Public Transportation in Korea

Written by on December 22, 2011 in Lifestyle, Worldwide Korea Bloggers

* This post is written by Maria Margareta, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.

Public transportation in Korea is integrated, rapid, convenient, and efficient and will connect you to some of the major cities in Korea. You can find subway systems in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejon, Gwangju, and Incheon, and KTX — the high-speed rail service — will take you to some great destinations in Korea.

People in Korea especially in Seoul mostly pay their transportation fares with T-money cards. The cards are honored on buses and subways as well as some taxis now. The benefit of using the card is a discounted rate. The cards can be purchased and reloaded at convenience stores, kiosks, subway stations, or mini-kiosks at bus stops.

video credit: verces86 on Youtube

Bus Routes

The most frequently used public transportation in Korea is the bus. Recently a monitoring system has been added at bus stops to provide information on the estimated arrival time of each bus. It was very useful for me when I visited Seoul. The low fare is another reason why riding the bus is so popular. Bus routes are divided into diferent colors and have philosophical meaning.

Green bus: Green buses are flexibly operated by private bus companies, to connect major subway stations or bus terminals outside downtown Seoul. It is similar with the city bus and the community shuttle bus currently in operation. Green stands for the mountains surrounding the city.

Blue bus: This type of bus operates at higher speeds and accesses the median bus lane connecting suburban areas to downtown Seoul. The blue color represents Seoul’s skyline and Hangang (River) to symbolize security and freedom.

Red bus: The red buses are express buses designed specially for those commuting between downtown Seoul and the metropolitan area. The color red exudes the energy of speed.

Yellow bus: This bus circles downtown Seoul and stops at stations for blue buses and major railway stations, as well as business, tourist and shopping areas. Yellow was selected for its dynamic and friendly image.

Rapid Subway Service

Very convenient transportation service in Seoul which is connected to lines and destinations, from the downtown of Seoul to suburb areas. Incheon International Airport can be reached by subway too. In my experience, I may say this is the most efficient public transportation in Seoul, with complete information in various languages.


There are different types of taxi in Seoul, and we can recognize them by their color.

General taxi or regular taxi with silver color with basic fare starting from W2.600 and the meter increases at W100 based on distance.

Between midnight and 4 AM, there is an extra charge (20%) for all general taxis anywhere.

Deluxe taxi, with black color and the words “Deluxe taxi” on the side. The fare is higher than regular taxis which starts at W4.500 and the meter increases at W200 based on distance.

High-speed Rail (KTX).

The KTX (Korea Trail eXpress) serves many major cities in Korea. It only takes 2 hours and 40 minutes from Seoul to Busan, 2 hours and 58 minutes from Seoul to Mokpo, and it’s faster than other public transport services.

Express buses

They run between all the cities in Korea. Some remote destinations can be reached using express buses.

Limousine bus

Perfect experience I had, I used the limousine bus from and to Incheon International Airport. Many destinations in various regions are available.

(Seoul subway):
(Busan subway):
(Daegu subway):
(Gwangju subway):
(Daejeon subway):
(Incheon subway):
(Express bus):
(Airport limousine bus – Incheon International Airport):

personal experiences.
Passport to Korean culture

Photo credit:
green bus: wikipedia.
Seoul taxi: wikipedia.

Video credit:
Seoul: Bus Journey in Yeouido District: ErikoZucconi on Youtube.

About the Author


The Worldwide Korea Bloggers (WKB) is a gathering of people from different parts of the world, all having affection for Korea. Currently, there are 50 bloggers from 17 different countries and they share their own precious experiences with Korea and its culture on Korea Blog.