Seoul, Korea

Korea (2004)


Before the Seoul Public Transport Reform, Metro services and bus routes were not adequately integrated. Fare policy, circuitous bus routes, and extension facilities were not favorable to transfer passengers. It resulted in drastic reduction in bus ridership and increase in personal vehicle usage. The rising needs for government subsidy in bus fare became a grave concern. Seoul Public Transport Reform adopted new fare policy, allowing free transfer among differing modes of transportation and vehicles; this means, each passenger may pay a single fare for a trip based off the distance traveled even if the trip requires varying modes of transportation (which can be determined by previous trip records). To execute this policy successfully, an electronic system for unified fare collection and indisputable settlement among operators was essential.

Tmoney’s Role

Seoul Metropolitan Government established a new transportation card business corporation called "Tmoney Co., Ltd.". Seoul Metropolitan Government was able to secure public character in terms of integrated settlement operator by becoming the biggest shareholder of Tmoney.


Implementation of unified public transportation system provided the citizens many benefits in using public transportation. Tmoney card system played an important part in making this success possible. Tmoney card is being used not only for transport, but also in other various retail areas such as shopping malls, movie theaters, public facilities, toll gates, convenience stores, public utility charges and more. The scope of Tmoney business can be evaluated by the following numbers; Tmoney as issuer and operator of Tmoney processes 50 million data transactions per day which means 600 transactions per second. 97 million cards have been issued accumulatively which means every Korean has more than one Tmoney card. Tmoney manages 19 million US dollars daily for fare settlement. Percentage of card usage for metro is 100%, for bus and taxi, 98.3% and 53.5% respectively. By introducing the integrated public transportation system to the cities, the number of passengers continuously increased and so did the satisfaction rate.