Seoul’s New Fare System

Seoul's New Fare SystemOn June 27th Seoul won’t only have a price hike for public transport but a new fare system is going to be introduced. The new fare system includes a new calculation method for long-distance rides, free usage for elderly foreign residents and a discount for early birds.

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KORAIL Sells Airport Railroad

Image: Wikicommons

Image: Wikicommons

KORAIL Sells Airport Railroad

Korail announced the sale of the Korail Airport Railroad yesterday to a private KB Bank equity trust fund which is a consortium between KB and the Industrial Bank of Korea. Korail sold 65.9% of its shares in the airport railroad, also known by its brand name A’REX, for 1.82 trillion won after Korail originally acquired the line in 2009. The Korea Herald reported back in January this year that Korail was launching a bid to sell the line and that the company was 2 trillion won in debt.

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Sindorim Station: New Station Building and Overpass Remain Empty

A couple of years ago I started writing a post about renovations and construction of a new station building and overbridge taking place at one of Seoul’s busiest stations Sindorim Station. Unfortunately in the craziness of moving from Korea it never got published. Since the project was completed a couple of weeks ago, it turns out that it hasn’t been much of a success so I thought I’d resurrect it.


Q43298_Sindorim_A07

Back at the beginning of 2013, Sindorim Station was undergoing some heavy renovations both inside and above ground. These included a new overhead walkway, station entrances for Line 1, platform extensions and a new station building. Outside the station a design (seen below) of the supposed finished product was put on display showing a shiny new glass building stretching across the tracks.
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Seoul – Busan KTX Capacity to Increase, Travel Times to Decrease

 

Korail_KTX-2

Image: Wikicommons

Update: A date for the opening of the two new sections has been confirmed for 20 July 2015.

Travellers and commuters can look forward to an increased number of train services and slightly shorter travel times once the two remaining sections of the Gyeongbu high speed railway are opened in July.
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Transport Tip: Daily Line 4 Express Trains from Ansan to Dangogae

Express trains for Ansan now run in both directions.If you use Line 4 regularly then you’ll know about the express trains that run during peak times between Ansan (안산) and Danggogae(당고개).

Thanks to reader James for the image.

Thanks to reader James for the image. Click to view larger version.

The trains are for those living in the Ansan area and only run on weekdays with just five trains to Danggogae in the morning and three trains from Danggogae to Ansan in the evening. While it is an “express train”, you won’t actually be saving too much time. The train only skips stations on the Ansan section, stopping at the following stations: Ansan, Jangang, Sangnoksu and Sanbon. The train is then all-stop from Geumjeong to Danggogae and saves a total of 7 minutes if travelling from Ansan to Danggogae. Check out Gogoon’s blog for a great graphic detailing time saved.

The express service on the Ansan section is actually not new and began back in 2010 but only operated in Danggogae direction in the mornings. Nevertheless, there must have been demand for services as evening trains began operating in Ansan direction from September last year. I guess that even if passengers aren’t cutting down on their commute time by a huge amount, it still probably feels much faster to skip a number of stations (just look at the rush for the Line 9 rapids).

Express Rail Following Seoul’s Line 2 Planned Long Term

Line2

A familiar sight at Line 2 stations.

Don’t get excited yet – this is a long way off and will still be in the planning stage for a very long time even if it does go ahead. Though I tend not to write about plans that are far off and uncertain, Line 2 express trains are something that people have talked about and longed for probably since it opened.

As many of us know, Line 2 is the busiest subway line in Seoul and is used by more than 2 million people a day. During the busiest times trains can reach 200% capacity and there are many who avoid the line during peak times if they can due to its reputation. Read more of this post

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

Public Transport Fares in SeoulIt 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.

Update: The new fare system will be introduced on June 27. After consultation with the public, Seoul decided to NOT increase the fares for students and children. We updated the overview and new fares! Second change is that Seoul is going to give foreign elderly (over 65 years) the right to use the subway for free.

 

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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.

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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.

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