Public transportation is unavoidable in South Korea, especially if you live in the heart of the city. More than 60% of adults use the subway as their prime method of transportation. Also referred to as “지옥철” (jiokcheol, Hell Train), the Korean subway never fails to live up to its name — beware of rush hour.
We all have places to go and times to meet, but that does not excuse us from being civil on the metro. From the exit to the platform, from the platform to the silver seats, there are etiquettes that must be practiced and enforced.
For what reason? Honestly, national peace. It’s a war down there.
So, these are the 10 commandments of subway etiquette to think about when moving from car to car, pushing from seat to seat, rushing from exit to exit. Don’t forget to be considerate of your surroundings and aware of the different compartments that exist within the underground city.
It’s important to leave specially designated seats empty at all times. This includes those isolated seats on the end of the car. Platform elevators are also reserved for people in wheelchairs, bikes, or any other special condition (usually related to health).
1. Set your phone on vibrate and use indoor voices.