Seoul Bus and Subway Fares to Increase
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the public should expect a rise in public transportation fares to be announced soon which will take effect some time in June or July. The fare increase has been in discussion for some time and talks are now being finalized. The increase is expected to be somewhere between 150 to 300 won (initial estimates discussed went as high as 500 won) with the subway fare increase being towards the higher end of the spectrum and bus fare increase towards the lower end. This means that fares could be as high as W1,350 per ride versus the current cost of W1,050 per ride. The bus and subway organizations have long struggled with increasing costs while attempting to maintain low fare prices. Now with debt in the billions of won, and gasoline costs on the rise, the price hike seems almost inevitable. Public transit systems in other cities are expected to follow suit in the coming months.
Public transportation in Seoul is not alone in this struggle. With the looming debt issue facing local, state-owned companies in Korea, many public services will be raising their fees across the country. Provincial governments are expected to raise the cost of water and sewage utilities to ease the financial burden on the utility companies.