Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Busan Government Works to Improve Quality of Life by Giving Space Back to Citizens

The city of Busan did a nice job of cleaning up the filthy canal/river that stagnated under the elevated train tracks on line number one. The water now smells like, well, water, and much of the area was reclaimed for public use.

In many areas there are basketball courts and other public recreational facilities that now sit on the flat land beside the water. Additionally, a many-many-kilometers long rubberized-track path was laid so that people could get some exercise.

This picture was taken near the entrance to Jangjeon-dong train station (장전동 역) which is along an elevated portion of line one. The bridge spanning the gap sports a rather large sign informing people of how much exercise they need to do to burn off a certain number of calories.

In other train-related news, most of line number three has been completed and is open for public use. Line three (the red line in this map) connects Suyeong station, which is not far from the beach, with Daejeo station, which is a short cab ride from Gimhae International Airport. I'm pretty sure that train service should soon extend all the way to the airport, and my eyes confirmed as much when I saw all the construction there a few weeks ago, but this map doesn't have any information on that. Instead, it seems to indicate that line three will become a one line transfer station as it forks and intersects line one at Dongnae station and continues on until it reaches Bansong.

The official Busan Urban Transit Authority website, however, says that line three will terminate at Anpyeong which is a little bit further out than the Bansong region of Busan. Their map also has line three ending at Daejeo, so it seems that an outside company or authority is responsible for the line that will attach Gimhae airport to the rest of the city.

Anyway, it was nice to have extra commuting options when we were there last. I'm sure that the transportation system will have evolved even more the next time we visit.

Update 1 [April 9, 2008]:
The connection between Gimhae airport and downtown Busan will not be connected to line three. It seems that it will be a completely elevated line stretching from Sasang station on line two in western Busan, which also happens to be a large inter-city bus terminal, to the growing suburb of Gimhae city west of Busan. The line will travel through Gimhae International Airport on its way through.

All of the trains will be unmanned and the line is scheduled for completion in 2010. Capacity is projected at a maximum of 300,000 passengers per day.

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