Updates on What’s New in Seoul and Around Korea

by k4E Admin, 29/06/2009

Subway Line 9 - Electricity and Gas bill increase –  Pink parking for women - New W50,000 note problems – free T-money cards for tourists

Subway Line 9 opened on 24 July 2009. It is expected to make some of the hotels as well as other area south of the river more accessible to both visitors and residents. Following are the stations on the new subway route: Gaewha, Kimpo Airport, Airport Market, Sin Bangwha, Magok Naroo, Yangcheon, Hyanggyo, Gayang, Jeongmi, Deongcheon, Yumchang, Sin Mokdong, Sun Yoodo, Dangsan, National Assembly, Yeoido, Satgam, Noryangjin, Notle, Joongang University ( Hukseok), Dongjak, Gu Banpo,
Sin Banpo, Express Bus Terminal, Sapyeong, Sin Nonhyeon.

Electricity and Gas Bills Increase. Starting Saturday 27 June electricity fees increased by 3.9% and gas charges by 7.9 percent. However, if you have 3 or more children, you’ll get a 20% discount on your energy bills.  Nighttime electricity charges, which have been cheaper, will go up by 8% as will fees for non-household and non-agricultural uses. The increase in rates is intended to reduce the utility companies’ growing deficits.

Pink Parking Spaces are areas reserved for women in parking areas. As part of Seoul’s plans to make Seoul a more women-friendly city, the number of parking spaces reserved for women is increasing by about 7,500). Painted pink for easier identification, they are supposed to be close to entrance doors, underground elevators and security guards – in safe areas – and well lit 24/7. The pink lines are apparently 2.5 meters wide as opposed to the standard 2.3 of ‘regular’ parking spaces.  And for those who haven’t figured out that the pink spaces are for women, a woman’s figure (similar to those designating women’s toilets) is painted in the middle of each space….in pink.

Problems with New W50,000 Bill.  Just as people confused the new W1,000 and W10,000 bills when they first came out if the light was not bright (in taxis for example), the same problem is occurring between the W5,000 note and the new W50,000 one.   Also, don’t expect to be getting W50,000 won bills from your local ATM machine for a while. It will take the bank some time to retool their programs to include the new bill. So for now, you’ll still be getting your money in W10,000 notes at most ATM’s. Also, if you plan on paying for a food/drink delivery with the new larger notes, only do so if the bill is close to W50,000 as most delivery people will not be carrying extra money with them to make change for the large denomination.

Complimentary T-money cards (value W3,000) for foreign visitors will be distributed at both the Incheon and Gimpo International Airports starting Wednesday 1 July 2009. The programme is supposed to run for one year, until the end of June 2010. Visitors renting a global roaming mobile phone will also receive a free T-money card.

Photo from www.dipity.com

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