Recruiter In Korea

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Seoul Metro Pass

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Something that may be useful for some from the Seoul City Blog.  Does sound like a good deal if you travel relatively moderate distances within Seoul.

The Seoul Metro Pass was created to be a discounted and more convenient way for commuters to get to and from work every day.  The card is tapped against the readers on the turnstiles in subway stations in the same way that T-Money, eB, and other transit cards are, but the catch is that they can only be used on the Seoul Subway, (they cannot be used on busses or taxies).

Here’s what it looks like:

The card itself costs 2,500 won, and works similar to a T-Money or eB card.  They can be purchased from a customer service counter in most of the bigger stations, (think Yongsan, Seoul Station, etc), but they are often available in the smaller ones as well.  When you buy it, (or if you have one), you can take it the attendant or activate it at a transit card “recharge” machine.

*Not all of the “recharge” machines are equipped to activate the metro passes, but the one I use looks like this:

Rather than “recharging” the card with a certain amount of credit before use, the metro pass works by determining the distance of the farthest trip you will be taking, and paying for a month’s worth of trips in advance.

The “activation” is good for 30 days from the day it was activated.  During this month, you are allowed 60 trips on the subway, which evens out to around 2 trips a day for a month.

There are two kinds of pricing methods for the Seoul Metro Pass:

For those who will only be traveling inside Seoul proper, you can “activate” your card for 39,600 won.  This will allow you to take up to 60 trips on the subway in Seoul within the 30 day period.

For those who will be traveling to the suburbs, or further down the subway line to another city, pricing is set by the longest trip you will be going on, and ranges from 39,600 won to 89,800 won.  The pricing plans for the Metro Pass are as follows:

From your starting point within Seoul, if your destination is

Trip Distance  –  Price

Up to 20km     –     39,600 won

25km     –     44,900 won

30km     –     48,600 won

35km     –     52,400 won

40km     –     56,100 won

50km     –     59,800 won

60km     –     63,600 won

70km     –     67,300 won

80km     –     71,100 won

90km     –     74,800 won

100km     –     78,500 won

110km     –     82,300 won

Over 120km     –     89,800 won

As an example, someone who goes from Suwon Station to City Hall Station in the morning, and takes the same trip back, will pay 1,600 won for each trip; 3,200 won per day.  Let’s say that in a given month they go to work 5 days a week for 4 weeks, which is 20 days.

3,200 won per day X 20 days = 64,000 won per month, with a T-money card.  The cost of a month on the metro pass for the distance of Suwon <-> City Hall (42.6km) is 59,800 won, so they would save  a little over 4,000 on their work commute, and still have 20 subway trips to use on other trips.

The metro pass is not always the best choice, but can be economical if you have to commute to work, or end up taking the subway a lot.  You can use Seoul Metro’s Subway Line map tool:

to find out exactly how far your trip is and how much the cost of a monthly metro pass will cost.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Seoul Metro, Transportation, Working in Korea


Written by recruiterinkorea

April 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Just wanted to add some tidbits to your Great Post. If you go father than your distance. Say you’ve got the 25km plan. The machine will take out 2 rides instead of 1. If you end up going 51km (I don’t know how that’s possible). The machine will take out 3 rides.

    The card only works for seoul subway. Won’t work on buses.

    Its better to carry only one. The commuter card or the T money card. If you swipe your wallet with both of em in it, you’ll either get double charged or it won’t scan right (For some reason, it took me a month to figure this one out)


    April 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

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