Seoul Metropolitan Subway

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Seoul Subway
Image:Seoul Subway linemap en.png
LocaleSeoul, South Korea
Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, Chungcheongnam-do
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines8 only including sectors operated by Seoul Metro or SMRT
Number of stations266 only including lines operated by Seoul Metro or SMRT
Began operation1974
OwnerSeoul Metropolitan City Government
Korea Rail Network Authority
Operator(s)Seoul Metro
System length287 km (179.4 mi) only including sectors operated by Seoul Metro or SMRT
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8½ in)

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is one of the most heavily used rapid transit systems in the world, with well over 8 million trips daily on the system's ten lines (total figures for Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation & Korean Railroad commuter lines). The system serves Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi province and northern Chungnam province and connects with the single-line Incheon Subway system. There is a connection (not a free transfer) to the Incheon International Airport Railroad (A'REX) at Gimpo Airport Station on Line 5. Over 70% of the total metro track length is underground.

The Seoul Subway is considered user friendly for non-Koreans since all directional signs are written in both Korean and English, and the voice announcement in the trains indicating the upcoming station, possible line transfer and exiting side are all said in Korean, followed by English. However Line 2 (Green Line) has additional side lines and at times passengers will be told to exit the train and board the following train instead. These broadcasts are in Korean only and therefore do lead to confusion for foreign travelers. Station signs and some maps also display English and traditional Chinese for foreign residents and visitors.



The subway is operated by three different organisations:

  • Seoul Metro; 서울메트로 (Line 2, underground section of Line 1, and large parts of Lines 3 & 4). The corporation runs a total of 199 trains at 115 stations on lines 1-4. Generally, operation intervals are 2.5 -3 minutes during rush hours and 4-6 minutes during non-rush hours. An average of 3,879,000 passengers use subway lines 1-4 daily [1].

The operators for lines currently under construction (see below) are as follows:

Station name designed by different operators


The subway lines and their operators and colours are as follows:

Color Name/Number Korean name Start End Operator
dark blue  Line 1 1호선 Soyosan(소요산) Incheon(인천), Shinchang(신창) or Gwangmyeong(광명) Korail (Soyosan(소요산)-Cheongnyangni-aboveground(청량리-지상), Namyeong(남영)-Cheonan(천안), Guro(구로)-Incheon(인천), Siheung(시흥)-Gwangmyeong(광명))/
Seoul Metro (Seoul Station(서울역)-Cheongnyangni-underground(청량리-지하))
green  Line 2 2호선 City Hall(시청),
City Hall(시청),
Sinseol-dong(신설동) or Kkachisan(까치산)
Seoul Metro (except Kkachisan(까치산), run by SMRT.)
orange  Line 3 3호선 Daehwa(대화) Suseo(수서) Seoul Metro (Jichuk(지축)-Suseo(수서)) / Korail (Jichuk(지축)-Daehwa(대화))
blue  Line 4 4호선 Danggogae(당고개) Oido(오이도) Seoul Metro (Danggogae(당고개)-Namtaeryeong(남태령)) / Korail (Seonbawi(선바위)-Oido(오이도))
purple  Line 5 5호선 Banghwa(방화) Sangil-dong(상일동) or Macheon(마천) SMRT
brown  Line 6 6호선 Eungam(응암) Bonghwasan(봉화산) SMRT
olive  Line 7 7호선 Jangam(장암) Onsu(온수) SMRT
pink  Line 8 8호선 Amsa(암사) Moran(모란) SMRT
yellow  Bundang Line 분당선
Seolleung(선릉) Bojeong(보정) Korail
aqua  Jungang Line 중앙선
Yongsan(용산) Guksu(국수) Korail


The Korail, the forerunner of the Seoul Metro, began operating Line 1 in 1974. Lines 2, 3, and 4 followed in the late 1970s and 1980s. The SMRT was formed in 1994 to take over operation of lines 5 to 8.



Ticket prices start at 1,000 won for a trip up to 10km, with 100 won added for each 5km after that. Half-price children's tickets are available. Riders may also enter the system using a transportation card such as T-money, Upass, and KB Free Pass. There is a 100 won discount for using a transportation card. 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.

New construction

Two new subway lines are currently under construction and have yet to open:

Several existing lines are also currently undergoing extension:

There are several major works still in the planning stage:

For more details on new projects, see [8] (in Korean)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Transportation: Subway". Seoul Metropolitan Government. Retrieved on 2007-08-07. 

External links

de:U-Bahn Seoul

es:Metro de Seúl fr:Métro de Séoul zh-classical:首爾地鐵 ko:수도권 전철 hu:Szöuli metró nl:Metro van Seoel ja:首都圏電鉄 no:Seouls undergrunnsbane pl:Metro seulskie pt:Metrô de Seul sk:Soulské metro sv:Seouls tunnelbana wuu:首尔地铁 (韩国) zh:韓國首都圈電鐵

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