Seoul Subway and Underground system - 33

Seoul Subway and underground system

The real strange thing about transportation in Seoul, is that it is excellent, yet Koreans do not seem to realise it and so often complain about it. The general feeling in Seoul seems to Bus to Seoul Towerbe, that if you are driving there are many traffic jams during the rush hour. In what big city though I wonder, are there not traffic jams during the rush hour. Seoul has probably one of the most efficient transportation systems in the world and it is very cheap to use and it is extensive. I have travelled to over twenty-five countries up until January 1st 2005 and it was Seoul’s transportation system, which has impressed me most. Let me explain why.

Subway Seduction

Koreans believe their subway in Seoul is not very good, yet it is the best that I have ever used. Better than the London Underground, better than the New York subway, better than the Paris Metro. What is so good about the subway system in Seoul?

  1. The trains are very frequent (i.e. every 2 or 3 minutes).
  2. There is a clear queuing system at each station, with a marker marking exactly where the doors to each carriage will open. (I have never seen this idea in any other country).
  3. The subway is very cheap, working out on average to almost a quarter of the price of the London underground.
  4. There are few cancellations (which anyone who has used the London underground, will greatly appreciate)
  5. The network is extensive and the Seoul system is so easy to use.
  6. There are usually excellent facilities at every station. Try finding a toilet in the NY subway or London underground. In Seoul, almost every station has a toilet, newspaper stand and coffee machine on the platform. On many trains there are also televisions showing programs between stops, with station details just before the train arrives at a station.
  7. Wide trains. If you want to experience both extremes, use the London underground and then use the Seoul subway system. The London system is very old, having started in 1863, hence the trains are narrower.

Everything is in Korean and English, including the audio on the train to announce the stops. Westerners should have no problems using this subway system.

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