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The Seoul Metropolitan Subway, in Seoulmarker, South Koreamarker, is one of the most heavily used rapid transit systems in the world, with well over 8 million trips daily on the system's fourteen lines (total figures for Seoul Metro, SMRT, Metro 9, Korail, AREX, and Incheon lines). The system totals 755 km (469 mi) over the fourteen lines, and spans across Seoulmarker and out into the provinces of Gyeonggi-domarker, northern Chungcheongnam-domarker, and the city of Incheonmarker. Inside the city limits, over 70% of the total metro track is underground, while a majority of track in Gyeonggi-domarker is aboveground.

All directional signs in the Seoul Subway are written in both Korean and English. Station signs and some maps also display traditional Chinese. The pre-recorded voice announcement in the trains indicating the upcoming station, possible line transfer and exiting side are all in Korean followed by English, and in some cases Japanese then Chinese.


The subway is operated by four different organizations:

  • Seoul Metro; 서울메트로 (Line 2, underground section of Line 1, and large parts of Lines 3 & 4). The corporation runs a total of 199 trains at 115 stations on lines 1-4. Generally, operation intervals are 2.5 -3 minutes during rush hours and 4-6 minutes during non-rush hours. An average of 3,879,000 passengers use subway lines 1-4 daily .

The operators for lines currently under construction (see below) are as follows:

Lines & Channels

The subway lines, their operators, colors, and lengths are as follows:
Color Name/Number Korean name Start End Current Length Operator
Dark Blue  Line 1 Soyosan marker Incheon


Gwangmyeong marker
Total: 198.4 km:

Soyosan-Guro: 62.4 km

Guro-Incheon: 27.0 km

Guro-Sinchang: 104.3 km

Geumcheongu Office-Gwangmyeong branch line: 4.7 km

Gyeongwon Line: Soyosanmarker-Hoegimarker

Gyeongbu Line: Namyeongmarker-Sinchang

Gyeongin Line: Guromarker-Incheon

Gyeongbu High-speed Line: Geumcheon-gu Officemarker-Gwangmyeongmarker

Seoul Metro

Line 1: Seoul Stationmarker-Cheongnyangni undergroundmarker
Green  Line 2 City Hall marker
(Circle Line),
Seongsu marker
(Seongsu Branch),
Sindorim marker
(Sinjeong Branch)

City Hall marker
(Circle Line),
Sinseol-dong marker
(Seongsu Branch),
or Kkachisan marker
(Sinjeong Branch)

Total: 60.2 km:

Circle Line: 48.8 km

Sinseol-dong branch line: 5.4 km

Kkachisan branch line: 6.0 km
Seoul Metro

Except Kkachisanmarker, run by SMRT.
Orange  Line 3 Daehwa marker Suseo marker
(To be extended to Ogeum .)
54.4 km Seoul Metro

Line 3: Half of Jichuk-Suseomarker


Ilsan Line: Daehwamarker– Half of Jichuk
Blue  Line 4 Danggogae marker Oido 70.5 km Seoul Metro

Line 4: Danggogaemarker-Namtaeryeong


Gwacheon Line: Seonbawi-Geumjeongmarker

Ansan Line: Geumjeongmarker-Oido)
Purple  Line 5 Banghwa marker Sangil-dong or Macheon Total: 52.3 km

Banghwa-Sangil: 45.2 km

Macheon Branch: 7.1 km
Brown  Line 6 Eungam Bonghwasan
(To be extended to Sinnae .)
35.1 km SMRT
Olive  Line 7 Jangam Onsu
(To be extended to Bupyeong-gu Office .)
46.9 km SMRT
Pink  Line 8 Amsa
(To be extended to Byeollae .)
Moran marker 17.7 km SMRT
Gold  Line 9 Gaehwa Sinnonhyeon
(To be extended to Veterans Hospital .)
27.0 km Metro 9
Yellow  Bundang Line

Seolleung marker
(To be extended to Wangsimni marker.)
Bojeong (To be extended to Suwon marker.) 27.7 km Korail
Aqua  Jungang Line

Yongsan marker
(To be extended onto the Gyeongui Line.)
Guksu 51.5 km Korail
Aqua  Gyeongui Line

Seoul Station marker
(To be extended onto the Jungang Line at Yongsan marker.)
Munsan 46.3 km Korail
Blue and Yellow  AREX

Gimpo International Airport marker
(To be extended to Seoul Station marker.)
Incheon International Airport marker 37.6 km Airport Railroad Co.

under administration of Korail
Light Blue  Incheon Subway Line 1

Gyeyang marker

International Business District 29.4 km IRTC


Korail, the forerunner of Seoul Metro, began operating Line 1 in 1974. Lines 2, 3, and 4 followed in the late 1970s and 1980s. SMRT was formed in 1994 to take over operation of lines 5 to 8.



Ticket prices start at 1000 won for a trip up to 10 km, with 100 won added for each subsequent 5 km. Half-priced children's tickets are available. Riders may also enter the system using a transportation card such as T-money, Upass, and KB Free Pass. There is a 100 won discount for using a transportation card. The city government also uses Seoul Citypass as a transportation card. Senior citizens and disabled people qualify for free transit and can get a free ticket or enter and exit using side gates rather than turnstiles.

Travel on AREX (Airport Express) requires a separate ticket, and there is no discount when transferring to or from the line. However, if transferring from a Seoul Metro station to the AREX (Airport Express), it is possible to stay inside the turnstiles and pay using your T-money card.

Metro operators have replaced older magnetic strip paper ticket with new RFID tickets since May 1, 2009. 500 won deposit is included in the price, and is refunded when the ticket is returned at any station. The current single-use ticket is a credit-card sized plastic card with the same RFID technology, which are obtained from automated machines in every subway station.

New construction

One new subway line and several light rail lines are currently under construction and have yet to open:

Several existing lines are also currently undergoing extension:

There are several major works still in the planning stage:

See also


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]

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