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  • Ten Point Improvement Plan for the Seoul Metro Subway System

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    In light of the subway accident at Sangwangsimni Station on Seoul Metro Line 2, which occurred on May 2, 2014, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced a “Ten Point Improvement Plan for the Seoul Metro Subway System.”

    Special inspection of Seoul Metro Lines 1-4 before the first trains run
    The Seoul Metropolitan Government immediately fixed errors in linked data of the operation of the subway lines in an effort to restore Seoul citizens’ faith and confidence in the subway system. Also, we are conducting a special inspection of the facilities on Seoul Metro Lines 1-4, including a general inspection of the signal system on Line 2, before the first trains of the day are due to run. Starting next week, the city will conduct a special joint inspection with outside specialists on the signal systems on Lines 1-9, which will continue until the end of July.

    Multi-layered safety management system—increasing the number of cameras for subway system monitoring
    As humans and machines are both prone to err, the city is promoting the implementation of a multi-layered safety management system to serve as a check-and-balance preventive measure. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has introduced the Railway Safety Management System to improve trust in the safety system. The system is composed of more than 130 provisions and has been approved by a national institution. We will also install inspection cameras on the first subway trains to more effectively monitor the tunnels and operate an analysis team.

    Introduction of “Golden Time Goal System” to ensure initial response measures and dissemination of information are completed within five minutes of an accident
    The city is also implementing and promoting the Golden Time Goal System to ensure that, in the event of an accident, initial response measures and the dissemination of information are completed within five minutes of the accident. When an accident occurs, the initial response measures implemented by the employees at the site are of utmost importance. As a result, the city is planning on expanding the emergency initial response training program by making railway safety training certification compulsory for all employees of subway operation agencies.

    Regular monitoring and joint inspections with specialists
    To eliminate human errors, the city will reinforce instruction, supervision, and safety training at 243 outside joint corporations in 10 categories, including light repairs on trains. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has also decided to reexamine the operation of subsidiaries and directly-operated companies, in terms of permanent outsourced duties related to public safety, in order to fundamentally resolve any issues with the joint company system.

    Furthermore, a transparent joint inspection with civilian railway specialists will be conducted regularly. The city plans to introduce a collective labor pool system consisting of 200 outside specialists to conduct regular inspections of facilities in 11 categories, including the signal system, as well as to check the status of implementation of the joint inspection.

    Earlier replacement of old trains and establishment of a SMART Integrated Control Center
    As mid to long-term measures, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is promoting the earlier replacement of old trains and the establishment of a SMART Integrated Control Center, which will combine separate control centers on metro lines. The city is planning to invest KRW 877.5 billion to replace 500 train cars on Line 2, which have been classified as old, with new ones by 2020, four years earlier than initially planned. Also, 150 train cars on Line 3 will be replaced by 2022, two years earlier than planned. Also, a total of 64 train cars on Line 1 will be repaired by next year, with old train cars on Line 2 being set as a priority. A feasibility study on the establishment of the SMART Integrated Control Center will be completed by February 2015, and the city is aiming to finish construction and begin operations of the center by2019.
    Meanwhile, reinforcing the seismic resistance capacity of subway lines, replacing old facilities, and maintaining free transportation for specific groups require financial support from the central government. An official with the Seoul Metropolitan Government commented that the city needs financial support from the central government, equivalent to that of the financial support provided to Korail, if the city wishes to preserve the free transportation program.