SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – Smartphones have risen to be a new source of headaches for Seoul subway passengers and workers. While there are more than 40 million smartphone users in Korea, public inconveniences due to bad smartphone manners from some careless passengers are taking place underground.
Recently, some subway train crews, on their own initiative, made announcements to passengers reminding them not to board the train while looking at or using their smartphones. According to a subway worker, the average time that trains stay at a station is about 15 seconds, but passengers distracted by their phones actually slow down the boarding process, causing delays.
Individuals using speakerphone functions, and passengers playing music or video without earphones are also causing inconveniences. Seoul Metro, the operator of lines no. 1 through 4, launched a campaign to encourage passengers to use earphones on the subway, and remind them of the dangers of walking around with their eyes fixed to their phones.
The Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, the operator of lines no. 5 to 8, also launched a new campaign encouraging the use of earphones when playing media files on mobile devices.
Lost phones are a new problem for metro workers, too. According to Seoul Metro, 15,436 lost mobile devices were submitted to the subway lost and found centers in 2014. Although 14,621 devices, 94.7 percent of the total submitted, were returned to their owners, about 800 devices were left unclaimed, and were turned over to the police.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)