Some Extra Info – Geoncheon Connection

This is a brief post for those who asked for more information on the Geoncheon connection mentioned in this previous post.

As you can see in the the diagram below, this short piece of track connects the Gyeongbu high-speed railway with the new high-speed Donghae Southern Line which currently ends at Pohang. The connection opened on April 2 and is approx 7.2 km long. Read more of this post

Increase of Seoul’s Public Transport Fares

bus-fares-koreaIt was speculated since a couple of months that there will be an increase of public transport fares in 2015. Today the transport department of Seoul submitted the new fare prices to the municipal assembly. We will see a rise of up to 30 %. In addition, Seoul will introduce a discount for early birds.

The last increase of traffic fares in Seoul was in February 2012. Actually, the long-term plan of Seoul was to increase the prices every (or at least, every second) year. However, transit users aren’t never happy about fare hikes and so they were delayed several times. After the big public transport reform in 2004 the fare was only raised twice: 2007 and 2012. The new fares will be implemented in June 2015. Read more of this post

Daegu’s Monorail and Third Line Opens 23 April

In 2012 we posted about the Daegu Monorail, the city’s third line which is set to open on 23 April. Originally it was scheduled to open in conjunction with the 7th World Water Forum which takes place in Daegu and Gyeongbuk from 12 to 17 April.  The date was then pushed back to 23 April due to concerns about security for forum delegates, although apparently they are welcome to take a test ride if they wish.

daegu Read more of this post

Seoul Station Airport Rail Transfer Tunnel Finally Opens

The Line 9 extension wasn’t the only thing that opened today. A new transfer tunnel at Seoul Station from the Airport Railroad to Lines 1 and 4 has finally opened making transfers for those heading to the airport via the subway and bus much easier and faster.

If you’ve ever tried to make this transfer, you’ll know that previously the two subway lines and the Airport Rail were not connected directly. This meant that to transfer, passengers had to leave the subway station, go up the escalators, navigate through the crowds at Seoul Station and then take another escalator down to the Airport Rail station. The new transfer tunnel reduces the transfer distance by 400m from 700m to 300m and also cuts down the time from 12 to 5 minutes.

Comparison of new and previous transfer paths.

Comparison of new and previous transfer paths.

Construction on the tunnel began in June 2012 and went through various safety tests as well as a “user check” together with potential users which included the Disabled Association. Similar to longer transfer paths in other stations, moving walkways are also installed to help keep crowds flowing. Note that the transfer tunnel doesn’t include the Gyeongeui Line which only has services to Munsan once an hour.

KTXs to New Pohang Station from 2 April

pohangmap

Click to view larger image.

Together with the opening of the Honam High Speed Railway on 2 April, the new high speed Donghae (East Sea) Line opens up from Moryang (모량) to a new Pohang Station (포항) on 2 April. This will mean that Pohang residents finally have access to the KTX connections that many other cities in the Gyeongsang Provinces have had for quite a while now. Tickets went on sale last week along with tickets for the Honam Railway. Read more of this post

Concerns as Line 9 Extension Opening Approches

The term 지옥철 or “hell train” is a play on the Korean word for subway and has been tossed around the media over the past month in relation to the opening of Seoul’s Line 9 (Metro 9) extension later this month on 28 March. I’ll get to this in a minute, but first a bit about the extension in case you’re not up to speed.

Line9Map

Please note that final English names of stations may be different than the ones shown here.Original image from Kyunghyang Shinmun.

Read more of this post

The Honam High Speed Railway Opens in April

Currently a train ride from Yongsan in Seoul to Gwangju takes between 2 hours 30 minutes and 2 hours 51 minutes by Korea’s bullet train KTX and it involves a change of trains in Iksan or Cheonan-Ansan. In April 2015 the Honam High Speed Rail Route (호남고속철도) is going to open and allow faster travel on a new high speed rail segment from Osong to Gwangju. Read more of this post

Bicycle Promotion Gone Wrong

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security* hold an idea contest for the promotion of cycling and enhancement of safety for cyclists in Korea at the end of last year. It was advertised on Seoul’s subway and on various government homepages. 1500 entries, divided into two age groups (school students and adults), were submitted. I’ve thought about participating but I couldn’t find the time to write something. Still, I was very curious about the outcome. When I saw the winning entries, I was somehow disappointed and it was totally different from what I  have expected. Or lets’s say it was totally different than what the majority of urban cycling advocates promote. Read more of this post

Tactical Urbanism in Seoul

Usually transport planning is directed by local authorities and citizens have limited possibilities to directly transform their surrounding. Or in other words, it is a top-down development that includes public participation through formal procedures. There are exceptions and examples of bottom-up approaches, organized by private entities or local groups. Such a grassroots development can be described as tactical urbanism (or guerilla urbanism). For literature about that concept, I recommend The Street Plans Collaborative. In Seoul there are two very interesting examples of tactical urbanism. Read more of this post

Traffic Safety and Public (Mis-)Education

This is a guest post by Max Neupert. He is an artist and academic who is interested in contemporary social and technological issues. He is a German citizen who has lived in Canada, Australia, Croatia, Bulgaria and is now based in Daegu, Korea. Max is member of ExtraEnergy, a non-profit consumer organisation for sustainable transportation with a focus on Light Electric Vehicles and electric assisted bicycles. Max is professor in the School of Fine Arts at Yeungnam University in Gyeongsan. You can reach him on Twitter @bauchhaus.
Views expressed are his own.

Part 1: Traffic safety and the education of the future motorist Read more of this post

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