The Korea Herald


Seoul waives extra subway fare for people who reboard within 10 mins

By Park Jun-hee

Published : June 28, 2023 - 14:51

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(Seoul Metropolitan Government) (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Wednesday that reboarding subways within 10 minutes would be free for a year starting in July.

Under the new scheme, the exemption will only apply to the same transportation card the passenger used for their initial boarding, and the transfers can only be made on the same subway station route.

Currently, passengers pay an additional fare if they reboard the subway after going in the wrong direction, depending on how far they have traveled, or if they have to get off the subway for an emergency reason such as to use the bathroom.

The new charging system will be adopted to ease the burden of transfer fares for rail riders, but with several exceptions, according to the city government.

The new measure is to be applied to all subway stations on Line Nos. 2, 5, 8 and 9, from Seoul Station to Cheongnyangni Station on Line No. 1, Jichuk Station to Ogeum Station on Line No. 3, Jinjeop Station to Namtaeryeong Station for Line No. 4, Eungam Station to Bonghwasan Station for Line No. 6 and Jangam Station to Onsu Station on Line No. 7.

According to the city, an average of 40,000 people in Seoul confront such problems daily, which equates to some 15 million people having to pay 18 billion won ($13.8 million) every year if they have to reenter within just a few minutes. The municipal government added that most such transfers were made within three to five minutes.

Also, 514 reports regarding the inconveniences of paying additional fees were reported to Seoul Metro last year alone, the public corporation that operates the subway system in Seoul.

After a one-year pilot run of the program, the city government says it will team up with other local governments in the Greater Seoul area so that more passengers can benefit from the zero-fare system while transferring.

“The new measure is an innovative policy unique to Seoulites that could iron out the inconvenience that more than 10 million people in Seoul annually experience,” said Yoon jong-jang, chief of the city’s transportation office bureau, via a press release.

Yoon added that the city remains committed to improving and developing Seoul’s public transportation services by addressing the concerns of residents.