Korea’s great public transit system

One of the fun parts of travel is getting out and trying to navigate a foreign city on your own. Many travelers relish the simple task of trying to navigate public transit from the airport to the hostel where they are staying. There is simply a fresh zeal to figuring the workings of local buses and rail systems to get out and see all of the sights a place has to offer.
I’ve always enjoyed this particular element of travel, however after a trip to Kyoto – with its multiple separate metro lines that require their own separate transit tickets – I found myself singing the praises of the simple and efficient public transit system back home in Korea.
The whole of the Korean transit system is accessible with the country’s T-Money card. The small credit card-sized transit card can be loaded and reloaded endlessly. The credit that you load onto your T-Money card never expires, so it is common to see locals loading the equivalent of hundreds of dollars onto their cards to avoid frequent reloading. Reloading machines are in every metro terminal and are available in English.
Absolutely all forms of public transit are accessible with the card. The buses, metro, and even taxis use the card as fare. What’s more, the entire country uses this card. The same transit fare card that is used in Seoul is used in Busan and Gwanju, and indeed everywhere in the country. If navigating travel terminals frustrates you, or if you are simply short on time, the T-Money system can save you on a lot of hassles.
In places like Seoul, public transit in extremely cheap. A single fare in one direction is usually 900won, or close to about US80cents. Seoul is rather large, and if you find yourself needing to transfer between metro and bus to get to your destination, both legs of your commute is counted as a single fare if you make the transfer in less than 30 minutes.
In all of my travels, I have yet to find a public transit system so simple, efficient, and cheap.

Posted by | Comments (5)  | April 20, 2011
Category: Asia, Simplicity

5 Responses to “Korea’s great public transit system”

  1. Adrien Says:

    You are right, I am writting this comment from my room in Daejeon and the Tmoney card is awesome.

    I am from France and I have to say that we have a non efficient public transit system.

    A Korean friend introduced me to this card. Even some Korean guys don’t know that this card works in Seoul, Daejeon, Busan etc etc…

    But you have to ‘update’ your Tmoney card according to the city where you are. For that ask the information office in the subway stations.

    Korea is awesome !

  2. Stu Says:

    Have you been to Singapore?

  3. Korea’s great public transit system | Travel Guide And Holiday Says:

    […] Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Related Posts:Moscow’s Metro – Underground RailwayMoscow’s Metro – Underground RailwayHow To Get Rid Of Credit Card Debt FastThinKing – Simply The Best Credit Card Holder for SkiersIndonesia’s Darmasiswa Scholarship […]

  4. Expect Wonderful Things While Getting Around Manila | Book Manila Hotels Says:

    […] Traveler RatingsPhilippines – Baguio CityParaiso PhilippinesBook flights to Manila from LondonKorea's great public transit system body {background-image: […]