Seoul Metropolitan Subway
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is a metropolitan railway system consisting of 22 rapid transit, light metro, commuter rail and people mover lines located in northwest South Korea. The system serves most of the Seoul Metropolitan Area including the Incheon metropolis and satellite cities in Gyeonggi province. Some regional lines in the network stretch out beyond the Seoul Metropolitan Area to rural areas in northern Chungnam province and western Gangwon province, that lie over 100 km away from the capital.
|Native name||수도권 전철|
|Owner||Government of South Korea, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Incheon Metropolitan City, Bucheon City, Uijeongbu City, Yongin City and private companies|
|Locale||Seoul Capital Area|
|Transit type||Rapid transit, Commuter rail|
|Number of lines||22|
|Number of stations||728|
|Annual ridership||1.91 billion (2017, Lines 1-9, Seoul Subway) |
1.16 billion (2017, Korail)
|Began operation||15 August 1974 (47 years ago)|
|Operator(s)||Seoul Metro, Korail, Incheon Transit Corporation, and private rapid transit operators|
|System length||353.2 km (219.5 mi) (Seoul Metro / Line 9, Seoul Light Rail Transit)|
1,182.7 km (734.9 mi) (all lines)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Seoul Metropolitan Subway|
|Revised Romanization||Sudogwon Jeoncheol|
The network consists of numbered lines 1 through 9, which serve Seoul City proper and its surroundings and other specifically named regional railways that serve the greater metropolitan region and beyond. Most of the system is operated by three companies – Seoul Metro, Korail (Korea National Railroad) and Metro 9. However, there are several other lines that stretch out to regional provinces.
Its first metro line, Line 1, started construction in 1971 and opened in 1974, with through-operation to Korail suburban railways. Today, the network is one of the largest and most efficient urban railway systems in the world, with 331.5 km (206.0 mi) of track on lines 1–9 alone; wireless and internet service on all trains; and platform screen doors at almost all stations.
The first line of the Seoul Subway network started construction in 1971. The first section of subway was built using the cheaper cut and cover construction method. Despite initial plans to rely heavily on Japanese technology, construction of the line was primarily a domestic effort with domestic technology. Line 1 opened in 1974 with through services joining surrounding Korail suburban railway lines similar to the Tokyo subway. Today, many of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway's lines are operated by Korail, South Korea's national passenger and freight railway operator. This is similar to Europe and Japan, where the national railroad often operates local mainline urban railways, such as the S-Bahns in Germany, operated by subsidiaries of Deutsche Bahn, or JR East in Japan, which operates many other urban rail systems in Japanese cities.
It has been described as the world's longest multi-operator metro system by route length. 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 trains. Nearly all stations have platform screen doors installed; only Gaewha and some minor Korail-operated stations remain with open platforms. By 2017, Korail will completely install screen doors in every station and platform. The world's first virtual mart for smartphone users opened at Seolleung station in 2011.
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. Seoul Subway uses full-color LCD screens at all stations to display real-time subway arrival times, which are also available on apps for smartphones. 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. 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 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 1]
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.
Line 1, from Seongbuk station to Incheon station and Suwon station, opened on 15 August 1974. On 9 December 1978, the Yongsan-Cheongnyangni line (now part of the Jungang Line) was added to Line 1. Line 2 opened on 10 October 1980. In 1985, the fare system changed from charging by distance to zone and the Edmondson railway ticket changed to a magnetic paper ticket. Line 4 opened on 20 April 1985, and Line 3 on 12 July. On 1 April 1994, the Indeogwon-Namtaeryeong extension of Line 4 opened. The Bundang Line, from Suseo station to Ori station, opened on 1 September. On 15 November 1995, Line 5 opened. The Jichuk-Daehwa extension of Line 3 opened on 30 January 1996. On 20 March, the Kkachisan-Sindorim extension of Line 2 opened. Line 7 opened on 11 October, and Line 8 on 23 November. On 6 October 1999, Incheon Subway Line 1 opened.
Seoul Subway Line 6 opened on 7 August 2000. In 2004 the fare system reverted to charging by distance, and free bus transfers were introduced. The Byeongjeom-Cheonan extension of Line 1 opened on 20 January 2005. On 16 December, the Jungang Line from Yongsan station to Deokso station opened. The Uijeongbu-Soyosan extension of Line 1 opened and shuttle service from Yongsan station to Gwangmyeong station began (with the route now shortened from Yeongdeungpo to Gwangmyeong) on 15 December 2006. On 23 March 2007, AREX opened. The Deokso-Paldang extension of the Jungang Line opened on 27 December. On 15 December 2008, the Cheonan-Sinchang extension of Line 1 opened. The magnetic paper ticket changed to an RFID-based card on 1 May 2009. On 1 July the Gyeongui Line from Seoul Station to Munsan station opened, and on 24 July Line 9 from Gaehwa station to Sinnonhyeon station opened.
The Byeongjeom-Seodongtan extension of Line 1 opened on 26 February 2010, and the Gyeongchun Line opened on 21 December. On 28 October 2011, the Shinbundang Line from Gangnam station to Jeongja station opened. The Suin Line, from Oido station to Songdo station, opened on 30 June 2012. The U Line opened on 1 July, the Onsu-Bupyeong-gu Office extension of Line 7 on 27 October and the Gongdeok-Gajwa extension of the Gyeongui Line on 15 December. On 26 April 2013 EverLine opened, and the Gyeongui·Jungang Line opened on 27 December 2014. The Sinnonhyeon-Sports Complex extension of Line 9 opened on 28 March 2015. On 30 January 2016 the Jeongja-Gwanggyo extension of the Shinbundang Line opened, followed by the Songdo-Incheon extension of the Suin Line on 27 February. Incheon Subway Line 2 opened on 30 July, and the Gyeonggang Line on 24 September. The Gyeongui-Jungang Line is extended one station east to Jipyeong station on 21 January 2017, with 4 round trips to Jipyeong station. On 16 June 2018 the Seohae Line opened. Magongnaru station on Line 9 became an interchange station with AREX on 29 September 2018. Bundang line is extended northeastward to Cheongnyangni station, allowing for connections to the Gyeongchun Line and regional rail services on 31 December 2018. On 28 September 2019, the Gimpo Goldline opened as the newest line in the Seoul Metropolitan Subway system
Lines and branchesEdit
The system is organized such that numbered lines, with some exceptions, are considered as urban rapid transit lines located within the Seoul National Capital Area (SNCA), whereas wide-area commuter lines operated by Korail provide a metro-like commuter rail service that usually extends far beyond the boundaries of the SNCA, rather similar to the RER in Paris. The AREX is an airport rail link that links Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport to central Seoul, and offers both express service directly to Incheon International Airport and all-stop commuter service for people living along the vicinity of the line. While operating hours may vary depending on the line in question, the Seoul Metropolitan Subway generally operates from 5.30 a.m. until 1 a.m. on weekdays, and from 5.30 a.m. until midnight on weekends.
Fares and ticketingEdit
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway system operates on a unified transportation fare system, meaning that subways and buses in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do are treated as one system 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.
Fare payments in Seoul are mainly handled by T-money and Cash Bee, which can also be used on buses, convenience stores and many other popular retail places. Riders must touch in a phone, card or other metro card and 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 50 km has been passed, 100 won will be added every 8 km. Single-use ticket users must pay RFID deposit 500 won plus 100 won surcharge to fare.
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.
International travelers can also use a Metropolitan Pass (MPASS) which provides up to 20 trips per day during the prepaid duration of 1 day to 7 days. Depending on where you purchase the card, the service is limited to the Seoul metropolitan area or Jeju Island and does not work in taxis or certain convenience stores.
- Line 7 will be extended west from Bupyeong-gu Office station to Seongnam station on 22 May 2021, offering a transfer to Incheon Subway Line 2. The extension was slated to be opened in June 2020 but the opening was repeatedly delayed.[why?]
- Tangjeong station, between Asan station and Baebang station on Seoul Subway Line 1, will open as an in-fill station in August 2021 once redevelopment of the area surrounding it is completed.
- The Gyeongui–Jungang Line will be extended north again by September 2021 from Imjingang station to Dorasan station. Uncheon station, a previously closed station that lies on the line, will be opened a few months later in December 2021.
- Line 4 will be extended northeast from Danggogae station to Jinjeop station in December 2021.
- Hagik station, between Songdo station and Inha University station on the Suin–Bundang Line, will open as an in-fill station once redevelopment of the area surrounding it is completed. This area will feature cultural, commercial, and medical facilities along with new residential areas.
- The Shinbundang Line will be extended north from Gangnam station to Sinsa station on 29 January 2022.
- Further extensions involving the line crossing the Han River are in planning stages.
- The Sillim Line, a light metro line in southwestern Seoul, is scheduled to open in June 2022. The 11-station underground LRT line will provide transfers to Lines 1, 2, 7, and 9 before terminating in the south at Seoul National University.
- Line 1 will be extended north from Soyosan station to Yeoncheon station in December 2022, after the existing line is upgraded and double-tracked.
- The Seohae Line will be extended north in the earlier half of 2023 from Sosa station to Daegok station, with transfers to Line 3 and the Gyeongui-Jungang Line at Daegok. There will also be transfers to Line 5, 9, AREX, and the Gimpo Goldline at Gimpo International Airport station, as well as Line 4 at Bucheon Stadium station. Service will run up to Ilsan station.
- Line 8 will be extended north from Amsa station to Byeollae station on the Gyeongchun Line in September 2023, with a transfer to the Gyeongui-Jungang Line at Guri station.
- The Sinansan Line will open in 2024. The line will start at Yeouido station and split into two branches: one to Hanyang University ERICA Campus station, and one to Songsan station on the Seohae Line. The second branch will partly share tracks with the Seohae Line and the Gyeonggang Line.
- The Dongbuk Line, a light metro line in northeastern Seoul, is scheduled to open in early 2025 with 14 stations between Wangsimni station and Eunhaeng Sageori station.
- The Wirye–Sinsa Line, a light metro line in southeastern Seoul, will open between Sinsa station and Wirye with 11 stations planned.
- The Wirye Line, another light metro line in southeastern Seoul, will open between Macheon station on Line 5 and splitting into two branches: one at Bokjeong station on Line 8 and Bundang line, and one at Unam station, a station planned on Line 8, with 12 stations planned.
- Line 7 may be extended 3 stations northwards to Okjeong station in Yangju, with a transfer with Tapseok station on the U Line by 2024. It is also scheduled to extend from Seongnam station to Cheongna International City station in 2027, with a transfer with AREX. 
- Gangbukhoengdan Line, a new line running in an arc north of Seoul between Cheongnyangni station and Mok-dong station with 19 stations planned. The line will provide transfers to Lines 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, AREX, Gyeongui–Jungang, Gyeongchun, Bundang and Ui line.
- Ui LRT will open a branch line from Solbat Park station to Banghak station on Line 1, the extension will open with 3 stations.
- Myeonmok Line is a light metro in the northeastern area of Seoul running between Cheongnyangni station and Sinnae station with 12 stations and connections to the Gyeongchun Line and Line 6.
- Nangok Line is a branch of the light metro Sillim Line in the southwestern area of Seoul running between Nangok-dong and Boramae Park with 5 stations planned.
- Mok-dong Line is a light metro in southwestern Seoul running between Sinwol-dong and Dangsan station on line 2, with 12 stations planned.
- Seobu Line in Western Seoul will open between Saejeol station on line 6 and Seoul National University station on line 2 with 16 stations planned.
- Line 9 will open a new phase 4 expansion from Gangil to Gangil 1-dong.
- Line 4 will start running express services between Danggogae station and Namtaeryeong station.
- Line 5 will start running shuttle services connecting Gubeundari station on the mainline and Dunchon-dong station on the Macheon Branch.
- The Sillim Line will be connected to Seobu Line with a track between Seoul National University station (Line 2) and Seoul National University station (Sillim Line).
The Incheon Metropolitan government is working on the Second Incheon Metro Network Construction Plan that inherits the Incheon Metro Network Construction Plan published in 2016. It includes the construction of five new tram lines. The draft is expected to be released in October 2020. 
- Incheon Subway line 3 is planned to be a semi-circular subway line of Incheon. It will intersect at Korail line 1 at Dowon station and Dongmak station at Incheon Subway line 1.
- 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.
- Of which 192.8 km is operated by Korail and 7.8 km by Seoul Metro.
- Of which 19.2 km is operated by Korail and 38.2 km by Seoul Metro.
- Of which 40.4 km is operated by Korail and 31.7 km by Seoul Metro.
- "자료실 : 알림마당>자료실>자료실". www.seoulmetro.co.kr.
- http://info.korail.com/mbs/www/subview.jsp?id=www_020203010000 Korail
- 2012 Korail Statistics See p.400 for Seoul Metropolitan Subway (수도권 전철). Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of South Korea: Definition of Urban Rail and Wide-area Rail". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012.
- "Seoul Metropolitan Subway". railway-technology.com. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- "서울 지하철 1호선" (in Korean). Seoul Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- scaadmin (31 July 2015). "[Metro] Construction of the Seoul Metro – the Driver behind Sustainable Urban Growth & Change". 서울아카이브 Seoul Solution. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
- "Seoul's first subway line opened in 1974". Korea Times. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "Introducing Korail". Korail. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- "The world's longest metro and subway systems". Railway-technology.com. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "What are the world's best metro systems?". CNN. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Raphael Orlove. "The Best Subway Systems In The World". Jalopnik.
- "Underground world: Seoul's 'super highway' v London's 'rude tube'". BBC News. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Screen doors installed in the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Koreatimes.co.kr (5 May 2009). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.
- "대중교통 커뮤니티 - SBM (철도, 버스 이용자들의 공간) : 네이버 카페". cafe.naver.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "10 Reasons Why the Seoul Subway System is the Best". Seoulistic. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "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.
- Malang Studio Co. Ltd. "Subway Korea - Android Apps on Google Play". google.com.
- 문화일보 [Munhwailbo] (16 May 2006). "<오후여담>좌측통행" [<Afternoon digression> left side of the road]. Naver (in Korean). Naver Corp. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "내년 지하철 9호선 마곡나루역 급행역사로 전환". 이데일리. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Metro Lines & Trains in Operation". Korail. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- 지하철건설현황 [Status of Subway Construction] (in Korean). Seoul City Government. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Southern portion of inter-Korean railway to reopen". Hankyoreh. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- "Final Bundang Line Extension Opens". Kojects. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "우이신설도시철도에 오신결 환영합니다". www.ui-line.com. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "무인운전 시스템의 장점" (in Korean). Shinbundang Line & NeoTrans. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "노선안내" (in Korean). Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "사업개요" (in Korean). Uijeongbu LRT Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- "경기철도주식회사 - 신분당선". shinbundang2.co.kr. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "9호선/수도권 전철 읍데이트들 - Misc Subway Updates" Check
|url=value (help) (Blog). Rick&Nyo. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Exclusive Tourist Cards". Korea Tourism Organization. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Tmoney Only for Foreigners: We would like to introduce Tmoney for Foreign Tourists". T-Money. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "수도권 잇는 철도망 잇따라 개통… "출퇴근 편해지겠네"". KBS 뉴스.
- ""25분 거리를 10분만에… 지역경제도 살아났으면"… 27일 완전 재개통 앞둔 수인선 시범 운행". news.kmib.co.kr. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "固贰枚档DB". wo.to.
- "김영선 "대곡-소사 복선전철 사업 예산확보 힘쓸 터"". www.newsprime.co.kr. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "강동롯데캐슬 퍼스트와 8호선 연장". 네이버 블로그 | 부를 끌어당기는 감각적인 부동산 아티스트.
- "속도내는 동북선 경전철…2019년 착공". www.hani.co.kr. 24 July 2017.
- "위례신사선 민자사업, 추진 확정..2021년께 착공 예상". 뉴스핌. 25 October 2018.
- "서울 경전철 위례선 - 나무위키".
- "서울지하철 7호선 청라 연장사업 본궤도 진입…설계 착수". 연합뉴스. 4 May 2020.
- 수정: 2019-02-20 17:58, 기사입력: 20 February 2019 11:00 L. (20 February 2019). "[서울 도시철도망]강북횡단선 등 경전철 6개 노선 신설…서울 교통지도 바뀐다". 이투데이.
- "News View :: The World On Arirang".
- "2028년까지 목동~청량리 잇는 강북횡단선 등 경전철 6개 노선 신설". news.chosun.com. 20 February 2019.
- "우이신설역 연장 추진 확정, 솔밭공원~방학역 연결". 우먼컨슈머.
- "[서울 도시철도망] 면목선, 동대문·중랑 상습정체 구간 해소". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
- "[서울 도시철도망] 난곡선, 남부순환로 이남 주거 밀집지 연결". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
- "[서울 도시철도망] 목동선, 서부서울 철도 사각지대 해소". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
- ""강북보다 서부"..서울도시철도 수혜는 은평·신림·여의도". 뉴스핌. 21 February 2019.
- "강동구 지하철 9호선 강일동 연장안 서울시 도시철도망 반영". 아시아경제. 21 February 2019.
- "인천시 철도과, 12월 국토부 '제2차 도시철도망구축계획' 승인 신청". 인천투데이. 16 September 2020.
|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