On March 15, 2017, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will launch the ‘Guides for the Blind Service in Subway Stations’ in which 1,656 guides will be stationed at 77 stops on subway lines 1 to 9 including Seoul Station and Express Bus Terminal Station to assist the blind.
The service was launched in earnest encouraged by the high popularity of the pilot project implemented in October 2016 as part of the ‘Creating Jobs for Seniors’ project. 595 guides were stationed at 38 stops and assisted 6,000 users within three months. This time, the number of stops and senior guides have been doubled and tripled, respectively.
All 1,656 guides for the ‘Guides for the Blind Service in Subway Stations’ are senior citizens over the age of 65. The ‘mutual growth-type welfare project’ hopes to provide a second life to seniors by offering them social contribution jobs while also making sure that the blind can practice their right to move.
The guides provide a door-to-door service in which they wait by the turnstile to help blind people safely move from the platform to the exit and accompany them to bus stops or key spots in the area if necessary.