The Seoul Metropolitan Government is considering lowering the increase in the basic subway fare from 300 won to 150 won in the second half of this year.

According to Yonhap News coverage today (17th), in discussions between the Seoul Metropolitan Government and subway-related agencies such as the Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) on fare increases, a proposal to raise subway fares by only 150 won in the second half of this year is being discussed.

In response to a question from City Councilor Kim Kyung of the Democratic Party of Korea (MDP) about the plan to raise public transportation fares at the Seoul City Council's personnel hearing today, Baek-ho, a candidate for president of the Seoul Transportation Corporation, said, "We planned to raise the 4 won in April, but it was postponed due to the burden of inflation on ordinary people."

Initially, the Seoul Metropolitan Government planned to raise 300 won at once in the second half of the year.

However, it is reported that Korail has proposed to divide the fare increase into phases in consideration of the burden on ordinary people due to rising prices.

The plan is to raise 150 won first in the second half of this year, and then readjust the timing of the increase for the remaining 300 won.

This translates into a de facto government position.

In the context of the recent increase in electricity and gas prices, it is believed that they were concerned that a large increase in subway fares could increase the burden on ordinary people.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government can raise subway fares on its own without the government's consent, but for the convenience of passengers, it is necessary to consult with related organizations such as Korail, Incheon, and Gyeonggi-do, which have operating lines.

Therefore, it is likely that it will raise 150 won first in the second half of this year and then raise 150 won once more.

Considering next year's general election, the timing of further increases is likely to be in the second half of next year or the year after.

In response, a city official said, "There are various discussions regarding public transport fares, but this is not yet a definitive issue."

The increase in the basic bus fare in the second half of the year is expected to be carried out as originally planned.

The increase is 150 won for local and local buses, 150 won for regional buses, 300 won for village buses, and 700 won for late-night buses.

The city will soon finalize the final rate increase proposal and present it to the Price Task Force in June.

The timing of the rate increase in the second half of the year is expected in August and September.

At today's hearing, Baek said that the deficit problem in the construction cannot be solved without raising rates.

At present, the shortfall of funds for construction is about 300.350 trillion won.

"If we leave the rates as they are, this (deficit) problem will not be solved forever," he said, noting that "it is a problem that should not be solved even if other competent outside managers come along."

As for the construction plan, he explained, "We are thinking a lot about real estate development, such as developing and leasing the land in front of Sadang Station as a transit center, and increasing profits by developing the ground part of DMC Station and Suseo Station."

"Daegu and Busan already stipulate financial support from the city to the transportation corporation in their ordinances, but the Seoul Metropolitan Government does not have (such an ordinance)," Baek said, adding, "It is necessary to institutionalize such (financial support from the city)."