"No More Pushmen, Now It’s Cutmen"
I’ve been super-distracted from the Gnome these days so I thought I’d do a quick translation for you from (where else?) Metro Seoul. These days I do plenty of translations, but they are nearly all of the very dry Korean regulation variety, so naturally I relax and unwind by . . . translating something.
“No More Pushmen, Now It’s Cutmen”
A glance from a helper on the subway.
‘It’s crowded in there, take the next train please.’
After the so-called ‘Pushmen’ who helped squeeze people onto trains on lines 1-4 in the mid-90s disappeared, their opposite, the ‘Cutmen’ who block unreasonable cramming onto trains have stepped on the scene.
Seoul Metro, which runs lines 1-4 of the Seoul Subway System, is planning to adopt the ‘Orderly Riding System’ (aka Cutmen) from the tenth on the stretch of track between Sindorim and Gangnam Stations during peak hours in order to prevent safety issues stemming from excessive riding. They revealed on the 23rd that they are currently running trials of the system.
Seoul Metro explained that it currently takes a long time to enter and exit train and the doors are open for a longer and longer time because passengers all try to get on at the same time, leading to the inability to keep the set schedule as well as leading to safety issues.
Seoul Metro has arranged for 67 part-time ‘Cutmen’ to manage passengers’ excessive riding on the Gangnam-bound track of crowded line 2 at Sindorim, Seoul University, Sadang and Seoul University of Education Stations weekdays from 7:30 to 9:30am.
OK, here’s the deal: I am going to be in that fray. Not only that, but I’ll be headed to Yeoksam Station (one past Gangnam) getting on at Sindorim Station at around 7:00, maybe 7:30 some particularly lazy day. I’ll be sure to take a picture if I spot any of these professional buzz kills.
Update June 25th: I saw them today! I was transferring to line 2 at Seoul Univ. of Ed. Station and I saw old guys in yellow vests that said ‘승하차 도우미’ or something and they were carrying yellow flags on sticks like crossing guards that said ‘다음 전동차 이용하세요’. Unfortunately, their services weren’t needed, and the ride was quite comfortable, so I didn’t get to see them in action.