The Daily Commute

Most bus stops have maps of the bus routes, an arrow pointing to the next stop, and a screen that displays buses’ arrival times and whether they are crowded or not. Inside the buses, there is also a screen that displays the upcoming stop and the next stop after, along with a recorded voice announcement. Perhaps for the convenience of the influx of foreigners in recent years, there is also an English announcement following the Korean one. 

The subway also covers an expansive area and will take you all around Seoul with no problem. TRAINS RUN FROM 5am TO JUST past midnight. There are several exits within one stop and are labeled numerically. Popular destinations have pay-to-use lockers, food stalls, and some stations double as underground shopping centers called 지하상가(ji-ha sang-ga). Most, if not all stations have English signs, maps, and located AT THE top of the platform door, there is a sign informing you of the subway’s direction and next station.

Although you can pay in cash, it’s best to buy a T-money transportation card for riding the bus and subway because you can get a discount and get free transfers (within 30 minutes). You can buy them at most convenience stores and reload them there too in addition to reloading inside the subway (only cash payments during reloading). If you have a Korean bank account, you can ask for your debit card to double as a transportation card. There are also prepaid discounted subway cards that give you 60 rides per month. The government also grants tax benefits to people who use public transportation.

It’s important to note that once you ride the bus and tap the T-money card on the reader, you have to tap the reader again before getting off.