Seoul Metropolitan Subway

Seoul Metropolitan Subway

Infobox Public transit
name = Seoul Subway

imagesize = 250px
locale = Seoul, South Korea
Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, Chungcheongnam-do
transit_type = Rapid transit
began_operation = 1974
ended_operation =
system_length = 287 km (179.4 mi)
lines = 10
vehicles =
stations = 266
ridership =
track_gauge = RailGauge|sg
reporting marks =
operator = Seoul Metro
owner = Seoul Metropolitan City Government
Korea Rail Network Authority

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is one of the most heavily used rapid transit systems in the world, with well over 8 million trips daily on the system's ten lines (total figures for Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation & Korean Railroad commuter lines). The system serves Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi province and northern Chungnam province and connects with the single-line Incheon Subway system. There is a connection (not a free transfer) to the Incheon International Airport Railroad (A'REX) at Gimpo Airport Station on Line 5. Over 70% of the total metro track length is underground.

The Seoul Subway is considered user friendly for non-Koreans since all directional signs are written in both Korean and English, and the voice announcement in the trains indicating the upcoming station, possible line transfer and exiting side are all said in Korean, followed by English. However Line 2 (Green Line) has additional side lines and at times passengers will be told to exit the train and board the following train instead. These broadcasts are in Korean only and therefore do lead to confusion for foreign travelers. Station signs and some maps also display traditional Chinese.


The subway is operated by three different organisations:

*Korail; 한국철도공사 (Bundang Line, Jungang Line, most of Line 1, and parts of Lines 3 & 4). An average of 2,177,000 people use Korail's Seoul commuter lines daily cite web|url=|title= Transportation: Subway|publisher=Seoul Metropolitan Government|accessdate=2007-08-07] .

*Seoul Metro; 서울메트로 (Line 2, "underground section" of Line 1, and large parts of Lines 3 & 4). The corporation runs a total of 199 trains at 115 stations on lines 1-4. Generally, operation intervals are 2.5 -3 minutes during rush hours and 4-6 minutes during non-rush hours. An average of 3,879,000 passengers use subway lines 1-4 daily .

*Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation; 서울특별시도시철도공사 (SMRT) (Lines 5, 6, 7, and 8). An average of 2,037,000 passengers use subway lines 5-8 daily .

The operators for lines currently under construction (see below) are as follows:

* [ Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation] for Line 9
* [ Shin Bundang Line Corporation] for the New Bundang Line
* [ Yongin Light Rail Corporation] for the EverLine Rapid Transit System


The subway lines and their operators and colours are as follows:


The Korail, the forerunner of the Seoul Metro, began operating Line 1 in 1974. Lines 2, 3, and 4 followed in the late 1970s and 1980s. The SMRT was formed in 1994 to take over operation of lines 5 to 8.



Ticket prices start at 1,000 won for a trip up to 10km (6 miles), with 100 won added for each 5km (3 miles) after that. Half-price children's tickets are available. Riders may also enter the system using a transportation card such as T-money, Upass, and KB Free Pass. There is a 100 won discount for using a transportation card. The city government is planning to use Seoul Citypass as a transportation card. Senior citizens and disabled people qualify for free transit and can get a free ticket or enter and exit using side gates rather than turnstiles.

New construction

Two new subway lines are currently under construction and have yet to open:
*Line 9 will run east from Gimpo Airport along the south bank of the Han River. Construction of the first phase began in April 2002 and is due for completion in 2008. []
*New Bundang Line will be a new line from Gangnam in Seoul to Jeongja in Bundang, Seongnam. Construction is due to be completed in 2010.

Several existing lines are also currently undergoing extension:
*Line 3 will be extended south from Suseo to Garak Market and Ogeum, interchanging with lines 8 and 5 respectively, by 2009. []
* By 2008, the Bundang Line will be extended north from Seolleung to Wangsimni and south to Yongin and Suwon, with eventual plans for it to link up with a new "Su-in" (Suwon-Incheon) line in two parts all the way to Incheon, completing, together with a section of Line 4, a southern outer semicircle. []
*Line 7 will be extended west by 6.1 miles (9.8km) from Onsu to meet the Incheon Subway at Bupyeong-gu Office. Nine new stations will be added by 2010.

There are several major works still in the planning stage:
* A 10km (6.25 mile) extension to the New Bundang Line (see above) northward from Gangnam to Yongsan is under consideration. If approved, the project is estimated to cost at least 400 billion won [] .
* By the end of 2011, Seoul City plans to build a 10.72km (6.7 mile) 'light' subway line from Ui-dong to Sinseol Dong in northern Seoul [] . The line is expected to carry 110,000 passengers a day and will have 12 stations. It will connect to Line 4 at Sungshin Women's University, Line 6 at Bomun and Sinseol Dong (Lines 1 & 2).
*EverLine Rapid Transit System will be a new line branching off the Bundang Line extension and running east into Yongin and then to the theme park Everland. []
* An extension of the Jungang Line from Deokso is also planned. This should eventually terminate at Yongmun. []

For more details on new projects, see [] (in Korean)

ee also

* Incheon Subway
* List of Korea-related topics
* List of rapid transit systems
* List of urban rail systems by length
* Seoul Metropolitan Subway stations
* Top 10 metro systems in terms of annual passenger rides
* Top 10 metro systems in terms of number of stations
* Transportation in South Korea


External links

*Official Homepages
** [ Korail]
** [ Seoul Metro]
** [ Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation]
** [ Cyber Station - Map, station and route finder]
*City Government
** [ Seoul Metropolitan Government - Subway General Information]
** [ English-language WMV video] describing Seoul Subway history, current construction and future projects

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