Buses to get new look, routes, faresStarting July 1, Seoul’s bus systems will undergo a major overhaul of its routes, numbers and even colors.
The bus numbers and colors will be based on their new routes and which districts and cities the buses connect.
Blue buses connect suburban areas in Seoul and central Seoul; green buses operate between major subway stations and bus terminals or within suburban districts; red buses are express buses that go between central Seoul and satellite cities; yellow buses circulate in small areas in central Seoul.
The new bus numbers will indicate the starting point and destination; this applies to blue, green and red buses. For example, the starting number of “9” shows that the bus will go between central Seoul and satellite cities.
Bus fares will be adjusted as well. A single ride, without transfer, for blue and green buses will be 800 won (69 cents), and red express buses will charge 1,400 won. Yellow and village buses will cost 500 won.
Subway fares, not including a transfer to a bus, for a maximum 12-kilometer (7.5 miles) journey will cost 800 won, and an additional distance of five to 12 kilometers will cost an additional 100 won.
The new system will provide a significant cost savings for commuters who need transfers. The cost of a journey via bus and subway of up to 10 kilometers, with up to five transfers, will remain a flat 800 won. Transfers must be made within 30 minutes of getting off the last mode of transportation.
After 10 kilometers, for every five kilometers traveled, 100 won will be added to the fare.
Bus riders must tap their transportation card on the reader upon entering and leaving the bus to get the flat fare. Red express bus rides are not subject to the flat rate.
Seoul will also introduce a new transportation card that can be recharged and used as electronic money. The T-Money smart card, which has an integrated circuit chip, can be used as an ID and for transit fares and small purchases at convenient stores, fast-food restaurants, museums, movie theaters and vending machines.
The smart card will be issued next month, but the regular transit cards can still be used with the new system.
Passengers also can receive information about the timing of bus arrival and bus routes through Internet and mobile phone. For more information, call (080) 800-5656 or visit: bus.seoul.go.kr, but information in English is not available.
by Limb Jae-un