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WEEKLY WHINE

Seoul reverses the mailbox

The Seoul metro system is frequently ranked amongst the best in the world. But why is that? What is it that separates it from the rest? And how can we find out without having to submit an expense report that Reg would never, ever approve?

Well, we have been looking for a useful function for the GoobNet Mailbox for quite some time now. And this report seemed to be a natural fit. So we have reversed the GoobNet Mailbox. This time around, we have used it to transmit questions to the rest of the world instead of accepting questions from the rest of the world. So gather around the GoobNet Reverse Mailbox, and let’s see what the people of Seoul told us about their metro.

Before we begin, be a dear and move a little further over this way, would you? Thanks. You don’t want to be standing right behind the GoobNet Mailbox, especially not at that distance. Okay, we’re all set.

Oh. That’s right, we reversed it. We should have told you not to stand in front of it. Sorry about that. We’re sure that will come right out. After all, mustard comes right out too. See?


How large is the Seoul metro system?

Seoul metro is one of the most comprehensive in the world. Including both named lines and numbered lines, Seoul metro has a total network length of 469 km, and 377 stations. Only New York City subway has more stations.

– Park Pol Ang
Seoul, Korea Rep


The Seoul metro system is frequently ranked amongst the best in the world. What makes Seoul’s system so exceptional?

Many advantages are in Seoul metro. It is very developed, with a high number of stations that serve nearly the entire area of Seoul Special City, plus Bucheon, Incheon, Suwon, and many other cities near Seoul. It is tidy and punctual, workers are friendly, and it is very safe. All stations and trains have mobile and wifi service.

– Park Oh Sang
Bucheon, Korea Rep


Do the platform doors really make a difference in terms of safety?

Yes, platform doors prevent people falling onto the tracks. I have never seen anyone fall onto the tracks, but it is certainly possible, particularly during rush hours when the platforms are most crowded.

– Wendy Park
Seoul, Korea Rep


Why do some of the metro lines operate on the track on the right, rather than on the left?

Many of the early lines were built before World War II, when Japan ruled the Korean peninsula. At this time, lines were built in the same way as the roads, with travel on the left. Since the war, most lines have been built with travel on the right. However, there are exceptions, and one of them is Line 4. In Seoul Special City, the trains travel on the right, but they cross over to the left side after entering Gwacheon, because that portion of the line uses older tracks.

– Park Chol Kam
Ansan, Korea Rep


Is there a central or hub station, or are there several transfer stations with roughly equal prominence?

Seoul Station is the main Korail station in Seoul, and it also has a metro station in the same building. Other major stations include Yongsan, City Hall, and Hongik University.

– Park Myong Cho
Seoul, Korea Rep


How easy is it to get to or from the airport from the Seoul metro system?

The AREX line travels from Seoul Station directly to Incheon International Airport, and it also services Gimpo Airport. Travel time from Seoul Station to Incheon Airport is about 45 minutes for express service, with a cost of ₩13,300.

– Park Jee Jeong
Bucheon, Korea Rep


Are the major universities in Seoul accessible from the metro system?

Access to the universities is very easy from Seoul metro! Most universities have their very own special stations on Seoul metro, such as Seoul National University, Dongguk University, Incheon National University, Hongik University, and Konkuk University. Going to the city from the university is also very easy. In most cases, the student need only travel the same subway line into the city without transferring.

– Park See Seo
Gwangjin, Korea Rep


We have a proposal on how to reduce congestion on the Seoul metro system. Why not take a page from US subway systems and make the system suck? Close stations for no reason, stop trains suddenly in between stations, and don’t clean up the stations and trains. That will reduce the number of people using the system.

We thank you for going away at this time.

– Park Min Jong
Asan, Korea Rep

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