Seoul public transportation fares will rise this Saturday for the first time in five years, officials said Thursday.
All subway and bus fares will increase by 150 won ($0.13) starting Saturday. Fares for both students and children will remain the same.
In order to counter any inconveniences that may arise, capital officials will be on alert 24 hours a day from Friday to Monday.
On Saturday morning over 180 monitoring and emergency city officials will be dispatched to public transportation hubs throughout the city.
The decision to allow the fare hike was taken to lower deficits stemming from energy costs, fee discounts and some free rides, among other factors, officials said earlier this month. This will be the first increase the public transportation system in Seoul has seen since 2007.
The city’s public transit deficits over the last five years have totaled about 3.5 trillion won.
Last year subway deficits surged 49 percent to about 574 billion won, while bus operators’ deficits jumped 104 percent to about 336 billion won.
The fee hike is projected to reduce the total public transit deficit by 312 billion won.
By Robert Lee