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Seoul Transportation

Seoul Transport Overview

Foreign visitors will find the general state of traffic and transportation in Seoul very chaotic. For going around town, taxis, autorickshaws, buses, and trains are available.

The heart of the city is fairly easy to traverse, but getting from one end of the city to the other can take time as the state government has undertaken a massive fly-over construction project. The roads are, therefore, dug up or blocked with construction materials. The situation may ease once all the 50 fly-overs are completed.

Taxis are the best option for visiting businesspeople.

Taxis in Seoul

Those on a tight schedule can take a taxi, but are advised to speak the name of destination in the local language. Taxi drivers have much improved their attitudes, although some still drive recklessly. Choose those marked "Kaein," whose drivers are courteous. If you are willing to pay more, black taxis marked "Mobum" are also handled by courteous drivers.

The fare on regular taxis is based on both the distance and time traveled starting at 1,300 won for the first 2km and 100 won for each additional 279 m. If the taxi is moving at less than 15kph, 100 won a minute is added to the fare. A ride from Kimpo Airport to downtown Seoul averages 10,000 won. A 20% surcharge is added between midnight and 4 a.m..

Mobum deluxe taxis offer a higher standard of service for an equivalent higher price. The fare is based on both the distance and time traveled starting at 3,000 won for the first 3km and 200 won for each additional 250m. If the taxi is moving slower than 15kph, 200 won a minute is added to the fare. For a nominal fee, Mobum Delux taxis have telephones for use. Receipts can be given to the business traveler on an expense account.

During rush hours 8 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., traffic grinds to a snails pace and it may be tough to get a regular taxi. It would be easy to get a Mobum taxi, though.

Seoul Subway

In Seoul, the subway is a faster, cheaper, and fun way of seeing the city. Subways are currently in service in Seoul, Pusan, and Taegu. There are eight color-coded subway lines in Seoul, and it is possible to change lines at transfer stations. Fares: 500 won for basic distance, 600 won for longer rides, 250 won for children under 13 years old.

City and Express Buses in Seoul

Unless you are a natural explorer, or have lived long enough in Seoul, dont take the bus. Stops and systems can be confusing, and the driving truly the stuff that nightmares are made of. True, there are supposed to be more decent bus drivers, but a good number are notorious for wild attitudes.

If you are feeling adventurous and insist on taking the bus, you must know that all buses have numbers and signs in blue and red on the front, side and rear, indicating their routes and stops in Korea. Fares are from 500 to 1,100 won, depending on the number of stops.

City bus lines (shinae buses) are designated by number an charge 500 won. City express buses (chwasok buses) charge 1,000 to 1,100 won because they have more seats and stop at fewer stations than city buses.

Both deluxe and ordinary express (long-distance) buses are fast, reliable highway bus services that operate on several expressways throughout the country, connecting almost all major points.

The Seoul Express Bus Terminal, the main bus depot, is divided into the Kyongbu-son Terminal (tel: +82-2 782-5551) to the southeast; and the Honam/Yongdong-son Terminal (tel: +82-2 592-0799) to the southwest and east.

The Tongseoul Express Bus Terminal is the other bus terminal (tel: +82-2 458-4851).

Many tour companies also operate luxury coach services to most of the well-known tourist sites for visitors. Fares vary w