The Seoul Metropolitan Government is experiencing friction with the Seoul Bus Union as it promotes the ‘Compact City Project’, in which the Songpa-gu Jangji Depot and Gangdong-gu Gangil Depot are newly built underground and parks and public housing are built on them.
The union held a press conference in front of the Seoul City Hall on the morning of the 1st and urged, “Withdraw the policy of making the bus depots underground.” The compact city project, promoted by the late Mayor Park Won-soon, is to build a new 36,000-square-meter current Gangdong/Jangji public bus depot in the basement and build a happy house (945 in Gangdong and 758 in Jangji) on top of it. It’s meant to be supplied to married couples. Jangji Garage signed a service contract in May of last year and Gangdong Garage in September of last year.
The union said, “There is no case of building a house above a bus depot anywhere in the world,” and said, “The housing policy that provides housing for citizens and the transportation policy that provides public transportation must be separated.” The biggest reason the union opposes this project is that building a garage used by hundreds of large buses in the basement would pose a threat to safety. A union official said, “In foreign countries, even liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles are sometimes restricted from entering the underground parking lot. If this happens, it will lead to a catastrophe,” he said. In addition to buses, the garage will also contain CNG refueling stations, storage and hydrogen refueling stations. Currently, 298 vehicles from 5 bus companies and 800 workers use the Gangdong Garage, and 900 workers are in charge of 324 vehicles from 3 companies at the Jangji Garage. In addition, when workers change tires or clean vehicles in a closed underground space, they are exposed to various harmful substances and dust, which is highly likely to lead to occupational diseases.
Local residents also oppose the violation of the right to sunlight, relieving traffic congestion, and arguing that the safety measures for fires are inadequate. The Seoul bus labor and management team, together with the Gangil District Residents’ Council, where the Gangdong Garage is located, formed the ‘Joint Struggle Committee for the Complete Revocation of the Gangdong/Jangji Public Garage Underground’ and started a full-fledged struggle starting with the press conference that day.
“There is also a problem with procedural defects that do not reflect the opinions of residents and the labor and management of the bus industry,” said the Public Investigation Committee. are doing,” he criticized.