Monday, August 17, 2009

Bike Friendly Subway Trains and Stations

Until now, only foldable bikes are allowed on subway trains in Seoul, and no bike at all during rush hours.

A few months ago, special subway wagons were announced : bicycle owners would be able to carry their vehicles on certain lines. Some seats would be removed to install bike racks in the first and last wagons of each train.

Starting this October, bikes will officially be allowed in subways on sundays and holidays, and Seoul will start testing bike friendly stations until March 2010 (see "
Bike riders to travel by subway" - JoongAng Ilbo 20090818).

Asia News Agency released two interesting pictures (see "
10월부터 자전거 끌고 지하철 탄다") :
- a man pushing his bike along a dedicated slope at Seokgye Station on line 6 : the slope has a thin gutter to maintain the tires in the right direction, and the carrier about 50 cm of staircase separated from the crowd by a big metal banister. it's better than carrying your bike on your shoulder but you can see him struggling... and certain stations have daunting staircases. expect many cheaters to be fined for using the elevators.
- a 3D rendering of a wagon equipped with bike racks : there's room for two bikes on each side, to lean on a simple metal structure where people can also store some luggage. not optimal but that's a start.

The Chosun Ilbo (see "10월부터 지하철에 '자전거 전용칸'") released this video of a man using the same slope, and an automated bike parking / storage service :

Here are the 38 stations selected for the trial (with the main subway line for each - many are connections) :
- Line 1 (3) : City Hall, Jongno 3-ga, Dongdaemun
- Line 2 (7) : Euljiro 1-ga, Hanyang University, Konkuk University, Seongnae, Sincheon, Seoul National University of Education, Dangsan
- Line 3 (5) : Gupabal, Oksu, Apkujeong, Maebong, Suseo
- Line 4 (5) : Nowon, Gileum, Hansung University, Dongjak, Sadang
- Line 5 (5) : Omokgyo, Yeouido, Gwanghwamun (
with its new slope !), Gwangnaru, Olympic Park
- Line 6 (5) : Saejeol, World Cup Stadium, Korea University, Seokgye, Hwarangdae
- Line 7 (5) : Nowon, Junghwa, Ttukseom Resort, Naebang, Onsu
- Line 8 (3) : Mongcheontoseong, Seokchon, Songpa

Many universities and riverside bike hubs (Ttukseom, Yeouido...). And enough to study the complete bicycle... cycle.

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