Transportation in Gwangju, South Korea

Category : Surviving in Korea / Travel/Events
Nov 28, 2014

The local transportation in Gwangju is comprised of a very small subway system, an extensive bus network and taxis.


Methods of Payment

In Gwangju you can buy a single journey ticket or use a transportation card to take the bus, subway or taxi. Gwangju uses the MyBi Card (4,000KRW-6,000KRW) purchased from the subway ticketing machines or in convenience stores. This technology is the same as the T-money technology used in Seoul. All passes are accepted all over the country. You can use these transportation cards to take the bus (both regular and express), the subway, and taxis. By using a transportation card, you can save a 100KRW on your journey.



In Gwangju, there is a flat fee that is charged regardless of the distance traveled. You can buy a single journey ticket for the subway, use cash for the buses or use a transportation card for both.



General Buses

Subway Fare

Transportation Card (KRW)

Cash (KRW)



Single Journey Ticket (KRW)

Adults (19+)





Youth (13-18)





Children (6-12)


Senior Citizens (65+), handicapped, Veterans, Babies (0-5)



The Subway System

The subway system in Gwangju has one line which runs straight across the city (east to west). The first subway starts at Sotae Station and at Pyeongdong Station, headed in the opposite directions at 5:30. The last two trains finish at Pyeongdong Station and Sotae Station at 24:00. The subway runs every five minutes during peak hours (morning, noon and evening rush hours) and every eight minutes during the rest of the day. Due to the small size of the Gwangju subway system, there aren’t quite as many amenities to be found as in the subway systems of the larger cities in Korea. Most subway stations have rest areas, benches, vendors and small cafes as well as parking areas and bike racks.


Lost Items

If you lose something in a subway train, go directly to the office inside the train station to report your lost item. Try to remember the station you got off, the time you go off, the train number and the carriage number. The office that deals primarily with lost items is:

  1. Sotae Station: The office is on the first floor in the basement.
  2. Hours: Weekdays, 09:00~18:00 (17:00 in winter) and Saturdays, 09:00~13:00
  3. Call: (062) 604~8554



For more information about the Gwangju subway like the timetable and the map, check the website. Download the app ‘Subway Korea’ for information on all the subway lines in Korea. You can plan your route, check the times of arrival and departure and use the interactive map.


à Please see the comprehensive guide to using the subway in the article, Seoul’s Subway System.


Gwangju Subway Information

Subway Line (hoseon/호선)

Area of Service

Starting Station

Ending Station

Line Operator

Number of Stations

Line 1호선

Color: Green

Runs across the city from west to east



Gwangju Metropolitan Transit Corporation




There are three types of buses in Gwangju which are differentiated by color. The buses run from about 5:00 to 24:00. Not all buses run from the same times nor do they all finish at midnight. Some run later while others stop earlier. There is only one bus route, number 1000 that has LED signage and stop announcements in English. The rest of the routes only have Korean.

  1. Red Buses: These are express buses that move between three main districts in Gwangju, Dong-gu (downtown), Seo-gu (the West end), and Gwangsan-gu (Gwangsan-dong and Cheomdan-dong). They tend to only stop at major locations and they run frequently.
  2. Yellow Buses: These buses serve the general Gwangju city. They take longer to get from place to place but they service more locations.
  3. Green Buses: These buses go to the outskirts of the city and into the countryside. They are usually slower and have many stops.


There is a website that provides Gwangju City bus information, however it is in Korean only. If you can navigate the website, you can search routes and plan your trip. They have also created an application for smart phones called ‘Gwangju Bus/광주버스’. It has English and provides all the same information as the website.



There are regular taxis and deluxe taxis in Gwangju. Regular taxis are silver with blue or green lights on top. These taxis are the general taxis servicing the Gwangju area. The base fare is 2,200KRW for the first 2km. The fare goes up every 150m or 36 seconds by 100KRW. The base price has been raised to 2,700KRW or 2,800KRW in 2013. Taxi drivers in Gwangju rarely speak English, so you’ll either need to bust out your Korean skills, have the address written down or use the PickUpPhone translation service (ironically the website is not offered in English). The number for the service should be written on the inside of the cab.


Deluxe taxis are used mainly for corporate service or airport pickup and drop-off. They are black with yellow lights. The base price 4,500KRW for the first 3km and it goes up by 200KRW every 160m or 38 seconds. All taxis charge an additional 20% between midnight and 4am.


There are also two call taxi services: nCall (1688-3336) and World Call (062-515-2000). They will pick you up wherever you are. You can use these services for regular taxi use, or if you are going to a more remote location. It’s also great if you have to travel home late at night. This way, there is a record of the call and information about your whereabouts in case anything goes wrong.



Tags : Travel. Transportation.

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.

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