Seoul to test seatless subway cars during commuting hours to solve congestion problems

By Park Sae-jin Posted : November 1, 2023, 14:45 Updated : November 1, 2023, 14:45
Courtesy of Seoul Metro
[Courtesy of Seoul Metro]
SEOUL -- Seoul will kick-start a demonstration project to test the operation of two seatless subway cars on Subway Line 4 and Line 7 during commuting hours to see if the new type of cars could solve congestion problems.
According to government data, some 4.5 million people use Seoul's subway trains daily. The crowdedness is the heaviest during commuting hours in the morning (08:00 a.m.~09:00 a.m.) and in the evening (06:00 p.m.~07:00 p.m.). The most crowded subway lines are -- Line 2, Line 4, and Line 7. Those subway lines travel through Seoul's main office districts in the central city area and Gangnam, a southern district well known for Psy's 2012 global hit song "Gangnam Style."
Seoul Metro said in a statement that the capital city will operate two seatless subway cars on Subway Line 4 and Line 7 during commuting hours to see if the seatless cars could carry more people and ease the crowdedness of subway trains. The demonstration project will start in January 2024. Seoul's public transportation office predicts that the seatless cars would help ease congestion of subway cars by about 20 percent.
To solve the congestion in subway trains, Seoul Metro will adopt more seatless cars in Line 4 and Line 7 through a long-term plan. "If we can prove the efficacy of seatless cars through this demonstration, we will expand the project to help citizens access subway trains more conveniently and safely," Seoul Metro CEO Baek Ho said in a statement on November 1. 

Projects involving seatless subway cars to ease congestion have been carried out by multiple subway operators around the world. New York City has tried multiple times to demonstrate seatless cars and actually adopt them but the experiment projects stalled out. 
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