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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

[Dec/Transportation] Subway Superlatives: Riding the Daegu Subway

It's almost always sad to witness the slow, reluctant demise of an aging athlete: the once robust, virile performer becoming a shadow of his former self. Inevitably, a young upstart with speed and agility, wrapped in a fresh package, steps onto the stage, bathing in the spotlight of adulation.

Every major city in its time must respond to the challenge of efficiently transporting its citizens from one point to another. Boston (slow and without a schedule), New York (dark, dirty stations) and Paris (antiquated access, wheelchair-unfriendly)--all boast subway systems that remind us of athletes past their prime.

Korea's subway systems are the fresh, new "kids" on the world transportation "block." Daegu's new subway system leads the pack as perhaps the best example: it is fast, spotlessly clean, safe, reliable and brimming with optimism.
Daegu subway stations: bright, litter-free, safe
Daegu Subway System Fast Facts
Began Operation           Nov. 20, 1995
System Length             118.2 Kilometers/74 miles
Lines                            Red (Line 1) and Green (Line 2)
Stations                        58
Transfer Station            Ban-wol-dang Station
Basic Fare                    1200 won/$1.10 (1100 won with a transportation card)
Managed By                 DTRO/The Daegu Metropolitan Transit Corporation

The mission of DTRO is to provide "safe and comfortable transit"--and that it does, superbly. The subway cars are glistening clean and modern. The stations are bright and user-friendly offering handicap access, elevators, escalators that turn-off when not in use, and easy access for passengers with bikes-all driven by a state-of-the-art electronic pass system.

Convenient bike rails. Bikes welcome on weekends
For a great "how to navigate the system" overview click here

Boasting best practices from around the world, Daegu's subway system is simply best-in-class. Take her out for a spin. She'll leave you breathless.

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