Seoul Metropolitan Subway
|Native name||수도권 전철
|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, Commuter rail|
|Number of lines||18|
|Number of stations||645 total
512 if transfer stations are counted as one
|Daily ridership||9.8 million (2012)|
|Annual ridership||2,619 million (2013, Lines 1-9)|
|Began operation||15 August 1974|
|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)
987.5 km (613.6 mi) (all lines)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway has been described as the world's longest multi-operator metro system by route length. It is a urban rail transit system consisting of 18 rapid transit, light metro, and commuter rail lines that serve the Seoul Metropolitan Area.[Note 1][Note 2][Note 3]
The system was rated as one of the world's best subway systems by CNN, and Jalopnik 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. The world's first virtual mart for smartphone users opened at Seolleung Station in 2011.
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, which are also available on apps for smartphones. 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.
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.
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.
Lines & Channels
- 15 August 1974: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 1, operating from Seongbuk Station to Incheon Station and Suwon Station.
- 9 December 1978: Yongsan - Cheongnyangni line was added to Line 1. Now part of Jungang Line.
- 10 October 1980: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 2.
- 1985: Fare system changed from charging by distance to zone, Edmondson railway ticket changed to magnetic paper ticket.
- 20 April 1985: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 4.
- 12 July 1985: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 3.
- 1 April 1994: Opening of Indeogwon - Namtaeryeong extension of Seoul Subway Line 4.
- 1 September 1994: Opening of Bundang Line, operating from Suseo Station to Ori Station.
- 15 November 1995: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 5.
- 30 January 1996: Opening of Jichuk - Daehwa extension of Seoul Subway Line 3.
- 20 March 1996: Opening of Kkachisan - Sindorim extension of Seoul Subway Line 2.
- 11 October 1996: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 7.
- 23 November 1996: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 8.
- 6 October 1999: Opening of Incheon Subway Line 1.
- 7 August 2000: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 6.
- 2004: Fare system changed back to charging by distance. Free transfers with buses introduced.
- 20 January 2005: Opening of Byeongjeom - Cheonan extension of Seoul Subway Line 1.
- 16 December 2005: Opening of Jungang Line, operating from Yongsan Station to Deokso Station.
- 15 December 2006: Opening of Uijeongbu - Soyosan extension of Seoul Subway Line 1. Subway cars from Yongsan Station to Gwangmyeong Station begin operating. Now reduced to Yeongdeungpo - Gwangmyeong.
- 23 March 2007: Opening of AREX.
- 27 December 2007: Opening of Deokso - Paldang extension of Jungang Line.
- 15 December 2008: Opening of Cheonan - Sinchang extension of Seoul Subway Line 1.
- 1 May 2009: Magnetic paper ticket changed to RFID based public transportation card.
- 1 July 2009: Opening of Gyeongui Line, operating from Seoul Station to Munsan Station.
- 24 July 2009: Opening of Seoul Subway Line 9, operating from Gaehwa Station to Sinnonhyeon Station.
- 26 February 2010: Opening of Byeongjeom - Seodongtan extension of Seoul Subway Line 1.
- 21 December 2010: Opening of Gyeongchun Line.
- 28 October 2011: Opening of Shinbundang Line, operating from Gangnam Station to Jeongja Station.
- 30 June 2012: Opening of Suin Line, operating from Oido Station to Songdo Station.
- 1 July 2012: Opening of U Line.
- 27 October 2012: Opening of Onsu - Bupyeong-gu Office extension of Seoul Subway Line 7.
- 15 December 2012: Opening of Gongdeok - Gajwa extension of Gyeongui Line.
- 26 April 2013: Opening of EverLine.
- 27 December 2014: Opening of Gyeongui·Jungang Line.
- 28 March 2015: Opening of Sinnonhyeon - Sports Complex extension of Seoul Subway Line 9.
Fares and ticketing
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.
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. 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.
- Underground transfer tunnel between Line 1 and Line 9 at Noryangjin Station and Exit 3-1 will open in 31 October 2015.
- Gyeongui–Jungang Line will open Yadang Station between Unjeong and Tanhyeon in late October 2015.
- Gyeongui–Jungang Line will open Hyochang Park Station in early November 2015 with a transfer to Line 6.
- AREX is scheduled to open Yeongjong Station in December 2015.
- Shinbundang Line's Phase 2 will extend the southern end of the line by five stops to serve Yongin's Suji-gu and Gwanggyo New City. Opening is scheduled for February 2016.
- The Suin Line will open Phase 2 on 27 February 2016, which is an extension from Songdo Station to Incheon Station.
- The Yeoju Line will open in the early half of 2016, being an 11-station line that begins at Shinbundang Line's Pangyo Station, offering a transfer to Bundang Line's Imae Station and crossing the cities of Gwangju, Icheon, terminating at Yeoju.
- Incheon Subway Line 2 is planned to open in July 2016 with 27 stations over 29.3 km from Oryu dong in Seo-gu with a transfer to AREX and KTX at Geomam Station, Line 1 at Juan Station, Incheon Line 1 at Incheon City Hall Station and terminating at Incheon Grand Park.
- The Incheon Airport Maglev will run from Incheon International Airport Station to Yongyu Station in 2016.
- Wolmi Monorail will open on August 2016, following a revised plan to use smaller trains.
- A fully underground line with exclusive right of way named Ui LRT will open in November 2016. IT will be a 11.4 km (7.1 mi) line from Ui-dong to Sinseol Dong in northern Seoul. The line is expected to carry 110,000 passengers per day, and will have 12 stations. It will connect to Line 4 at Sungshin Women's University, Line 6 at Bomun, and Line 1 & Line 2 at Sinseol Dong.
- The Suin Line will open Phase 3 in 2017, which is an extension from Suwon Station to Hanyang University at Ansan Station, where it will connect with the Bundang Line as a single line.
- Shinbundang Line will open Migeum Station, a transfer to the existing Bundang Line, on October 2017.
- In 2017, an express shuttle train will operate fully underground on the 32.7km long Suseo High Speed Railway at 200km/h connecting Gangnam's Suseo Station and Dongtan Station of Dongtan New City, South Korea's largest planned city, in just 15 minutes. It is expected to use spare KTX trainsets.
- The Sosa–Wonsi Line is a 12-station line in Gyeonggi-do connecting Line 1's Sosa Station in Bucheon and Line 4's Choji Station in Ansan. Opening is expected February 2018.
- Line 9 is being extended eastward to Korea Veteran's Hospital Station by 2018, offering a transfer to Line 8 at Seokchon Station and Line 5 at Olympic Park Station.
- Gimpo Line will open in 2018, stretching 23.61 km over 9 stations, terminating at Gimpo Airport Station with transfers to Line 5, 9 and AREX.
- Line 5 will be extended east by December 2018 from Sangil-dong Station with three stations to serve Gangil-dong, Misa New City and the Pungsan development area.
- 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.
- Line 4 will be extended east from Danggogae Station with three stations to serve the Jinjeop development area, Namyangju. Construction will complete in 2020.
- Line 5 will be extended east by March 2020 from Pungsan to Hanam city hall and Geomdan Mountain.
- Line 7 will be extended west from Bupyeong-gu Office Station to Seoknam Station, offering a transfer to Incheon Subway Line 2 in October 2020.
- Sillim Line in southwestern Seoul will open in 2021. The 11-station underground LRT line, which will provide transfers to Lines 1, 2, 7, and 9 before terminating in the south at Seoul National University.
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Official websites by company
- Seoul city government
- The Seoul Underground Subway: Official Seoul Tourism
- English-language WMV video describing Seoul Subway history, current construction and future projects