Seoul to launch all-inclusive monthly transit pass next year

The Seoul city government will launch an all-inclusive monthly transit pass plan next year, which will offer unlimited access to the city's subway, bus and bicycle-sharing services at a fixed price of 65,000 won (US$48.70), officials said Monday.

The city has designed the transit pass, named Climate Card, to help relieve increasing living costs and encourage the use of public transportation so as to cut greenhouse gas emissions, city officials said.

The Climate Card will become available for purchase beginning in the second half of 2024 following a pilot operation from January to May.

The rechargeable transit pass, to be available in the format of both a plastic card and a mobile app, will give a user limitless access to all subway lines and bus routes running across the capital as well as the city's Ddareungi bicycle-sharing service for a month.

All subway lines in Seoul, including Line 1 to Line 9, Gyeongui–Jungang and Bundang Lines, will be covered by the Climate Card, except the Shinbundang Line that connects southern Seoul to Gwanggyo, Gyeonggi Province, and has a higher fare system.

The transit card will also be available for use at intracity buses and other buses with shorter routes inside the city.

The city plans to further expand the transit card's coverage to the commercial water bus service Seoul plans to launch along the Han River by the second half of next year.

The city expects the transit pass plan could help relieve people's financial burden from spiking living costs, especially amid growing energy prices, and hikes in bus and subway fares.

The basic fare for the subway service in Seoul is scheduled to go up by 150 won next month from the current 1,250 won by credit or transportation cards, the first markup in eight years.

The new plan is also expected to help reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by some 32,000 tons each year by encouraging people to opt for public transportation. Currently, 17 percent, or 7.6 million tons, of Seoul's total greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation, city officials said.

The city said the financial benefit from the new transit pass plan could reach as high as 340,000 won per person per year, if the costs to be saved when converting from driving a vehicle to public transportation for weekday commuting and weekend outings are taken into account.

Source: Yonhap News Agency