Public Transportation Empty as Koreans Hunker down

  • By Jung Ji-sup

    February 25, 2020 13:24

    Public transportation use has sharply declined as more and more people stay at home amid the coronavirus scare.

    Seoul Metro said on Monday that some 42.52 million people took the subway from Feb. 17 to 23, down 19.1 percent from 52.55 million during the same period last year.

    Quarantine workers disinfect a subway station in Seoul on Feb. 21. /Newsis

    On Feb. 17, when the number of confirmed infections was relatively low at around 30, 7.18 million people still used subways, around 90 percent of the same day last year, but on Feb. 23, when the infections hit 600, the figure dropped to 2.63 million, barely half of last year's.

    Buses also saw a steady drop in passengers since the onset of the outbreak. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, some 4.98 million people took buses on Feb. 21, down 10.8 percent from usual weekday average.

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