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GTX-A commuter line to launch 1st leg Saturday

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : March 29, 2024 - 16:38

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Land Minister Park Sang-woo (center) inspects a GTX-A train on Thursday at Suseo Station in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul, before the rail line's first leg begins service on Saturday. (Yonhap) Land Minister Park Sang-woo (center) inspects a GTX-A train on Thursday at Suseo Station in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul, before the rail line's first leg begins service on Saturday. (Yonhap)

The Great Train Express commuter rail line connecting Seoul and surrounding cities will begin operating its first leg Saturday, with the eventual goal of bringing several cities in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Province within commuting range of the nation's capital.

The first leg of the GTX-A will run between Suseo Station in southern Seoul and Dongtan Station in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. The 34.9-kilometer route will open when the 5:30 a.m. train en route to Dongtan leaves Suseo Station on Saturday.

The first train from Dongtan to Suseo will leave Dongtan Station at 5:45 a.m.

The GTX-A line operates with 20-minute intervals between trains, shortening to 17 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. There are two other stations between Suseo and Dongtan, but the trains will only stop at Seongnam Station for the time being.

Guseong Station, which is currently on the Suin-Bundang Line, will start operating as a GTX-A line station in June.

The route is expected to take about 20 minutes in total, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation. It conventionally takes well over 40 minutes with traffic to drive between them, and over an hour by bus.

The GTX-A lines will charge a basic fare of 3,200 won ($2.40) for the first 10 kilometers, and for distances beyond that, there will be additional fees of 250 won per five kilometers. The longest Suseo-Dongtan section costs 4,450 won.

These rider fees make the GTX-A the priciest urban rail transit system in South Korea, not including the inter-city high-speed rail services like the Super Rapid Train. The SRT train runs between Suseo and Dongtan in 17 minutes, but costs a lot more at 7,400 won. Since it is not part of the metropolitan transportation system, while GTX-A is, its passengers cannot transfer for free to other means of transportation in the city.

The Transport Ministry officials said discounts will be offered to those using the GTX-A frequently. This includes the K-Pass discount service slated for launch May 1, which is expected to reduce the GTX fares for the Suseo-Dongtan section to between 2,000 and 3,000 won.

The GTX-A is the first GTX route to launch service, and the transit authorities are planning to complete its lines B to F in the coming years. Once completed, the GTX lines will connect Seoul to surrounding cities including Pyeongtaek, Asan, Incheon, Ansan, Paju, Gimpo, Hanam, Namyangju and Dongducheon in Gyeonggi Province, and also to Gangwon Province cities Wonju and Chuncheon.