Flashback Moment

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Category: Transportation

Subway again

I was laughing when I saw an Ajossi jumped up from his seat clumsily and hopped out of the door as if something knocked him because he was felt asleep when he arrived at his destination. Then, the subway continue it’s way, and I wonder why I still not yet reach Itaewon, I look at the map again, Oh! I passed over one stop already. I supposed to stop at the station the same to that Ajossi! Oh god! Hangangjin station was desert!! For 1 year in Korea I have never been to desert subway station like this!


Seoul plans women-only subway cars

So what, girls! Will we be more secure soon? I just found this news  regarding have a subway for only girls.


Female commuters may soon have a safe haven from sex offenders when riding the subway, as the capital plans to introduce women-only cars, city officials said Wednesday.

In order to protect women from sexual assault, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to gather public opinion on the measure by next month, and implement a trial run by September.

According to officials, the trial run will be held on subway line two, and on the last car of the day which runs around 11:30 p.m.

But some experts believe the measure is a superficial, ineffective approach to deal with sexual violence in subway cars.

“If Seoul is implementing this measure to truly stop sexual harassment, this does not attack the root of the problem,“ Choi Ji-na of the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center told The Korea Herald.

“The logic behind this measure is very simple-minded,” she said, adding that truly effective measures must tackle the perception of sexual harassment and its victims.

The measure was first introduced in 1992, under which women had their own cars during the morning rush on subway line one and other railroads, but keeping people segregated proved difficult.

And in 2007, the measure was pushed again for lines six and seven, but met with strong opposition with claims the measure was sexist against men, and was scrapped.

The same criticisms are expected to arise this time around.

This time, however, aware of the past backlash from men, the capital decided to rename the cars “women safety cars” rather than “women-only cars.”

“After thoroughly discussing with women’s organizations, we have decided to designate the cars during the late-night hours when women can feel nervous, rather than the busy morning rush hours,” said a Seoul official.

In 2010, police arrested 1,192 subway sex offenders, a 77 percent rise from the number of arrests in 2009.

Crimes included molestation and men taking pictures up women’s skirts.

A study showed that the reporting rate of sexual crimes is only 10 percent of total incidents, and considering that reports do not necessary lead to arrests, the actual number of sex offenses occurring in subways is presumed to be astronomically higher.

Choi said that the bulletins in the subway that “teach” commuters about methods to fight sexual violence are a problem in themselves.

The bulletins say that if a woman is wearing a short skirt, she should cover up, which Choi said puts the blame on women.

There is skepticism as to whether or not officials could effectively uphold the measure, or whether it would end up a repeat of before.

“I don’t believe that we can necessarily force male customers out of the designated cars, I don’t know if we can keep order,” said a subway official, as quoted by other news agencies.

The city also plans to post guards to patrol within the subway stations, and expand the “safety zone” program to more stations across lines one through four.

By Robert Lee

Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110720000795

Good News for All ~ Korea Airport Train

Starting from the end of next month, travelers can get to International Incheon Airport from Seoul Station in 43 minutes by airport train, saving money in the process.

Korail’s Airport Railroad (AREX) construction team is busy preparing for the opening of the new line.

Most of the construction work is already complete, and the line will open on December 29. Tickets will cost 5,300 won for regular service to Incheon Airport, and 13,300 won for express trains.  Getting to the airport should now take less than an hour.

Korail’s Airport Railroad (AREX) will service from Seoul Station on Dec. 29, 2010. (Photo: Yonhap News)

AREX will also cost travelers less than other ways of getting to the airport.  Limousine buses to the airport can cost up to 16,000 won and taxis substantially more, and with traffic the journey can still take more than an hour.

Passengers will be able to check in for their flights at Seoul Station once AREX starts its airport terminal service. This will make traveling much more convenient, since people won’t have to repeatedly stow and retrieve their luggage or carry it with them. So far, the service has been available only at Banpo and Samsung-dong in Gangnam area for direct bus services.

Although travelers will still have to undergo a security screening at the airport, the new service will simplify departure procedures. (Left: AREX train interior)

By taking people between the airport and the very heart of Seoul, AREX is expected to make travel more convenient both for Seoul residents and visitors.  The train takes 20 minutes from Seoul Station to Gimpo Airport.

This should reduce the amount of time required for travel to Jeju Island and other locations in Korea, along with some overseas locations like Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

After stopping at Gimpo, the train reaches speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour, arriving at Incheon a mere 43 minutes after departing from Seoul Station.  Express trains make no stops between Gimpo and Incheon Airports, while the standard train makes brief stops at Gyeyang and Unseo Stations, along with Incheon Airport’s Cargo Terminal.

People can purchase tickets using T-money cards, vending machines or buy them directly at the train station. (Right: AREX express train interior)

The new trains will also benefit residents of the Gyeyang and Seogu districts, who will see their travel time to Seoul reduced from two hours to 30 minutes. Trains will run every six minutes, twice as many as are currently in operation on the line to Incheon.
By 2013, Korail will operate KTX trains on the AREX lines, allowing passengers to board KTX trains directly to Busan, Daegu, Gwangju or Mokpo, bypassing Seoul Station. The travel time for AREX trains will also be reduced to 30 minutes by increasing the speed to 180 kilometers per hour.

More information about AREX is available on its homepage (Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese)

By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer

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