Seoul Metropolitan Subway

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Seoul Metropolitan Subway
South Korea subway logo.svg
Native name 수도권 전철
Sudogwon Jeoncheol
Owner Government of South Korea, Seoul City, Incheon City, Bucheon City, Uijeongbu City, Yongin City and private companies
Locale Seoul, South Korea
Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, Chungcheongnam-do, Gangwon-do
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 18
Number of stations 627 total[citation needed]
512 if transfer stations are counted as one
Daily ridership 9.8 million (2012)
Annual ridership 2,619 million (2013, Lines 1-9)[1]
Began operation 15 August 1974; 40 years ago (1974-08-15)
Operator(s) Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, Korail, Incheon Transit Corporation, and private rapid transit operators
System length 331.5 km (206.0 mi) (Seoul Metro / SMRT / Line 9 only)[2][3]
987.5 km (613.6 mi)[3] (all lines)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
System map

Seoul subway linemap en.svg

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway has been described as the world's longest multi-operator metro system by route length.[4] It consists of 18 lines that serve the Seoul Metropolitan Area.[Note 1][Note 2][Note 3][5]

The system was rated the world's best subway system by CNN,[6] Jalopnik,[7] and nicknamed "super highway" by the BBC.[8] It is notable for its cleanliness and ease of use along with advanced technology such as 4G LTE, WiFi, DMB, and WiBro accessible in all stations and moving subway cars. Most trains have digital TV screens, and all of them have air conditioning and climate controlled seats installed that are automatically heated in the winter. Nearly all stations have platform screen doors installed; only Gaewha and some minor Korail-operated stations remain with open platforms.[9] Since 2010, all Seoul Metro stations feature the world's largest digital signage service,[10] which are smartphone-like 46" touchscreen kiosk stands called Digital View provided by Daum that have many apps, such as maps with Google Street View-like features, tourist guides, and free phone calls. The world's first virtual mart for smartphone users opened at Seolleung Station in 2011.[6]

All lines use the T-money smart payment system using RFID and NFC technology for automatic payment by T-money smart cards, smartphones, or credit cards and one can transfer to any of the other line within the system for free.[Note 4]

Seoul Subway is the world's only metro system to use full-color LCD screens at all stations to display real-time subway arrival times,[11] which are also available on apps for smartphones.[12] In 2014, it became the world's first metro operator to use transparent displays for ads when it installed 48 transparent displays on major stations of Line 2 in Gangnam District.[13]

All directional signs in the system are written in Korean, English and Hanja. In trains there are in addition many LCD screens giving service announcements, upcoming stop names, YTN news, stock prices and animated shorts. There are also prerecorded voice announcements that give the upcoming station, any possible line transfer, and the exiting side in Korean, followed by English. At major stations, this is followed by Japanese, then Mandarin Chinese, as well.[14]

Lines & Channels[edit]

Line Name
Line Name
Starting Station(s)
Ending Station(s)
Total Length
Line 1
1호선 Soyosan Incheon / Sinchang / Gwangmyeong / Seodongtan 114 200.6 km (total)
7.8 km (Seoul Metro)[2]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
Line 2
2호선 City Hall / Seongsu / Sindorim City Hall / Sinseol-dong / Kkachisan 51 60.2 km[2] Seoul Metro Seoul City
Line 3
3호선 Daehwa Ogeum 44 57.4 km (total)
38.2 km (Seoul Metro)[2]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
Line 4
4호선 Dangogae Oido 51 71.5 km (total)
31.7 km (Seoul Metro)[2]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
Line 5
5호선 Banghwa Sangil-dong / Macheon 51 52.3 km[2] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
Line 6
6호선 Eungam Bonghwasan 38 35.1 km[2] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
Line 7
7호선 Jangam Bupyeong-gu Office 51 57.1 km[2] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City / Bucheon City / Incheon City
Line 8
8호선 Amsa Moran 17 17.7 km[2] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
Line 9
9호선 Gaehwa Sports Complex 47 31.4 km[2] Seoul Metro Line9 Corporation / Seoul Metro Seoul City / Seoul Metro Line9 Corporation
공항철도 Seoul Station Incheon International Airport 13 58.0 km Korail Airport Railroad Government of South Korea
Gyeongui–Jungang Line
경의·중앙선 Munsan Yongmun 52 124.5 km Korail Government of South Korea
Gyeongchun Line
경춘선 Sangbong Chuncheon 22 80.7 km Korail Government of South Korea
Bundang Line
분당선 Wangsimni Suwon 36 52.9 km Korail Government of South Korea
Suin Line
수인선 Oido Songdo 10 13.1 km Korail Government of South Korea
Shinbundang Line
신분당선 Gangnam Jeongja 6 17.3 km Sinbundang Line & NeoTrans Government of South Korea / Sinbundang Line & NeoTrans
Incheon Line 1
인천 1호선 Gyeyang International Business District 29 29.4 km Incheon Transit Incheon City
용인 경전철 Giheung Jeondae – Everland 15 18.1 km Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation Yongin City / Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation
U Line
의정부 경전철 Balgok Tapseok 15 11.1 km Uijeongbu LRT Corporation Uijeongbu City / Uijeongbu LRT Corporation


Rolling stock[edit]

Fares and ticketing[edit]

T-money smart card

The current single-use ticket is a credit card-sized plastic card with RFID technology, which can be obtained from automated machines in every subway station. A 500 won deposit fee is included in the price, and is refunded when the ticket is returned at any station. Multiple use cards are sold in convenience stores or can be integrated with certain debit cards.

Fares (except for single-use tickets) are currently 1,050 won for a trip up to 10 km, with 100 won added for each subsequent 5 km.[15] Single-use ticket users must pay 100 won extra. Shinbundang Line, EverLine and U Line add flat extra charges, which amount to 900, 200 and 300 won respectively. All lines allow free transfers to each other and buses. Half-priced children's tickets are available. Riders may also enter the system using a transportation card such as T-money, Upass, and KB Free Pass. The city government also uses 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.

Current construction[edit]

Opening 2015[edit]

Opening 2016[edit]

Opening 2017[edit]

Opening 2018[edit]

Opening 2019[edit]

  • Line 1 will be extended north from Dongducheon Station with five stations to Yeoncheon Station. The existing line is being double-tracked with the introduction of metro trains and services. Construction will complete in 2019.[28]

Opening 2020[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The general provisions of Seoul Metro's Terms of Passenger Transport, SMRT's Terms of Passenger Transport and Shinbundang Line's Terms of Passenger Transport all define Seoul Metropolitan Subway as follows:
    제3조(정의) Article 3 (Definition) 5. "도시철도"라 함은 도시철도법에 따라 서울메트로구간과 연락운송하는 노선(이하 "도시철도구간"이라 합니다) 및 그 부대설비, 열차 등을 통틀어 말합니다..
    Translation: The metro, as constituted by the metro law, refers to the jointly operated lines with Seoul Metro (called "sections of metro" from now) and its supplementary equipments, trains, etc. collectively.
    4. "연락운송"이라 함은 도시철도법 제17조에 따라 서울메트로구간과 한국철도광역전철구간, 서울도시철도구간, 인천교통공사구간, 서울시메트로9호선구간, 코레일공항철도 검암~서울역, 신분당선구간을 서로 연속하여 여객을 운송하는 것을 말합니다.
    Translation: "Joint operation", as defined by metro law Article 17, refers to the continuous transport of passengers by the sections of Seoul Metro, Korail Metropolitan Subway, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, Incheon Transit, Seoul Metro Line 9, Korail Airport Railroad Geomam~Seoul Station and Shinbundang Line
  2. ^ Terms of Passenger Transport, Incheon Transit 제3조(정의) 이 약관에서 사용하는 용어의 정의는 다음 각 호와 같습니다.
    Translation: Article 3 (Definition) The definition of the term used in this clause is as follows.
    1. “수도권 도시철도”란 인천교통공사, 서울메트로, 서울특별시도시철도공사, 서울시메트로9호선(주), 코레일공항철도(주), 신분당선(주)가 운영하는 구간 및 한국철도공사가 운영하는 광역전철 구간을 말합니다.
    Translation: "Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit" refers to the sections of metropolitan subways operated by Incheon Transit, Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, Seoul Metro Line 9, Korail Airport Railroad, Shinbundang Line and Korail.
    (개정 (Amended) 2009. 8. 20, 2009. 10. 5, 2011. 7. 15, 2011. 12. 23, 2012. 2. 21)
  3. ^ Terms of Passenger Transport, Korail Airport Railroad 제2조(정의) 이 약관에서 사용하는 용어의 정의는 다음과 같습니다.
    Translation: The definition of the terms used in this provision is as follows.
    “수도권도시철도”라 함은 서울메트로, 서울특별시도시철도공사, 인천교통공사, 서울시메트로9호선(주), 신분당선(주)가 운영하는 도시철도구간 및 한국철도공사가 운영하는 광역전철구간을 말합니다. (개정 ‘13.12.13).
    Translation: "Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit" refers to the sections of metro operated by Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, Incheon Transit, Seoul Metro Line 9 and Shinbundang Line and metropolitan subways operated by Korail. (Amended ‘13.12.13)
  4. ^ With the exception of AREX on Yeongjong Island (extra charge applied depending on distance) and Shinbundang Line (extra flat charge of 700KRW). EverLine and U Line will allow free transfers from 2014.


  1. ^ "Subway Passenger Transportation". City of Seoul. Retrieved 2014-07-14.  (You can select English from the language dropdown that reads "한국어")
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 지하철건설현황 [Status of Subway Construction] (in Korean). Seoul City Government. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b Beijing's Incredible Subway Expansion In One GIF. The World Post. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-31. 
  4. ^ "The world's longest metro and subway systems". Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  5. ^ 2012 Korail Statistics See p.400 for Seoul Metropolitan Subway (수도권 전철).
  6. ^ a b "What are the world's best metro systems?". CNN. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  7. ^ The Best Subway Systems In The World
  8. ^ "Underground world: Seoul's 'super highway' v London's 'rude tube'". BBC News. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  9. ^ Screen doors installed in the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. (5 May 2009). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  10. ^ 이웃집블로거 빌시 : 네이버 블로그. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "9호선/수도권 전철 읍데이트들 - Misc Subway Updates" (Blog). Rick&Nyo. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "DX Line 홈페이지에 오신것을 환영합니다" (in Korean). Shin Bundang. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ 박원순 "경전철 신림·동북선 올해 착공 가능" (in Korean). Yonhap News. 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ 김포도시철도사업 (in Korean). Gimpo City. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^

External links[edit]