Not Enough Escalators in Gangbuk

Media Feature

A recent article from Yonhap highlighted the fact there are almost twice the number of escalators installed at subway stations in Seoul south of the Han River (Gangnam) compared to those in the northern area of Seoul (Gangbuk).

According to the article there are an average of 5 escalators per station in the Gangbuk area, while Gangnam has an average of 9.22 per station.

It points out that Gangbuk Stations service more passengers on average per day (5.13 million) compared to Gangnam (5.07 million) and the fact that Gangbuk has a much larger elderly population with 432,00 and 367,00 residents aged over 70 respectively.


Image – WikiCommons

Gangnam also had more elevators while elevators in Gangbuk were used more on average – though this would make sense if there were less escalators.

Hopefully we’ll see more escalators being built in the Gangbuk area, particularly where alternative access might be a problem.

Link to Original Korean Article — Yonhap News

Welcome to our first “Media Feature”. Media Features are summaries and highlights of articles about certain transport or urban development issues. We’d also love to hear about any articles that our readers have discovered – feel free to email us.

About This Author

<p>Originally from New Zealand, Andy moved to Korea in 2007 and very quickly became interested in the many different public transport and urban development projects around Korea. He currently lives in Sejong city and is particularly interested in rail projects, transport hubs and technology.</p>


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  • I’ve begun to notice this myself recently.

    What those numbers do not show is just how disconnected these facilities can be in Gangbuk. Aside from Gunja station (which has utterly bizarre stair placement), taking an escalator/elevator only route is a highly circuiticious detour compared to the stairs option. Sometimes there’ll be an escalator/elevator at one end of the platform up to the concourse, but then the next escalator/elevator towards the surface will be somewhere roughly above the other end of the platform.

    Paul 2 years ago Reply

    • Thanks for the comment Paul. I definitely agree there should be more consistency. Some stations will have an escalator, stairs and then escalator or some other variation.

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply

  • Thanks for posting this feature.

    Philip Partington 2 years ago Reply

  • Is there any information about the comparative age of the subway stations?

    Alex 2 years ago Reply

    • Hi Alex, I haven’t seen anything specifically. If one had a lot of time it wouldn’t be too hard to put together seeing as many stations opened as part of lines at the same time. I’ll post if I do find anything though.

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply

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