Seoul to resume late-night public transit service

SEOUL-- The Seoul city government said Thursday it will begin resuming late-night public transportation operations in the city, two years after they were reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city government plans to extend daily subway operation hours through 1 a.m., instead of midnight on weekdays, starting sometime in June. The plan, which excludes weekends and holidays, comes amid a public outcry over the difficulty of grabbing taxi cabs at night following the significant easing of social distancing restrictions.

The late-night service has been suspended since April 1, 2020, leading to an average 30 percent decrease in the number of public transportation users for that time.

The capital's night bus schedule, which has also been scaled back due to COVID-19, will also begin to be normalized Monday.

The time of the last bus on intracity routes of Seoul's 11 major spots will be pushed back until 1 a.m. beginning Monday as well, officials said.

Citizens have been suffering from a shortage of taxi services, as the government has lifted almost all major coronavirus-linked regulations on private gatherings and the operations of pubs and restaurants.

Source: Yonhap News Agency