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  • ‘Top 10 Seoul News Stories of 2013’ chosen by the citizens

  • SMG 1792

    ‘Full Operation of Seoul Night Bus (also called Owl Bus) Services’, which served late-night commuters after the subways stopped running, gained 12.8% of the votes and ranked No. 1 in the survey. No. 2 was ‘One Less Nuclear Power Plant’, which promoted saving energy and generating new and renewable energy, and it was followed by No. 3 ‘Shifting Temporary Workers to Permanent Employment’, which aimed to improve vulnerable working conditions.

    in particular, the ‘owl bus’ operated 2 pilot bus routes in the first half year and ranked no. 2 in the ‘top 10 seoul news stories of the first half of 2013’. the bus routes, however, expanded into 9 and the services finally took the no. 1 ranking in the recent survey, attracting more positive responses of the citizens.

    seoul metropolitan government listed 33 major policies of the year for the ‘top 10 seoul news stories of 2013’ and conducted the survey for three weeks from nov. 1st (fri.) to 24th (sun.). 4,240 citizens visited the portal site daum’s agora and seoul citizens hall, and participated in the survey, while 571 civil servants voted for the list through the city’s administrative portal site (staff intranet). total 4,811 participated in the survey and the number of votes was 13,747.

    no. 1 full operation of seoul night bus (also called owl bus) services (1,766 votes, 12.8%)

    the owl bus, which has expanded into 9 routes since last september, runs from midnight to 5 a.m. around crowded areas such as hongdae, jongro and gangnam during late-night hours. the bus fare is 1,850 won and it is similar to that of red buses. the number of passengers has increased gradually and reached over 6,000 per day as of november.

    no. 2 one less nuclear power plant (1,092 votes, 7.9%)

    this initiative aims to reduce power demand, generate new and renewable energy and eventually cut down the amount of energy which is generated by one nuclear reactor (1gw). seoul city tries to raise its electricity self-supply to 20% by 2020. so far, the number of those who signed up for eco-mileage system has exceeded 1.39 million and it is on the rise.

    no. 3 shifting temporary workers to permanent employment (828 votes, 6.0%)

    seoul metropolitan government shifted 1,369 temporary employees, who were hired directly by the city, to regular employees and has been trying to give full-time employee status to 6,000 irregular workers, who were hired indirectly by the city. this movement has been praised as a model case for addressing temporary employment issues.

    no. 4 expansion of state-run and public day care centers (730 votes, 5.3%)

    it is an initiative to expand more than 2 state-run and public day care centers in every ‘dong’(an administrative district) in order to satisfy growing demand and reinforce public childcare system.

    no. 5 running hospitals safe to patients (721 votes, 5.2%)

    seoul city started a pilot project to run hospitals which could take care of patients without private caregivers or family members.

    no. 6 transparent apartment management (680 votes)

    the seoul city government has opened a website ‘http://openapt.seoul.go.kr’ in order to clear issues on the apartment maintenance fee. it has also operated a ‘service center for management of apartment houses’ for counseling and research on the actual apartment management practices to make them clear and rational.

    no. 7 subway line no. 9 as an innovative model for privately funded projects in seoul (665 votes)

    it is an innovative policy to protect citizens’ rights and interests by abolition of minimum wage guarantee system and an arbitrary pay raise by a private operator. at the same time, the city will help citizens own the subway by adopting the first citizens fund in domestic railway.

    no. 8 building a safe city for women (626 votes)

    seoul metropolitan government has built a safety net for women across the city, including safe parcel delivery service, nighttime escort program and home security service with the cooperation of private sectors.

    no. 9 was ‘the opening of seoul citizens hall’, a space for communication and culture, which was celebrated last january in the new seoul city hall. finally, no. 10 was the ‘construction of 80,000 rental houses’ which provided a variety of customized houses, including public one-room houses for 1~2 family members and cooperative housing.

    the survey results showed that people were very interested in practical policies which affected their daily life directly. they voted for ‘expansion of state-run and public day care centers’ and ‘running hospitals safe to patients’, expressing keen interests in childcare and healthcare policies. also, the people of seoul were interested in housing and women’s safety issues, voting for ‘transparent apartment management’, the ‘construction of 80,000 rental houses’ and ‘building a safe city for women’. you can check the whole list in www.seoul.go.kr and agora.media.daum.net.

    before the survey, the city government had selected ’hope seeds 99’ policies which were small but potentially had significant influences to change people’s life. the policies included ideas which were suggested by both citizens and civil servants. the participants voted for the top 10 ideas. no. 1 was ‘nighttime shared parking’, no. 2 was ‘extension of state-run and public day care centers’ operation hours’, and no. 3 was ‘nighttime escort program for women’.