|Massive underground public transit terminal will be established in Gangnam by 2023.|
By Bahk Eun-ji
A massive underground public transit terminal will be established in Gangnam, southern Seoul, by 2023.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Monday that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved the city government's project to build the center.
Projected to be the nation's largest multi-purpose underground complex, it will be located between Samseong Station on Line 2 and Bongeunsa Station on Line 9 under a 630-meter section of the Yeongdong-daero thoroughfare running through one of Seoul's busiest districts.
The mammoth complex, spanning 160,000 square meters, which is 30 times bigger than Jamsil Baseball Stadium, will be comprised of six basement floors, serving as a multifunctional, cultural and retail space.
It will be serving as a junction of five means of transport ― bus, taxi, subway, Great Train Express (GTX) and the light rail transit (LRT) Wirye-Sinsa Line.
The GTX is an express train service designed to shorten the time for commuters coming from the outskirts of Seoul to central areas. Unlike regular subways, it will travel at speeds up to 180 kilometers per hour, shortening travel times by 70 to 80 percent. Three GTX lines will link southern and northern parts of Gyeonggi Province with Seoul, and two of the three lines, A and C, will pass through the transit center.
The LRT is planned to link Wirye New Town in southern Gyeonggi Province with Sinsa Station in southern Seoul to facilitate Wirye residents' commute.
Besides the newly built lines, the terminal will be connected to metro lines 2 and 9 and have bus stops for 52 buses as well as taxi stands.
The city government expects more than 600,000 passengers will use the massive underground complex every day, which is nearly double the number of Seoul Station users. The length of time spent transferring from one kind of transportation to another will be slashed drastically, as passengers using the subway at the complex will make their way up to the bus stops within two minutes on average.
The complex will also house cultural facilities including an exhibition hall, museum, library, shops and restaurants.
As a part of the urban planning project, the underground complex will be connected with the COEX shopping mall and Hyundai Motor Group's new headquarters. Seoul City also expects the zone outside COEX will play a role as a square in which many people gather in Gangnam, similar to Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.
"We will continue to cooperate with the ministry to develop and complete the construction successfully so that many citizens can visit and use the terminal as soon as possible," a Seoul City official said in a statement.