Seoul Metro said Wednesday that it is working to install parking and charging facilities for shared electric scooters around subway stations in the city to help enhance the safety of its citizens.
The two-wheeled vehicles, also called electric kickboards and mostly operated by ridesharing companies, have emerged as a popular means of urban transport in recent years but have often been at the center of public criticism due to the potential dangers they pose, such as being left everywhere on the streets blocking paths of pedestrians.
To cope with such problems, Seoul Metro signed a business agreement contract with KST Intelligence Inc. (KSTI), a mobility software developer, on Oct. 13, its officials said. Under the contract, KSTI plans to build parking and charging stations for shared electric scooters and helmet rental shops for their riders on locations around some subway stations run by Seoul Metro.
Seoul Metro, the major operator of the capital's subway lines, will offer land and other infrastructure for the project and consult with related authorities for project approval.
"The electric scooter facilities will be installed at one to five subway stations on a trial basis next year and could be expanded further if there are positive effects," a Seoul Metro official said.
Seoul Metro will also push to offer discounts in kickboard rental fees for subway and bus passengers. To that end, KSTI plans to develop a specialized platform that combines reservation and payment functions of different ridesharing companies. (Yonhap)