Korea unveils W134tr rail plan to cut Seoul commutes to 30 minutes


South Korea on Thursday unveiled a spending package worth 134 trillion won ($100.4 billion) to achieve a 30-minute commute for residents in the Greater Seoul area, mainly through a new suburban rail network called the GTX.

The plan encompasses spending 38.6 trillion won to build GTX routes aimed at shrinking daily commute times to a quarter of what they are currently. The GTX, or Great Train Express, will comprise six lines covering the Greater Seoul area, as well as potentially parts of Gangwon Province and South Chungcheong Province in the event of network extensions. Greater Seoul refers to the capital along with Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.
South Korea also announced measures to move surface-level tracks underground with an investment of 65.2 trillion won.

To enhance commuting across various cities, a suburban train project worth 18.4 trillion won, codenamed “x-TX,” will extend express train networks possibly in regions including Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju.

For example, commuter rails penetrating Daejeon and the administrative capital of Sejong are named the “CTX,” which stands for the Chungcheong Train Express.

Of the total announced spending, 30 trillion won will come from the state budget, while 13.6 trillion won will be spent by local governments. The plan also includes 75.2 trillion won in private-sector spending.

The plan was announced at a public debate presided over by President Yoon Suk Yeol Thursday in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, which is about 20 kilometers north of the capital city.

“The era of GTX has just begun this year,” Yoon told some 100 participants at the event.
“The quality of the commute has to do with the quality of life. … The commuting time saved can turn into a pastime rewarded to the people.”
Commuters in Greater Seoul spend about two hours on average for their daily commute to Seoul, according to a 2022 estimate by the Land Ministry.

Yoon also attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the GTX Line C in Uijeongbu later Thursday. The GTX Line C network is an 87-kilometer railway meant to run between Yangju, northern Gyeonggi Province, and Suwon, southern Gyeonggi Province, beginning in 2028.

Travelers would be able to transfer to a subway at any of the 14 stations of the GTX Line C railway, according to Yoon’s office.

South Korea seeks to build a network of six GTX lines, with construction underway for its initial stage. These construction projects will directly create some 500,000 jobs, according to Yoon. Source: The Korea Herald


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