Public Transportation in South Korea: An Almost Perfect System

Public Transportation in South Korea

foreign-correspondent badge finalFor a country that has grown so rapidly with new cities popping up every few months, Korea is a very well connected place. Getting around the country without a car is incredibly easy (and definitely better for your life expectancy considering the way people drive here).

I live just under 60 miles south of Seoul and every weekend I hop on an express bus into the city. In less than an hour I’m navigating the inner city subway. From my small city, I also have access to trains that can connect me to the rest of the country. Korea’s high speed train network, the KTX, is adding new stops all the time, making it easier and quicker (they go up to 300km an hour) to get around the country.

Public Transportation in South Korea: An Almost Perfect System

When I first arrived, I bought myself a bus card to use on the local buses. Little did I know it would also be my public transport ticket for the rest of the country. I use the same card on the buses and subway in Seoul. When I go to Busan next month, I’ll use it on the buses and subways there too. I’ve never lived anywhere with a more organized public transport system than this.

It’s not all perfect though. It might be well connected, but it doesn’t run very late. If I want to go out at night in Seoul I’d better book a hotel because the last bus is at 9:40 PM and the last train is shortly after. The same goes for local buses. Good luck trying to find one after midnight.

It’s all clean and well-kept considering the amount of use it all gets. All in all I’d rate Korea’s transport network a solid 8 out of 10.

Bus drivers are also notorious in Korea for their F1 driving stlye. It’s almost as though picking people up is secondary to getting to the bus depot on schedule.

On the plus side, all of this is incredibly cheap. I take the bus for less than a dollar a day and the 50 minute ride to Seoul costs only $4. Taxis are an ideal way to get around late at night and a 20 minute ride generally costs less than $10. It’s all clean and well-kept considering the amount of use it all gets. All in all I’d rate Korea’s transport network a solid 8 out of 10.

 

Public Transportation in South Korea: An Almost Perfect System

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Have you traveled to South Korea? What were your impressions? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

About Laura Bronner

Laura BronnerLaura Bronner is an American girl addicted to life abroad. After graduating from college she set off on what was meant to be a year of travel. That was four years ago. Since then she has lived in New Zealand, Australia and now calls South Korea home. You can follow along with her experiences on An American Abroad

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