Seoul’s Answer to a Pollution Crisis: Free Public Transit

So when a thick layer of yellow dust settled over the city last week, local leaders took a drastic step to confront it: declaring an air quality emergency and, for the first time ever, giving commuters free rides on public transit.
During the morning and evening rush hours last Monday, the city waived subway and bus fees as the level of “fine dust” started out at 79 micrograms per cubic meter (considered “moderate” on the air quality index). They were waived again on Wednesday and Thursday as concentrations alarmingly reached 157, which falls well into the “unhealthy” zone. In addition, the city also shut down 360 parking lots at government buildings and implemented an alternate-day driving system for public employees.