SRT Operations between Seoul and Busan may be reduced

Image: SR
Image: SR

SRT Operations between Seoul and Busan may be reduced

haps Magazine Korea

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is reportedly considering reducing the operation of the SRT Gyeongbu Line from Suseo to Busan.

While the government claims that nothing is confirmed, analysts believe that the plan to reduce the Gyeongbu Line operation is almost certain, as new SRT routes require the deployment of trains.

During a recent meeting with the ministry, Busan City expressed concerns about the reduction plan, stating that feasible alternatives that citizens can understand should be provided before any actual reduction takes place.

As part of its measures, the ministry is contemplating reducing the weekday SRT operation from 80 to 70 trips per day while adding six daily trips for the Busan-bound KTX (Seoul to Busan).

On weekends, the current SRT frequency will be maintained, with six additional trips for KTX. This proposal would increase the total number of trips on the Seoul-to-Busan route by two daily, but reduce the weekday SRT frequency by four.

The reason behind the SRT Gyeongbu Line reduction lies in the need to allocate trains for new routes.

Currently, SRT operates only on the Gyeongbu Line and Honam Line, but new lines (Gyeongjeon Line, Jeolla Line, and Donghae Line) will open on September 1st.

Though 14 new trains have been ordered, they are not expected to be introduced until 2027. Until then, existing SRT trains must be deployed on the new routes.

The Gyeongjeon Line and Donghae Line have been long-demanded routes by Park Wan-soo, the current Governor of Gyeongnam province , even during his time as a member of the National Assembly. Addressing concerns that Busan may have prioritized Gyeongnam politically, and not prevented inconvenience for its citizens, is challenging.

From January to May, the average daily SRT passengers at Busan Station were 16,918, rising to 21,520 on weekends. SRT’s popularity is due to slightly lower fares compared to KTX. Those who need to travel urgently to Seoul’s Gangnam area for work would face difficulties if the service is reduced.

The National Railway Workers’ Union predicts increased inconvenience for citizens starting from the upcoming Chuseok holiday. They point out that reducing operations by 10 trips would result in a reduction of 4,344 available seats, causing immediate inconvenience for citizens during Chuseok.

The union emphasizes the need to reduce citizens’ inconvenience by operating the KTX Busan-to-Suseo route more frequently.

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