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 Capital Area
Transit type Rapid transit, Commuter rail
Number of lines 18
Annual ridership 2.619 billion (2013, Lines 1-9)[1]
1.027 billion (2012, Korail)[2]
Began operation 15 August 1974; 41 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)[3][4]
999.5 km (621.1 mi)[4] (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 is an integrated urban rail transit system consisting of 18 rapid transit, light metro, and commuter rail lines. The system serves most of the Seoul Metropolitan Area including the Incheon metropolis and satellite cities in Gyeonggi province along with major cities in northern Chungnam province and western Gangwon province that lie over 100km away from the capital.[5][Note 1][Note 2][Note 3]

It has been described as the world's longest multi-operator metro system by route length.[6] The system was rated as one of the world's best subway systems by CNN,[7] and Jalopnik[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.[9] 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.[10] By 2017, Korail will completely install screen doors in every station and platform, making it the world's first major metro system to be fully screen-doored.[11] The world's first virtual mart for smartphone users opened at Seolleung Station in 2011.[7]

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,[12] which are also available on apps for smartphones.[13] 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.[12]

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]

Trains on numbered lines generally run on the right-hand track, while trains on the named lines (e.g. Shinbundang Line, Bundang Line, and AREX) run on the left-hand track. The exceptions are the trains on Line 1, as well as those on Line 4 south of Namtaeryeong Station. These lines run on the left-hand track because these rail lines are operated by Korail, South Korea's national railway operator.[15]

Lines and branches[edit]

Line name
Line name
Termini Stations Total length Operator Owner
     Seoul Metro Line 1.png Line 1 1호선 Soyosan Incheon / Sinchang / Gwangmyeong / Seodongtan 114 192.8 km (Korail)[16]
7.8 km (Seoul Metro)[3]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 2.png Line 2 2호선 City Hall / Seongsu / Sindorim City Hall / Sinseol-dong / Kkachisan 51 60.2 km[3] Seoul Metro Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 3.png Line 3 3호선 Daehwa Ogeum 44 19.2 km (Korail)[16]
38.2 km (Seoul Metro)[3]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 4.png Line 4 4호선 Dangogae Oido 51 40.4 km (Korail)[16]
31.7 km (Seoul Metro)[3]
Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 5.png Line 5 5호선 Banghwa Sangil-dong / Macheon 51 52.3 km[3] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 6.png Line 6 6호선 Eungam Bonghwasan 38 35.1 km[3] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 7.png Line 7 7호선 Jangam Bupyeong-gu Office 51 57.1 km[3] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City / Bucheon City / Incheon City
     Seoul Metro Line 8.png Line 8 8호선 Amsa Moran 17 17.7 km[3] Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Seoul City
     Seoul Metro Line 9.png Line 9 9호선 Gaehwa Sports Complex 30 31.4 km[3] Seoul Metro Line9 Corporation / Seoul Metro Seoul City / Seoul Metro Line9 Corporation
     Seoul Metro Arex Line.png AREX 공항철도 Seoul Station Incheon International Airport 13 58.0 km[17] Korail Airport Railroad Government of South Korea
     Seoul Metro Gyeongui-Jungang Line.png Gyeongui–Jungang Line 경의·중앙선 Munsan Yongmun 52 121.7 km[18] Korail Government of South Korea
     Seoul Metro Gyeongchun Line.png Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 Sangbong Chuncheon 22 81.3 km[16] Korail Government of South Korea
     Seoul Metro Bundang Line.png Bundang Line 분당선 Wangsimni Suwon 36 46.8 km[16]+5.2 km[19] Korail Government of South Korea
     Seoul Metro Suin Line.png Suin Line 수인선 Oido Songdo 10 13.0 km[16] Korail Government of South Korea
     Seoul Metro Shinbundang Line.png Shinbundang Line 신분당선 Gangnam Gwanggyo 12 31.0 km[20] NeoTrans Government of South Korea / Shinbundang Line & Gyeonggi Railway[21]
     Incheon Metro Line 1.png Incheon Line 1 인천 1호선 Gyeyang International Business District 29 29.4 km[22] Incheon Transit Incheon City
     Seoul Metro EverLine.png EverLine 용인 경전철 Giheung Jeondae – Everland 15 18.1 km[23] Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation Yongin City / Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation
     Seoul Metro U Line.png U Line 의정부 경전철 Balgok Tapseok 15 11.1 km[24] Uijeongbu LRT Corporation Uijeongbu City / Uijeongbu LRT Corporation


Rolling stock[edit]

Fares and ticketing[edit]

T-money smart card

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway system operates on a unified transportation fare system, meaning that subways and buses in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do are not discriminated and treated as one when it comes to fares. For example, a subway rider can transfer to any other line for free (with the exception of Shinbundang Line, EverLine and U Line, which add flat extra charges, amounting to 900, 200 and 300 won respectively). One can also transfer to any city buses for free, regardless of whether it is from Seoul, Incheon or Gyeonggi-do. In the case of Shinbundang Line, if one crosses Jeongja Station, 300 won is charged on top of the 900 won extra charge, although a cashback is offered to frequent riders between Pangyo Station and Dongcheon/Suji-gu Office Station.[25]

Fare payments in Seoul are handled by T-money, which can also be used on buses, convenience stores and many other popular retail places. Riders must touch in a phone, card or other T-money enabled device at the entry gates. Popular methods of payments are using NFC-enabled Android smartphones (topped up or billed to the owner's credit/debit card via the T-money app) or credit or check (debit) cards with built-in RFID technology issued by the bank or card company.

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 and the functionality is included in many credit/debit cards.

Fares (except for single-use tickets) are currently 1,250 won for a trip up to 10 km, with 100 won added for each subsequent 5 km.[26] Once 50km has been passed, 100 won will be added every 8km. Single-use ticket users must pay 100 won extra.

Half-priced children's tickets are available. 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 2016[edit]

Opening 2017[edit]

  • The Suin Line will open Phase 3 in 2017, which is an extension from Suwon Station to Hanyang University at Ansan Station via northern Hwaseong, where it connects with the Bundang Line as a single line.
  • Shinbundang Line will open Migeum Station, a transfer to the existing Bundang Line, on October 2017.[38]
  • Line 9's express trains will increase the number of subway cars from the current 4 cars per train to 6 cars per train from 2017 which is expected to further increase carrying capacity. New trains will continue to enter service until the 2018 extension, at which point carrying capacity is expected to be doubled.[39]

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.[43]

Opening 2020[edit]

  • Line 4 will be extended east from Danggogae Station with three stations to serve the Jinjeop development area, Namyangju. Construction will complete in 2020.[44]
  • Line 5 will be extended east by March 2020 from Pungsan to Hanam city hall and Geomdan Mountain.

Opening 2021[edit]

Opening 2022[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: Urban rail, as constituted by law, refers to the jointly operated lines with Seoul Metro (called "sections of urban rail" 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: "Capital Region Metropolitan Railway" refers to the sections of urban railways 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: "Capital Region Metropolitan Railway" refers to the sections of subways operated by Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, Incheon Transit, Seoul Metro Line 9 and Shinbundang Line and urban railways 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 14 July 2014.  (You can select English from the language dropdown that reads "한국어")
  2. ^ Korail
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 지하철건설현황 [Status of Subway Construction] (in Korean). Seoul City Government. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Beijing's Incredible Subway Expansion In One GIF. The World Post. 29 December 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  5. ^ 2012 Korail Statistics See p.400 for Seoul Metropolitan Subway (수도권 전철). Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "The world's longest metro and subway systems". Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "What are the world's best metro systems?". CNN. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Raphael Orlove. "The Best Subway Systems In The World". Jalopnik. 
  9. ^ "Underground world: Seoul's 'super highway' v London's 'rude tube'". BBC News. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Screen doors installed in the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. (5 May 2009). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b "낙후한 지하철 1~4호선, 첨단 디스플레이 기술로 새단장 나선다" [1-4 outdated subway line, state-of-the-art display technology sets out renovation]. etnews (in Korean). 15 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Malang Studio Co. Ltd,. "Subway Korea - Android Apps on Google Play". 
  14. ^ "10 Reasons Why the Seoul Subway System is the Best". Seoulistic. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  15. ^ 문화일보 [Munhwailbo] (16 May 2006). "<오후여담>좌측통행" [<Afternoon digression> left side of the road]. Naver (in Korean) (Naver Corp.). Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Metro Lines & Trains in Operation". Korail. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  17. ^ "Introduction". Korail Airport Railroad. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  18. ^ "Southern portion of inter-Korean railway to reopen". Hankyoreh. 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  19. ^ "Final Bundang Line Extension Opens". Kojects. 2013-11-30. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  20. ^ "무인운전 시스템의 장점" (in Korean). Shinbundang Line & NeoTrans. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "General information". Incheon Transit Corporation. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  23. ^ "노선안내" (in Korean). Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  24. ^ "사업개요" (in Korean). Uijeongbu LRT Corporation. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "9호선/수도권 전철 읍데이트들 - Misc Subway Updates" (Blog). Rick&Nyo. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "성남~여주 전철건설 후속단계, 전기분야 공사 체결". 
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ "건설을 보는 눈 경제를 읽는 힘". 
  36. ^ 박원순 "경전철 신림·동북선 올해 착공 가능" (in Korean). Yonhap News. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "::우이신설 경전철(주)::". 
  38. ^ "성남시 금곡동에 신분당선 미금역 신설 추진 - 경제투데이". 
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ 이정현. ""9호선 출근대란 막자" 조기 증차·급행버스 운행". 연합뉴스. 
  42. ^ 김포도시철도사업 (in Korean). Gimpo City. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  43. ^ "固贰枚档DB". 
  44. ^ "기공식 앞둔 진접선 101억 분담... 별내선은 9억". 남양주뉴스. 
  45. ^ "지하철 7호선 인천 연장 2년 지연...2020년 개통". KBS 뉴스. 
  46. ^
  47. ^

External links[edit]