Seoul City will put the names of subway stations up for sale from next month to help subway operators raise profits, city officials said.
Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would sell the names of 10 stations on Subway line Nos. 1-8 on a trial basis. The new names will be used together with the original subway names at subway entrances, platforms, metro maps and in announcements.
Companies within 500 meters of the stations will get priority in being able to apply for the name change. The qualification will be expanded to those within 1 kilometer if there are no applicants. The name will be determined by bidding, the city said.
Two subway operators -- Seoul Metro and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. -- will set up their own name review committee to screen the name candidates. Companies with a problematic reputation or a likeliness to tarnish the public image of the subway will be excluded, they said.
The dual name contract will be valid for three years.
Stations that already have dual names will also be ruled out from the new project, they added.
As of now, 61 of the 307 Seoul City subway stations have dual names that include titles of nearby universities or district offices.
Some cities have run similar projects according to the officials. Incheon and Daegu have allowed dual names for 18 and 10 stations, respectively, and both have earned more than 15 million won ($12,700) a year per station. Busan has earned about 50 million won for one dual-name station.
“The city will consider expanding the dual name policy after reviewing the public value and profitability of the trial project,” city officials said.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org)