 14,000 won / person
○ Charged fare: 14,000 won × 2 people = 28,000 won
○ Discount: 14,000 won (33% discount), ※ 28,000 won discount for round trip



Seoul City Celebrates 2017 with the Bosingak Bell

Seoul Metropolitan City will ring the Bosingak Bell with the citizens on Saturday, December 31st, 2016 at midnight. The city will select 11 people as representatives for citizens to participate in this year’s Bell-Ringing Ceremony, who gave hope and courage to the citizens in each field of society in 2016, and they will ring the Bosingak Bell in Jongno for the Watch-Night Bell Ceremony 33 times.

Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to set up a special stage of Bosingak to perform a variety of programs which citizens who come to see the Bell-Ringing Ceremony can enjoy, such as celebration performances before and after the bell ringing and New Year’s greetings from the Mayor of Seoul. Seoul will extend the operation of subways and buses so that citizens who go home late at night after the Bell-Ringing Ceremony can use public transportation conveniently. Subway operation will be extended to 2:00am (based on the terminal station), two hours later than usual, and the subway services will increase by 153 times. The time of the last trains are different for each destination, so make sure to confirm the departure time for the last train in advance by using the notices at subway stations.

For more information about the Bell-Ringing Ceremony, please visit the Korean website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (www.seoul.go.kr), and call Dasan Call Center (120), the History & Cultural Heritage Division (☎82-2-2133-2613), or the Transportation Policy Division (☎82-2-2133-2221). For information regarding traffic control related to the event and public transportation, visit Seoul’s traffic information website (http://topis.seoul.go.kr) and the mobile application (http://m.topis.go.kr).

Time of the last train by subway station

◆ Jonggak Station (Line 1)

○ Bound for Seodongtan 11:00pm, Bound for Byeongjeom 11:15pm, Bound for Incheon 11:22pm, Bound for Guro 12:51am, Bound for Seoul Station 02:01am
○ Bound for Uijeongbu 11:43pm, Bound for Kwangwoon Univ. 12:55am, Bound for Dongmyo Station 01:52am

◆ City Hall Station (Line 1)

○ Bound for Seodongtan 11:03pm, Bound for Byeongjeom 11:18pm, Bound for Incheon 11:24pm, Bound for Guro 12:54am, Bound for Seoul Station 02:03am
○ Bound for Uijeongbu 11:41pm, Bound for Kwangwoon Univ. 12:53am, Bound for Dongmyo Station 01:50am

◆ City Hall Station (Line 2)

Inner circle line
(Bound for Seongsu, Jamsil)
Outer circle line
(Bound for City Hall, Sindorim)
Bound for Seoul Nat’l Univ. 01:18amCircle Line 12:31am
Bound for Seongsu 01:36amBound for Seongsu 12:54am
Bound for Samseong 01:19am
Bound for Hongik Univ. 01:59am

◆ Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Line 2)

Inner circle line
(Bound for Seongsu, Jamsil)
Outer circle line
(Bound for City Hall, Sindorim)
Bound for Seoul Nat’l Univ. 01:20amCircle Line 12:29am
Bound for Samseong 01:38amBound for Seongsu 12:52am
Bound for Samseong 01:17am
Bound for Hongik Univ. 01:57am

◆ Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Line 1)

○ Bound for Seodongtan 10:54pm, Bound for Byeongjeom 11:14pm, Bound for Incheon 11:33pm, Bound for Guro 12:49am, Bound for Seoul Station 01:59am
○ Bound for Uijeongbu 11:45pm, Bound for Kwangwoon Univ. 12:57am, Bound for Dongmyo Station 01:54am

◆ Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Line 3)

○ Bound for Ogeum 01:17am, Bound for Dogok 01:35am, Bound for Yaksu 01:53am
○ Bound for Daehwa 11:09pm, Bound for Gupabal 01:38am, Bound for Dongnimmun 01:56am

◆ Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Line 5)

○ Bound for Banghwa 01:19am, Bound for Yeouido 01:42am
○ Bound for Macheon 01:16am, Bound for Sangildong 01:31am, Bound for Gunja 01:46am

◆ Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5)

○ Bound for Banghwa 01:22am, Bound for Yeouido 01:45am
○ Bound for Macheon 01:04am, Bound for Sangildong 01:26am, Bound for Gunja 01:47am

◆ Seoul Station (Line 1)

○ Bound for Seodongtan 11:01pm, Bound for Byeongjeom 11:21pm, Bound for Incheon 11:40pm, Bound for Guro 12:56am
○ Bound for Uijeongbu 11:38pm, Bound for Kwangwoon Univ. 12:50am, Bound for Dongmyo Station 01:48am

◆ Seoul Station (Line 4)

○ Bound for Oido 10:43pm, Bound for Ansan 11:21pm, Bound for Sanbon 11:43pm, Bound for Sadang 01:44am
○ Bound for Danggogae 01:23am, Bound for Hansung Univ. 01:46am

◆ Dangsan Station (Line 9)

○ Bound for Sports Complex Station 01:12am, Bound for Sinnonhyeon 01:32am, Bound for Saetgang 01:52am, Bound for Gayang 01:36am

◆ Sports Complex Station (Line 9)

○ Bound for Gaehwa 01:00am, Bound for Dangsan 01:20am, Bound for Sinnonhyeon 01:40am

◆ Gaehwa Station (Line 9)

○ Bound for Sports Complex Station 12:44am, Bound for Sinnonhyeon 01:04am, Bound for Saetgang 01:24am, Bound for Gayang 01:44am




Seoul Introduces 21 Famous Places to Watch the New Year Sunrise

Seoul City selected 21 famous spots for viewing the first sunrise of the year. Various sunrise events will take place on January 1st, 2017, in each autonomous district, at sunrise time. According to the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the scheduled time for Seoul sunrise on January 1st, 2017 is 7:47 am.

Sunrise in the City Center

First, Namsan Mountain and Inwangsan Mountain are good places to enjoy sunrise in downtown Seoul. Namsan Palgakjeong Pavillion is a tourist attraction where many foreign tourists visit, and choir performances and the event of writing wishes will be held. At Cheongun Park in Inwangsan Mountain, the event will start with a performance by a Pungmul band, followed by the event of writing family motto and writing and hanging of wishes.

Sunrise near the City Center

There are six places for sunrise events near the city center: Seongdong-gu Eungbongsan Mountain (Palgakjeong Pavillion), Dongdaemun-gu Baebongsan Mountain (Observatory and Outdoor Stage), Seongbuk-gu Gaeunsan Mountain (Playground), Seodaemun-gu Ansan Mountain (Beacon Mound), Yangcheon-gu Yongwangsan Mountain, and Gangseo-gu Gaehwasan Mountain (Summit).

Palgakjeong Pavillion of Eungbongsan Mountain is a good place to view the sunrise, with a panoramic view of the eastern part of Seoul including the Hangang River, Seoul Forest and Jamsil Stadium. This year, a variety of events will be held to celebrate the New Year, such as Pungmul, poetry reciting for New Year’s hope, and writing postcards of hope.

Gangseo-gu Gaehwasan Mountain created the ‘Sunrise Park’ near the heliport at the summit three years ago, which is popular as a sunrise spot where you can see the Hangang River and Bukhansan Mountain. Various events will be held here such as large drum performances, Samulnori and others.

Sunrise from Outside Seoul

For the citizens who start their New Year with hiking, there will be sunrise events in eleven places, including Achasan Mountain (Sunrise Square), Maebongsan Mountain, Umyeonsan Mountain (Somangtap) and Daemosan Mountain (Nature Park and the Summit).

Sunrise Square of Achasan Mountain is located east of Seoul overlooking the Hangang River and is the place in Seoul where you can see the sunrise first. It is a sunrise spot where about 40,000 people visit every year.

Sunrise in the Park

The sunrise ceremony is also held in the large park as well as mountains for the New Year. At the Haneul Park Summit of Mapo-gu World Cup Park, programs such as Samulnori and large drum performances will be held.

21 Famous Places to Watch the New Year Sunrise in Seoul (Korean) : http://www.seoul.go.kr/story/sunrise/

Cheongun Park at Inwangsan Mountain, Jongno-guCheongun Park at Inwangsan Mountain, Jongno-gu
Palgakjeong Pavilion at Eungbongsan Mountain, Seongdong-guAchasan Mountain, Gwangjin-gu
Sunrise Park at Gaehwasan Mountain, Gangseo-guPlayground at Gaeunsan Mountain, Seongbuk-gu
Heliport at Buramsan Mountain, Nowon-guSunrise Park at Bongsan, Eunpyeong-gu



Walking City Seoul, Created 20 Road Diet Places

As part of the “Walking City, Seoul” project, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched the Road Diet Campaign in daily life from the beginning of this year to create a comfortable and safe walking space on a 6,892m street.

The ‘Road Diet’ project is the first project to be implemented this year, which means reducing vehicle space and converting it into a pedestrian-oriented road space.

The city built a collaborative system with the autonomous regions earlier this year in order to proactively promote the road diet project and improve the citizens’ feeling, found 20 places in 19 autonomous districts, and conducted the project of Road Diet in daily life.

Based on the opinion of the autonomous district and the opinions of the local residents, Seoul reviewed the project costs and feasibility of each branch and provided a total budget of 8.13 billion won. Basically, it focused on creating a safe walking environment in situations where safety is threatened, for example, when pedestrians had to walk on the car road because there is no pedestrian road or the road is too narrow, through the installation of crossroads and CCTV cameras for pedestrian safety, based on the reduction of the car road and establishment of the pedestrian road.

Noksapyeong-daero 26-gil, Yongsan-gu. Before the improvement → after the improvement

While carrying out the project, there were some differences in opinions with the local residents, but the city actively reflected the opinions of the local residents through various measures such as the residents briefing. Seventeen sites will complete the project this year as scheduled, and three sites (Jung-gu, Eunpyeong-gu and Seongbuk-gu) which didn’t will complete the project in the first half of 2017.

On the 220m sections of Noksapyeong-daero 26-gil, Yongsan-gu, the pedestrian road was expanded (1.5→3.2 – 4.0m) and the car road was reduced (10.8 – 11.3m→7.0m). The speed limit will be drastically reduced from 60 km/h to 30 km/h for safety. It is expected the demand for Itaewon tourism will increase by creating the antique furniture street.

Nowon-ro 1ga-gil, Nowon-gu. Before the improvement → after the improvement

On Nowon-ro 1ga-gil, Gongneung-dong, Nowon-gu, the sidewalk width of the 130m section of Taereung Elementary School has expanded from 2.5 to 3.7m. This was done to improve the safety of school students and to make pedestrians comfortable by providing green space and rest facilities.

In the early stage of the Road Diet in Daily Life project, there were many concerns and opposition citing the lack of parking space and the increase in traffic jam. However, the residents’ satisfaction of the walking environment increased, which has improved after the project.

Inquiry: Pedestrian Policy Department 82-2-2133-2417




Free Rental Service of Portable Battery Chargers at Subway Stations

Subway lines 5 to 8 started the ‘Happy Spot’ service, which is a portable charger rental service on December 26th, 2016. It is a service that lends portable chargers free of charge through an unmanned rental system at subway stations.

If you need to charge your mobile phone, you can install the ‘Happy Spot’ mobile application. After registering, you can borrow spare batteries from 157 unmanned rental devices installed at 152 stations on lines 5 to 8. After using it, return it to the desired station. You can use it for free for up to 3 hours, and if the time is exceeded, fees will be charged.

RegisterUnmanned rental deviceApplication for rental / return
Issuance of certification numberCertification number inputRental / Return

Service use procedure

The application allows you to check the remaining free time, past usage history, and others, and also provides the reservation service of charger rental, return and transfer service. The rental charger is compatible with iPhone and Android, and it is set automatically using the cell phone information registered at the time of membership registration.

It is now available only on lines 5 to 8, but it will be expanded to other lines for citizens’ convenience. If you are on a different line, you can search for the nearest station by searching for the station and the location of the device where you can use the service using the application.




Seoul Childcare Vision 2020 Targets 2,154 National or Public Daycare Centers

On Dec. 20th, the SMG announced the SMG Childcare Vision 2020 composed of 18 projects in five sectors with the aim of realizing public childcare service both in quality and quantity. The five sectors include: ① improvement of childcare service in both quality and quantity, ② fostering a carefree childcare atmosphere, ③ fostering a pleasant workplace atmosphere for nursing teachers, ④ provision of a customized childcare system, and ⑤ dissemination of childcare-friendly local culture and reinforcement of collation systems.

①Increasing the Number of National/Public Childcare Centers to 2,154 by 2020

The SMG is planning to increase the number of national/public centers to 2,154 by 2020. Raising the ratio of national/public childcare centers by up to 30% and raising the percentage of children taken care of at national/public childcare centers by up to 50% through the following: balanced allocation with local demand taken into account, turning well-performing private daycare centers into national/public ones, reduction of the expense for expansion/improvement through collaboration between public and private sector daycare centers.

The number of those at the Seoul Childcare Service Support Center manpower pool, which is a public system for the management of qualified nursing teachers, will be increased to 2,600, i.e. three times the current level (716 as of 2015).

② Adoption of the System of Daycare Center Safety Management Officers and Joint Accountants

The SMG will take a step forward in fostering a carefree childcare atmosphere through the adoption of the system of daycare center safety management officers and joint accountants.

The safety management officers, who have been qualified in the field of engineer industrial safety and facility safety for years, will be assigned the duty of conducting safety inspections of 1,615 daycare centers more than 20 years old and solving simple problems. The ten accountants, who will be hired in 2017, will perform a test operation and the number will be increased to 200 by 2020.

③ Reducing the Number of Children to be Taken Care of by Each Nursing Teacher to 8

The nursing teacher-child ratio will be readjusted to a level similar to those of major countries (i.e. from present 12 to 8) (cf. 9.2 in Germany, 9.4 in Austria, and 5.8 in Sweden) by increasing the number of helping hands (from present 4,658 to 5,600 by 2020) by spending 148.7 billion won.

The nursing teacher ranking system will adopt the following method: ordinary teachers → senior teachers → vice director → director in an effort to improve the treatment of nursing teachers and enhance the quality of childcare.

④ Sophistication of Childcare Support System (i.e. Daycare centers with longer-than-usual open hours, Daycare centers with parent-led participations, etc.)

Focus will be made on the provision of support for working parents, multicultural households and households with disabled children.

The number of daycare centers with longer-than-usual open hours will be increased from present 11 to 25 (in all autonomous districts) by 2018

Integrated daycare centers for disabled children will be increased from present 334 to 360 (one in each dong). Integrated daycare centers for multicultural households will be increased from present 49 to 70 in 2020, with focus on areas where many migrant workers live.

⑤ Dissemination of Childcare-friendly Local Culture and Reinforcement of Collation Systems

The Central Support Center for Childcare operated in each autonomous district of Seoul, which is the only city in the country with such a system, will start a system for entrusted operation of national/public childcare centers on a trial basis in an attempt to reinforce the public model of childcare. The number of such entrusted centers will be increased from 20 in 2017 to 100 by 2020. The number of neighborhood childcare chiefs will be increased from present 132 to 170 by 2019.

The SMG’s support for private daycare centers will also be strengthened in consideration of their importance in the overall childcare service system. This year, the SMG expanded the support for helping hands, which was provided only to national/public daycare centers until 2015, to private centers. The SMG also increased the financial support provided to parents using private daycare centers. The SMG also plans to provide financial incentives like facility repair expenses to centers setting an example in improvement of the treatment of nursing teachers and compensation.




Creation of Ewha Fashion Culture Street in Sinchon, the Urban Regeneration Area

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and Seodaemun-gu jointly initiated a project to create a street specialized in fashion on Ewhayeodae 5-gil (street) in October 2016 in order to revive the stagnant alley economy. As a result of the project, 7 youth start-up stores are going to open through lease agreements for the vacant stores. SMG and the autonomous district selected 9 teams of budding young designers and supported their rental deposit, rental fee (one year) and the cost for exterior decoration in order to help them reduce initial cost burden of taking on a long-term of the vacant stores on the street which were pointed out as a problem.

In addition, they designed and installed signboards that expressed the themes of the stores by identifying the characteristics of each store on Ewhayeodae 5-gil. In order to improve the alley environment, they also paved the road using a design that delivers the artistic sensibility of the floor covering materials used in European cities.

To celebrate the rebirth of Ewhayeodae 5-gil as a fashion culture street through the newly designed alley landscape and the opening of the youth start-up stores, SMG and Seodaemun-gu will hold an alley festival until January 20th, 2017.

While operating a Fashion Business Start-up Academy, they are going to create a joint-brand based website in 2017 to introduce the key features of the stores, the young entrepreneurs and general information about the shopping street in order to strengthen their marketing power and to further activate Ewha Fashion Culture Street.

Photos of Design Road Pavement Construction

Signboard Design and Installation (Examples)




Seoul Announced “Seoul Citizens’ Cultural Rights Declaration” of 4 Chapters and 17 Articles

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Seoul Citizens’ Cultural Rights Declaration”, which consists of a total of 4 chapters and 17 articles on Seoul citizens’ rights and responsibilities of the city to the ‘cultural rights’. The Declaration begins saying that “Citizens are the owners of culture and the subjects of rights.” Article 1, “Right to Enjoy Culture” states that “citizens should not be discriminated against based on their class, age, region, sex difference, race, religion, nationality and other factors when enjoying culture and arts.”

The 17 articles are as follows: ▴ Right to enjoy culture, right to access culture, right to cultural education, the freedom of expression (Articles 1 to 4), ▴ The cultural diversity of Seoul, cultural landscape, cultural resources (Articles 5 to 9) ▴ Citizens’ obligations, obligations of Seoul City, and roundtables of cultural rights (Articles 14 ~ 17).

In particular, the city has been organizing a “Cultural Rights Declaration Working Group” led by city officials, experts and local cultural activists for the past year instead of one-sided presentations to prepare the declaration through citizen discussions and proposals. In addition, Seoul’s Declaration includes the value and direction represented in international covenant on cultural rights such as “The UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001)” and “The Charter on the City’s Cultural Rights and Duties (2002, Barcelona)”, as well as those of cities which declared cultural rights in advance.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government held “The Seoul Citizens’ Cultural Rights Declaration Ceremony” with the participation of more than 100 people including Mayor Park Won-soon on December 20th, 2016. On this occasion, Mayor Park Won-soon promised five agendas that “all declarations are not the end but a new decision and a new start.”

① Ensure cultural rights
② Support citizens so that simple spectators can become everyday artists enjoying creative activities.
③ Strengthen citizen’s cultural capacity by ensuring the stable life of artists and freedom of creation.
④ Strengthen the foundation of cultural autonomy for promoting local culture in Seoul.
⑤ Establish Seoul’s identity as a 2,000-year-old city.

Mayor Park said, “‘The Seoul Citizens` Cultural Rights Declaration’ is a promise made by Seoul to build freedom of expression instead of censorship, and a transparent and autonomous cultural policy led by citizens rather than corrupt cultural businesses.” He also said, “Specifically, it is a result created through the cooperation of Seoul and citizens in various fields along with the recently announced ‘Seoul Artist Plan’ and ‘Vision 2030 Cultural Seoul’, which is more meaningful.”




The Winter Silver Grass Park at Haneul Park Opened

From December 20th 2016 to January 31st 2017, Seoul Metropolitan Government opens a garden (2,000m) utilizing silver grass to offer a variety of experiences including a photo exhibition, a heart-shaped photo zone, a large silver grass tree (9.5m), and an illuminated Wish Tunnel under the theme of “Nanjido’s Yesterday and Today”.

At the Silver Grass Garden, which has the silver grass tree and the silver grass tunnel utilizing silver grass from Haneul Park, people will find something different from other places. ‘Hope Tree’ (9.5m) is decorated by using the silver grass from Haneul Park and the LED lights will be lit up until 10 o’clock every night during the event period. The inside of the garden has a photo zone so that families can create memories.

On the way to the Hope Tree from the Silver Grass Garden, the Wish Tunnel decorated with beautiful lights was also created as part of the garden, creating a year-end atmosphere at night. The lights of the ‘2017 Wish Tunnel’, which is about 20m long, illuminate the surrounding area and create beautiful scenery all around the tunnel. Anyone who visits the Wish Tunnel, scheduled to operate until 8pm during the event period, can make a wish for the year of 2017 and hang it on one of the prepared wish cards.




2016 Most Beloved Policies of Seoul

2016 Most Beloved Policies of Seoul
No.1 Call Bus for Late-night Passengers
No.2 Hangang Summer Festival
No.3 Dream Together: School Bathroom Remodel Project

Details of 2016 Seoul News Top 10

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).

Details of 2016 Seoul News Top 10




Details of 2016 Seoul News Top 10

Details of 2016 Seoul News Top 10


No.1 Call Bus for Late-night Passengers (13,338 votes; 5.9%)

Those who travel through similar paths can share a bus using the app for this real-time service, and they can go anywhere without refusal at 70% to 80% of the midnight surcharge for taxi service. Users can call a bus through the app without explaining their locations. The call bus provides safe and convenient midnight travel to citizens and will be extended to more living areas in addition to Gangnam-gu and Seocho-gu.


No.2 Hangang Summer Festival (12,774 votes; 5.7%)

The Hangang River is the place for summer vacations! Being established with the citizens, the Hangang Summer Festival has become one of the representative summer festivals of Seoul with 12 million annual visitors for 2 consecutive years. The Hangang Summer Festival gives beautiful memories to the citizens with a variety of programs from cool swimming to romantic cultural performances so that they can enjoy joyful vacations at the Hangang River.


No.3 Dream Together: School Bathroom Remodel Project (11,536 votes; 5.1%)

This is a unique project for children to change school bathrooms, which are reportedly one of most inconvenient and dissatisfactory facilities in schools, at their disposal by establishing design task forces made up of students, parents, teachers and design directors to change the dark and foul spaces into bright and pleasant ones. 175 school bathrooms were improved in the first year, 2015, and 265 bathrooms will have been improved by the end of 2016.


No.4 Extended Operation of Seoul Public Bicycle, Ddareungi (10,658 votes; 4.8%)

Ddareungi has been established as a connection between public transportation and short-distance travel for solving traffic jams and air pollution to help Seoul citizens achieve healthy lives. It provides a 24-hour unmanned rental system across rental shops through a smartphone app for the utmost convenience. The Ddareungi has achieved two hundred thousand memberships and 1.44 million uses in the first 12 months and is serving the citizens at convenient places around subway stations, bus stops and residential areas.


No.5 Support of Sanitary Pads for Girls from Low-income Families (10,050 votes; 4.5%)

The sanitary pads are provided free to girls from low-income families, who are in their important period of growth, but have difficulties taking care of themselves. Upon request from girls who are subject to basic living security, the sanitary pads are delivered to their addresses, and the public teenager facilities have some in stock. Seoul Metropolitan Government will make efforts to protect the bodies and spirits of girls from low-income families by comprehensively addressing their gender issues and rights of health in terms of fundamental rights.


No.6 2030 Youth Housing in Areas Close to Subway Stations (9,180 votes; 4.1%)

Rental houses are supplied with low rates in areas close to subway stations with easy access to public transportation. To solve the housing problems of the 2030 generation suffering the worst youth unemployment rate and sharply-increasing housing cost, the private-public cooperation provides different benefits including mitigated regulations and simplified procedures to businesses so that they can supply enough rental housing for the youth. Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide active support for the youth to establish stable housing at convenient areas close to subway stations, to lead local culture, and to promote the local economy.


No.7 The Memorial Site for the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery (8,441 votes; 3.8%)

The Memorial Site for the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery has been established by Seoul Metropolitan Government and The Memorial Site for the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery Promotional Committee to exhibit the extreme pain of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery and remember it. It was started because there is no space to comfort and remember the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery issue despite the fact that it has been highlighted as a global issue of human rights, so the Tonggamgwanjeo Site (Tonggam Official Residence site) in Namsan Park has been transformed into the memorial site. The space of humiliation will be transformed into a new historic space in a century with citizen participation to comfort the victims and remain as a historic site for the present and future generations.


No.8 Development of Public WiFi Infrastructure (7,159 votes; 3.2%)

Seoul Metropolitan Government has established the free public WiFi environment accessible to any citizen in order to improve its competitiveness and maximize the universal information accessibility of Seoul citizens. It has installed 10,000 public WiFi stations with 7,500 intra-city buses providing the WiFi service to implement communication welfare for the convenience of Seoul citizens. Seoul Metropolitan Government will make efforts to reduce communication expenses of communication-vulnerable classes and to close the gap of information accessibility.


No.9 Women’s Safety Metropolitan City 2.0 (6,792 votes; 3.0%)

Human, environment and traffic safety networks have been established for women to live with comfort. It has established Women’s Safe Shelter at convenience stores for emergency escape (638 units), Women’s Safety Scout to help coming home during the night, Safe Mailing Service Box that can be used during absence (160 units), and Safe Village for Women to prevent domestic violence with residential patrol parties.


No.10 Seoul, 3rd Best MICE City (6,687 votes; 3.0%)

Seoul has been selected as the 3rd biggest international convention city (The Best MICE City as well) by actively inviting and holding international conferences and exhibitions. According to 2015 International Meetings Statistics Report by Union of International Associations (UIA), Seoul has taken 3rd place (494 events) following Singapore (736 events) and Brussels (665 events), which is historical. By making efforts to invite MICE as the high-value future food industry with high job creation, Seoul is trying to become the best MICE city in the world.




“Seoul Village Lawyers” Have Solved 10,000 Legal Cases Helping Citizens in Agony!

The Seoul Village Lawyers Program has solved 9,296 legal cases that citizens have brought over two years since the program began. The program was intended to provide citizens with a free legal consulting service to help them with their troubles and questions in everyday lives in their nearest (dong) community service centers.

The program allocates lawyers (one to two per village) interested in doing public service activities for villages in need, so that everyone can receive a one on one legal consulting services free of charge in their nearest (dong) community service centers. The lawyers deal with various cases including claim and obligation relationships, lease, real estate and noise complaints between floors. By doing so, they have played a role as troubleshooters in villages, without weighing the importance of matters.

The Seoul Village Lawyers Program has been extended step by step, beginning with 166 lawyers in 83 vulnerable neighborhoods with a lack of legal offices in December 2014. Now, as many as 622 village lawyers have engaged in this program in 344 dongs. When they form close ties with community service centers and village residents through various legal activities, they go so far as to engage in more various activities such as giving a culture lecture on law for living and participating in citizen autonomy committees, village events, etc.

Furthermore, the Seoul government is scheduled to set a new direction and reorganize a manual before expanding this program toward the 424 dongs throughout Seoul in the first half of next year.