Women-only subway cars in 2008

SEOUL Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:52am EDT

South Korean passengers line up to board a subway train in Seoul March 2, 2006. The subway corporations serving South Korea's capital will introduce women-only cars next year to make rides more comfortable and free of groping male hands, a subway official said on Wednesday. REUTERS/You Sung-Ho

South Korean passengers line up to board a subway train in Seoul March 2, 2006. The subway corporations serving South Korea's capital will introduce women-only cars next year to make rides more comfortable and free of groping male hands, a subway official said on Wednesday.

Credit: Reuters/You Sung-Ho

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SEOUL (Reuters) - The subway corporations serving South Korea's capital will introduce women-only cars next year to make rides more comfortable and free of groping male hands, a subway official said on Wednesday.

"Sexual crimes happen frequently when the cars are packed and people are pressed against each other," the subway official said.

Nearly half the crimes reported on the city's eight subway lines are sexual in nature, with many taking place on two lines that serve university and office districts, lawmaker Lee Jai-chang said in parliament on Monday.

The Seoul subway network moves 6.1 million people a day and, as in Tokyo, uniformed attendants are on hand at rush hour pushing passengers into packed carriages.

Several Tokyo train lines have tried women-only carriages to prevent groping.

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