First Korean Tram to be built in Yongho-dong, Busan
Busan’s Yongho-dong district was recently selected by the government to have the first low-rise, low-floor tram built in the country.
The first section, a 1.9-kilometer track will run from Kyungsung University to Igidae Station, just past LG Metro City and will be known as Oryukdo Line.
It’s expected to have five stops, including Pukyoung National University, Daeyeoncheon, and Boonpo.
The cost of the project is estimated at KRW 47 billion which will be paid by the government and sponsored by the Korea Railroad Research Institute.
The new tram is hoped to revitalize the commercial areas and to increase tourism in the district.
The original plans were to include an additional 3.25km of tracks to extend the route to Oryukdo in front of SK View Apartments, which would be built with four more stops. The extended line is likely to be built with public funding.
Locals in the Oryukdo area have long hoped for the tram as few buses in the area have been a major inconvenience for residents.
The Busan government won the bid over four other cities by promoting eco-friendly public transport, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, increasing public transportation demand, and increase traffic flow on the ground.
However, there is also concern among locals that trams may cause adverse effects such as traffic congestion as Yongho-dong has a high proportion of car use due to traffic inconvenience.
The low-rise low-floor tram is a roadside tram that can run over 35 km with a built-in battery system. There is no high-pressure line, is good for the city aesthetic, and it is a new transportation system that is environment-friendly and without noise and smoke.
A 430-meter long walking park named “Tram Park” is also expected to be built from Yongso junction to Pukyoung National University.
The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Domestic trams have been built in Korea since 2012 and exported to Turkey in 2014 and 2015 though none currently operate within the country.
Tram service was used from 1915 to 1968 in Busan but was stopped due to traffic overflow.