2017 witnessing a significant drop in accidents compared to that of 2016 was among the information provided in the official release of the Seoul Metro ‘2017 Safety Report.’
The ‘Safety Report 2017’ is the first publishing of such content since the merger of Seoul Metro (Lines 1-4) and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation (Lines 5-8) into the ‘Seoul Metro’ last year, serving as a comprehensive safety scorecard released to the public. The report was an opportunity to reflect on projects that managed to be unsuccessful while also notifying people of the successes regarding the results from actions taken on safety improvement and program operations open to the public.
The number accidents throughout the year of 2017 in lines 1 through 8 of the Seoul Metro totaled at five, translating to a 58.3% decrease by as many as seven accidents from last year’s twelve. Even when comparing the identical time period last year before and after the May 31st merger, the accident rate showed signs of a decrease. During the first five months of 2017, prior to the merger, the accident rate was recorded at four, yet following the merger, a mere one accident was recorded during the rest of the year. This demonstrates a significant drop from the eight accidents in 2016 during the same period to only one.
Immediately following the merger, on-site operations expanded approximately by 100 safety employees with as many as 400 additional employees from Seoul Metro dispatched to different locations to provide assistance. Accident reduction has been primarily in part to the active implementation of safety policies such as the real-time recording of security cameras using ICT technology and the establishing of a smart unified safety response area enabling multilateral video conferences to maintain communication.
Disruptions in subway operations, such as subway car malfunctions, were not included in the calculation of accident rates, however, there was an indication of an increase of one incident from five to six during the span of 2016 to 2017.
According to the report, among the causes of related disruptions, the deterioration of subway cars was the greatest culprit, catalyzing plans for car replacement for lines two and three up through 2022. Shifting from a principle of operation placing emphasis on being ‘timely’ to being ‘safe’ has had an impact on the increase of disruption, which has also led to delays in operation due to discovering the precise cause behind any disruption prior to the implementation of exact measures for the safety of the passengers.
The Seoul Metro also autonomously developed the SQI, or Service Quality Index, to indicate the current standard of service through categories including safety, convenience, amenities and more, and regularly post the results on the metro’s official website. In addition, the Seoul Metro also publishes the “Subway Safety Guide” in cartoon form, which is included in the safety report as an appendix, to notify the public of mandatory safety regulations during subway use.