No More Standing in Red Buses

A huge change awaits the public transportation in the capital region of Korea: In order to improve convenience and safety of buses, standing passengers won’t be allowed anymore on the majority of red buses. This measure was announced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) in June and next week the measure will be implemented. Read more of this post

Incheon International Airport KTX Times Released

Incheon Airport KTX Schedules: (Effective from 30 June 2014)

In short here are the departures from and to the airport. The KTX also stops at Geomam (검암) Station when travelling to and from ICN. Please see this PDF timetable I whipped up for all the times and details of  airport KTX trains only. Alternatively, download the full KTX schedule in Excel format from Korail here. (Hosted locally as linking does not work.)

Disclaimer: These times are correct at the time of posting but are only a reference. Please do not rely on these times alone and confirm with Korail when planning your trip. I accept no responsibility for incorrect times due to changes.

ICN - Busan (Gyeongbu Line – see PDF for Daegu, Daejeon etc.)

Train No. Incheon International Airport Geomam
115 6:55 7:17
125 9:07 9:26
139 12:07 12:26
163 16:35 16:54
173 18:35 18:54
181 20:35 20:54

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Amazing Dongdaemun Design Plaza

dongdaemun design plaza (5)Finally I visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, in short DDP, which opened on March 21st. As you can already tell by the name, it lies in the famous Dongdaemun shopping area. This very futuristic building is the new hub for design and modern culture in Korea. It is also very photogenic design, so  I took pictures with my phone and GoPro (so some pictures have a wide-angle, fish-eye effect!). If you want to see better pictures, please go to Robert Koehler’s Flickr-page or to his Tumblr. Let’s explore the Dongdaemun Design Plaza together. Read more of this post

Only one year late…

Suncheon Bay’s PRT to be launched as ‘SkyCube’.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Suncheon’s PRT will finally open for commercial service on 19/20 April following its trial operations during the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo. News reports seem to have inconsistent dates for the launch but this is often due to the actual opening ceremony being held the day before services begin.

This is also exactly one year after it was supposed to open for the expo, the original date being 20 April 2013. (Did somebody get the launch date wrong or something?)

In any case, it’s great to see that it will be finally up and running for good. The transport system has been renamed ‘SkyCube’ and is of course being touted as a green transport solution. Though it baffles me as to why SC-PRT seem to insist on comparing the cost savings with that of a standard rail line/subway when it would have never been an option in such an environment anyway.

Check out our previous articles for more information:

PRT System to Open for Suncheon Bay Garden Expo
What’s the story with Suncheon Bay’s PRT?

Related Links/Sources:
SC-PRTNewsis  | Data News (Korean Press Release)

 

Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

Today’s post isn’t related to transport or urban development in Korea. Still it shows something wonderful about Seoul, which is worth to share. Seoul initiated a project to produce a movie  with the help of movie directors Park Chan-Wook and Park Chan-Kyong. The directors didn’t film anything! Over a period of three month in 2013 anybody could upload their private videos, which just had to follow the condition that it is made in Seoul. Over 10,000 videos have been submitted and the movie directors chose videos from 141 participants, which they edited to a one-hour movie. The result is pretty nice and this project shows how important the citizens are for Seoul Metropolitan Government. The current Mayor Park Won-Soon puts people in the center of his policies. Enjoy this video!

Some Numbers: Speed Cameras and Cyclist Deaths

In the last days I’ve read some very interesting numbers in two Korean news articles. The first news article is about traffic speed control and the second article shows the issue of cyclist deaths. I translated the most important information and I hope that others find these numbers interesting, too.

Speeding in Seoul

The allowed driving speed in Korean cities is 60 km/h. Even though this is already a very high speed (too high in my opinion), a lot of drivers seem to be speeding. Many streets have speed control sensors and cameras. In 2011 they have caught 416,397 cases, 2012 it grew to 422,245 cases and 2013 recorded a new record: 508,837 cases of speeding. You may think that they increased the number of controls but actually 2013 there were 413 active speed control cameras, while there have been 446 in 2011 and 388 in 2012. Ah, I didn’t tell you the best thing about this statistics: These numbers are only of Seoul! There have been half a million cars in Seoul recorded and fined for speeding. Fines are given for speeds of 72 km/h or more and so probably many car drivers are driving high speeds of 80 km/h inside the city. (Source: 서울이 막힌다고 안심?…과속단속 이곳을 조심하라)

Deaths of Cyclist on Korean Streets

Another article focuses on accidents involving cyclists. In 2010 there have been 11,259 bicycle accidents, 2011 recorded 12,121 cases and there have been 12,970 accidents in 2012. In the last years couple of years, it seems like there wasn’t a large increase. However, if you consider that there have been only 6,024 cases in 2003, it’s an alarming number of traffic accidents. The number of cyclists grew due to it’s trendy image in the last years and promotion by the Korean government. Among the accidents around 300 have been deadly (2010: 297, 2011: 275, 2012: 295). Considering that the modal share of cycling is around 1% in Korea, this is a very high number of deaths. Teenager and elderly have the most accidents on bicycles. The article tries to highlight the reasons behind the high numbers. It mentions that the mindset about cycling has to change. Bicycle and vehicles are equal traffic participants. Cars have to raise more awareness on cyclists on the streets. (Source: 자전거 교통사고로 年 300명 사망)

News About Korail Strike

In the last weeks we received comments, emails and questions about the strike of rail workers union in Korea. Some readers seemed disappointed that we didn’t cover this story. Primarily other obligations didn’t leave any time for a detailed analysis. And second, even though the strike was about the operation of a new railway in Korea, this issue was deeply-embedded in the current political atmosphere and I don’t have enough knowledge to grasp this complex field. Still I don’t want to leave this topic out and thus, I collected the most important news articles in order that everybody, who is interested in this topic, can do research easily with this post. Read more of this post

Three New Stations for Gyeongchun Line [Updated Post]

Image: Ahn Woo-seok

Image: Ahn Woo-seok

Update 4 – December 2013: All three stations have now been opened with Sinnae(Shinnae/신내역) Station having finally opened on December 28  2013. Unfortunately work has not even started on building a Line 6 Sinnae Station extended from the current terminus at Bonghwasan due to a disagreement between KORAIL and SMRT over whether the Line 6 station should have one or two tracks. Photos of the new Sinnae Station can be seen here

Update 3 – November 2013: Cheonmasan Station will finally open on November 30. View photos from the latest progress on Sinnae Station which is expected to open on December 28.

Update 2 – July: As you can see from these photos which were recently taken of the Cheonmasan Station construction site, the station is still far off opening. Estimates at this stage put the opening date in November.

Update:According to MLTM, Mukhyeon Station has been renamed to Cheonmasan Station and will be opening for service on June 29, followed by Shinnae Station on September 14.

On December 15,  Byeollae Station (별내역), the first of three new stations on the Gyeongchun Line was opened officially. This will be followed by Sinnae Station (신내역) in early 2013 and Cheonmasan Station (Formerlly Mukhyeon묵현역) in June 2013. Byeollae and Sinnae stations are located in areas which are currently already under heavy development. Byeollae Station in particular will serve Byeollae “new city“, a massive new development on the the outskirts of Seoul and situated near the start of the Gyeongchun Line. Read more of this post

Goodbye Haeundae Station…

Thinking of taking the train to Haeundae next summer? Don’t be caught out when you arrive at a brand new station in a completely different location to what you might be used to.

Haeundae_Station_20131207_144537

The new Haeundae Station – Image: 안우석

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Final Bundang Line Extension Opens

The day is finally here…for some anyway. The final Bundang Line Extension from Mangpo (망포) to Suwon (수원) will finally opened today (Saturday 30 November). Over the past three years the southern end of the line has been extended in stages with Jukjeon – Giheung (5.1km) and Giheung – Mangpo (7.4km) being completed in the Decembers of 2011 and 2012 respectively. Of course the northern extension from Seolleung to Wangshimni was also opened in 2012.

bundangext.jpg-large

Thanks to @qiranger for the image.

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