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Seoul to Introduce New Subway Fare System

Posted October. 03, 2002 22:44,   


As early as early next year, the city of Seoul will introduce a new fare system for subways that will charge fares depending on distance and time of the day users travel. Starting from the second half of next year, a similar fee system will be introduced to city buses. By 2004, the two will be incorporated into a single transportation fare system.

“To cope better with changes in demand and improve the profit structure of loss-making transportation services, we have decided to introduce the new system,” said Lee Myung-bak, mayor of the metropolis, said on Oct. 3.

The city government also plans to promote the use of public transportation by seeking linkage between subway and bus services.

The new system will apply basic fares during rush hours, discounted fares during daytime and premium fares during nighttime. The discounted rates will run up to as high as 50%, which the government hopes will encourage more people to use public transportation services.

To this end, the city government recently commissioned a research work to the Seoul Development Institute, and plans to set rates on different travel distances early next year when the research is completed. Then it will develop an electronic traffic card system to apply the new fares for subway users by the first half of next year.

Buses will be subject to the new fare system in the second half of next year in time for a bus route reshuffling. The city government expects the new fare system to boost the bottom lines of subway and bus operators by increasing service revenues.

“We are pushing for the new fare system in line with the relocation of the bus-only line and the extension of the subway operating hours,” said Eum Sung-jik, manager at Seoul City Traffic Control Department. “By offering large discounts to those transferring a train for a bus, or a bus to a train, we will be able to help boost subway and bus service revenues as well as ease cost burden on people.”

The city unveiled last month a transportation system overhauling plan that centers on the extension of operating hours of subways and reshuffling of bus lines.

Young-A Soh sya@donga.com