Transporation Transportation Transportation is essential for people to travel, build connections, and discover new places. With South Korea’s population of about 52 million- 9.988 million of which live in Seoul- and 99,720 sq km in land and water, the country requires rigorous methods to get around. Thus, Korea has worked to build up its transportation to provide a safe and reliable means of travel. In the past 50 years, South Korea has expanded its transportation system to create an extensive network of roadways, railways, and sea fares, that allows mobility from northern regions such as Gyeonggi-Do down to the southern island of Jeju. Its massive and well-organized public transit system has caught the interest of foreigners visiting Korea, with areas such as Seoul being known for its easy navigation. South Korea also makes traveling easy with its renowned “T-Money” card: a smart card that allows for easy transit not only between trains and buses but allows for inter-transportation transfers as well. The following video shows how the T-Money card works and testimonies from foreigners living in South Korea about how reliable getting around can be. History of Transportation Text While South Korea had Maritime travel and locomotives before the 20th century, the 1970s was the start of South Korea’s efforts on all fronts to build a modern transportation system. Following the Korean War, South Korea went through a period of economic growth in which the country invested in expanding expressways and national roads. Around the same time, South Korea’s railways started to develop and would eventually evolve into the widespread system known today. South Korea would also explore its maritime routes, create prominent ports in cities like Incheon and Busan, and even increase shipbuilding. Roadways While South Korea had Maritime travel and locomotives before the 20th century, the 1970s was the start of South Korea’s efforts on all fronts to build a modern transportation system. Following the Korean War, South Korea went through a period of economic growth, in which the country invested in expanding expressways and national roads. Around the same time, South Korea’s railways started to develop and would eventually evolve into the widespread system known today. South Korea would also explore its maritime routes and create prominent ports in cities like Incheon and Busan, and even increase shipbuilding. Transit Foreigner’s reaction to the incredible growth of the subway changes in Korea. From the first version of the train in 1970 to the modern look in 2020, Korea’s subway has developed in both its look and its length; with several lines spreading throughout the Seoul Metropolitan area. Shipping Industry After the Korean War, South Korea built up both its cargo and shipping industry. The country’s cargo shipping and ship-building sectors combined to build a powerhouse, eventually creating the first 2600-ton ship. Through South Korea’s fostering policy and shipping companies, the country spread its ships to the global market and continues to be the top shipbuilding industries in the world today. Types of Transportation Since their development in the 1960s, South Korea’s transportation- from Trains to taxis to ferries, has created a multitude of ways to move throughout the country. Each with its benefits and advantages. South Korea’s KTX high-speed train can connect the country’s capital Seoul to the port city of Busan in 3 hours. Their buses, color-coded can get to specific neighborhoods and smaller villages. And its ferries can travel not only to the island of Jeju but as far as the southern ports of Japan. Subway The Seoul Metro Subway connects Incheon, Seoul, and the greater Gyeonggi Province. This interactive cyber station map not only provides the routes and stations, but stations with currency exchange, train ticket reservation, and changing rooms. KTX Linking major cities across South Korea, the Korea Train Express, or “KTX” is the high-speed railway that provides regional transportation. This video explores the ins and outs of how the train operates. Ferries South Korean ferries offers an alternative to the ground or air travel both domestically and internationally. Ferries from the ports of Incheon, Jeju, and Busan allow for a comfortable trip by sea for business, field trips, or vacations. Issues & Disasters South Korea’s modes of transportation have constantly strived for safety. However, there have been instances where that wasn’t the case. From heavy traffic to bridge collapses and boating accidents, South Korea has faced issues ranging from small incidents to severe disasters. And with each issue follows an outcry for accountability and new safety measures. Seongsu Bridge Collapse On October 21, 1994, a section of the Seongsu Bridge collapsed in the Han River. 32 people lost their lives in the incident, which was caused by a structural failure. Much of this failure was due to insufficient maintenance of the bridge, many of which were known prior to its collapse. Daegu Subway Disaster On the morning of February 18, 2003, an arsonist boarded a train with toxic and flammable substances and set the train car ablaze. The lack of communication and safety measures caused the flames to spread to other cars and creating one of the worst subway accidents on record. The fire killed 192 people. After the accident, Daegu created the Citizens’ Safety Theme Park to learn from the tragic accident. Which is still in place 20 years later. Sewol Ferry Accident The sinking of the Sewol Ferry that took the lives of over 300 passengers- most of whom were high school students- sparked national outrage about how it was handled. The progression of events highlighted the poor choices made by those in leadership and how the tragedy impacted the country afterward. South Korea’s Transportation system is one of the most advanced systems that is marveled worldwide. From its modernization during the second half of the 20th century to its plans in the present, South Korea continues to develop and learn from its past to create a more connected future.