Busan is one of the major access regions into Korea, with its transportation system having lasted for ages. Hosting big international events like the 2002 Busan Asian Games and 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, transportation in Busan has undergone a highly urbane improvement, especially due to digital transportation programs that contribute to reaching its dream of becoming the 21st Century Global City. With modern subways, an unlimited supply of taxis, ubiquitous buses and car rentals, getting around Busan is very convenient, easy and fast.
It is possible to go around almost anywhere within Busan using its extensive subway system. Busan Subway consists of three lines and public announcements are done in both the English and Korean language. Line 1, known as Orange Line, is assigned at the north-south route with 34 stations. The first train begins from the stations in Nopo-dong and Sinpyeong at 5:10 am and the last train comes in Sinpyeong at 12:35 in the morning. The complete ride in Line 1 takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
On the other hand, Line 2, known as Green Line, has 39 stations and runs across Busan from east until west, passing along the coastlines of Gwanganli and Haeundae. The first train starts from a station in Jangsan, Gwangan and Jeonpo towards Hopo at 5:20 am. A complete ride on the entire line takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. Line 3, or the Brown Line, consists of 17 stations, and smaller than Line 1 and 2. The first train leaves from Suyeong and Daejeo at 12:22 in the morning. A complete ride through this line takes no more than 35 minutes.
Another option when getting around Busan on land is the taxi. Several types of taxi are available in Busan including regular, deluxe, call and TIP taxis. Regular taxis can be flagged at any street or at taxi stands. You will find out if the taxi is available by the red card on the right portion of the dashboard or a lighted signage on top. Call taxis are often contacted from hotels or other certain locations. Some Call taxi drivers speak English but do not expect much as most don’t. Deluxe taxis are the most expensive, charging twice the regular fare. They are black in color, with drivers speaking generally in English, providing in-car phones and accepting credit cards. They can be found almost anywhere but are often seen at hotels, airports, tourist spots and transportation terminals. On the other hand, TIP taxis can be identified because of the seagull image on their taxi. They offer different language services and accept credit cards.
Getting around Busan by bus is another good option, with the unlimited number of local buses running across downtown area. Busan buses consist of three types, namely regular, express and late-night buses. When riding the bus, look at its route and plan your itinerary, particularly if the bus is crowded. Local buses usually display the destination in both English and Korean, including recorded announcements on the next stop.
For travelers getting around Busan, the most convenient way to pay fares is through Busan transportation cards, which can be used to pay for the bus, highway tolls, subway, parking and merchandise. There are two types of transportation cards according to company, namely Hanaro and Mybi. Hanaro cards are available to pay for bus, toll with no stop and different vendors across the city. Mybi cards, on the other hand, are all-around e-cards that can be used for transportation, Internet shopping, e-business etc.