PSA: Uijeongbu line and Suin line open
More of a PSA and future reference than anything else =)
North of Seoul in Gyeonggi-do is Uijeongbu city, population about 450,000. It has it’s place in history – the American TV show M*A*S*H was set here, and budae jjigae (Army stew) was invented thanks in part to the US Army’s presence.
Construction began in July of 2007, and according to at least one source the line was scheduled for completion in September 2011, while another said April 2011 (PDF). It officially starts operation on June 26, 2012 with several free days. You’ll have to pay from July 1, 2012 forward.
An AFP report details some of the line’s issues: 547 billion won ($469 million USD) spent, with almost half of that coming from Korean taxpayers, along with a 10 billion won ($8.64 million USD) per year minimum revenue guarantee that the city has to pay. Beyond the cost, the estimated number of riders has been cut, while the actual number of riders on a similar system in Busan is 1/5 of what was predicted.
Important details from the above sign:
Adult subway fare: 1,300 won (whether with traffic card – 교통카드 – or a one-time-use card) – note this is 24% higher than the typical Seoul subway fare as of this post’s date.
Teenagers: 1,040 won (note that you only get the discount with a traffic card)
Children: 650 won (note that you only get the discount with a traffic card)
During rush hours (7am-9am and 7pm-9pm), trains come every 3 1/2 minutes. The rest of the day trains arrive every 6-10 minutes.
The stations, from western terminus to eastern terminus:
Hoeryong (회룡) (the only transfer on the line, to line 1)
Beomgol (범골 )
Uijeongbu City Hall (의정부시청)
Uijeongbu Jungang (의정부중앙)
Gyeonggi-do-je 2 Cheong-sa (경기도 북부청사)
It should be noted that the city isn’t exactly on the tourist trail, but has a budae jjigae food street worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Heading south of Seoul, the Suin line (수인선) is opening phase 1 of an older line that will eventually connect Suwon, Incheon, and the Bundang line. For now, the line looks like this:
Photo credit: Kojects.
Oido (current line 4 terminus), Dalweol (scheduled to open later), Weolgot, Soraepogu, Incheon Nonhyeon, Hogupo, Namdong Indus Park, Woninjae (Incheon line 1 transfer), Yeonsu, Songdo.
The part that will open as of July 1st is the right 2/3rds of the blue part – the brown and red parts indicate future sections. According to Kojects (an excellent blog talking about building projects in Korea) and Wikipedia, the line will reach Incheon in 2013, while the third phase will be completed in 2016.