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

ICLEI World Congress 2015 in Seoul

The biggest event about sustainable urban development Korea has ever seen is going to happen from April 8 to 12 in Seoul. The ICLEI World Congress 2015 is a four-day conference with many different types of events and a large diversity of topics. During the congress the Seoul Declaration is going to be adapted and experts from around the world are going to discuss the future of our cities.

ICLEI-world-congress

ICLEI also organized the EcoMobility World Festival 2013 in Suwon and there will be two events regarding EcoMobility (on Thursday and Sunday). Here you can see the program with all events.

The registration is already closed and I don’t know if on-site registration is possible. I plan to post updates on my personal Twitter @ni_medi. I hope that the event initiates sustainable development in more cities, esp. Korean cities, and reaches out to political leaders as well as policy makers.

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

Next Stop: 2015

Industries_in_2014_Landing_page

A look back at 2014

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on our blog posts over the past year. There were definitely a few highlights throughout 2014 in transport and urban infrastructure news. Here are some of the bigger stories of the year in case you missed any,


Looking towards 2015

As usual, major projects usually get delayed and this year many waited in anticipation for the Incheon Airport maglev to open to no avail. We’ll have more on this soon.

There are several major projects scheduled for opening in 2015 so let’s hope that some of them will be able to launch on time! We’ll be blogging about these and other things in the new year so stay tuned. Happy New Year!

Seoul’s New Public Bicycle System

Megacities like Paris, London and New York initiated public bicycle sharing systems with the goal to raise the share of cycling. New York has their Citi bikes, London has the Boris bikes (or officially known as Barclays Cycle Hire) and Paris begun in 2007 the world-famous Vélib’. These are all huge systems with thousands of bicycles. Once, we gave an overview of systems in Korea and until now Seoul offers only two small bike-sharing services with around 340 bicycles. This year the bicycle policy team from Seoul’s transport division was unbelievably busy with setting up a new master plan for the development of such a system. A new public bicycle sharing system will be implemented in five areas in Seoul. It is the beginning of a city-wide bike service and the transformation of Seoul’s road infrastructure to a more diverse network. Read more of this post

Darweol & Weonheung Stations to Open on 27 December

Most years a number rail/metro projects will end up being scheduled to open on the same day and this year is no different. Along with the connection between the Gyeongui and Jungang Lines mentioned in my previous post, two stations Darweol Station (달월역) and Weonheung Station (원흥역) will be opening on this day.
Read more of this post

No More Standing in Red Buses

Update – 30 August 2014: After a month the measure was revoked. The number of buses will be increased by 200 vehicles, as I stated in the blog post. But it won’t be illegal to allow standing passengers. The number of standing passengers decreased from 18% to 7%. The main reason for revoking the measure is that in September the new semester at university begins and the number of bus passengers will be higher than now. So, we are back to normal and it’s allowed to stand in the red Kyeonggi-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

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