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T cards for bus and subway travel

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expat_in_asia
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Joined: 05/11/2012
T cards for bus and subway travel
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I would like to buy 2 adult and 2 under 11 cards for use on the subway and buses in Busan.

I hear there are different types and I can just get it at any familymart? I also read online that i need some kind of foreigner id to sign up the kids to get the discounted cards? We are here for 2 weeks and want to make it easy and as cheap as possible to get around. I use google maps directions a lot to check what buses go where and it has been great.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

supermansfoot
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Joined: 11/02/2009
Re: T cards for bus and subway travel

For just two weeks it is probably cheaper to just pay as you ride as the cheapest cards are 5000 won and only save you about 150won per ride. If you plan to use the subway a lot you can buy day/week passes quite easily from any ticketing machine in any subway station. This would probably save you looking for small change all the time.

expat_in_asia
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Joined: 05/11/2012
Re: T cards for bus and subway travel

I found that a HANARO card can be bought at familymart, but it says for my kids that it's subject to Internet Name Confirmation. What does this mean? We are just tourists here. I dont want to buy this thing and not be able to use it.

absolute
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Joined: 11/06/2009
Re: T cards for bus and subway travel

You can buy travel passes, that need to be topped up, from main subway stations throughout Busan in places such as Seomyeon for about 6000 Korean Won a card, and these cards do not need you, the buyer, to submit any personal information.

Wikepia explains the subway prices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busan_Subway

Wikitravel explains the bus fares: http://wikitravel.org/en/Busan

When my father visited for two weeks, he bought a card because he travelled about a bit by subway and bus, and he knew he would use the card again on future visits. Thus, if you planning on using the bus and subway frequently, then buy some cards.

If there are four of you, and you are only here for a few weeks, I would not bother with the cards as the saving would be minimal. You would be better off catching taxis. 

Taxis are everywhere in Busan, and their cost is very competitive when compared to buses and the subway over a short journey. The basic taxi fair is 2200 Korean won and a 15 minute journey costs about 6000. The added bonus of a taxi is they take you directly from A to B without fuss. With traveling from one side of Busan to the other during non-rush hour times taking about 45 minutes, you should be able to roughly workout how much you will spend on taxis.

Two tips on using a taxi in Busan. Have your hotel book you taxi, so you do not have to worry about telling the taxi driver where to go. And for the return trip, carry your hotel's card to show to the driver. If neither of those options are open toyou,  then have the Korean of where you are staying write down where you want to go to show to the taxi driver.

Being here for two weeks, as a group of four, a travel pass will not be of much use because you should vary your travel options between public and private in order to see the most of Busan during your trip.

 

 

expat_in_asia
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Joined: 05/11/2012
Re: T cards for bus and subway travel

Thanks Absolute. I live here so im familiar with the taxis. My wife and 2 kids will be traveling around town during the day, and  $2 (1 adult and 2 half fares) vs  $8 each way cab ride is a lot. I also have to get to them alone after work and back again. Thats $16 vs $2, not to mention cabs get stuck in traffic a lot more than the combination of bus lanes and subways. Also with the cards you get the transfer bus super cheap. But yes, in non rush hours with 4 of us a cab is a good option. 

It seems like the adult card is striaght forward, and ill just have to wait until they get here to see what is required to get the kids thier discounted cards.

BTW I noticed some kids getting change on the bus, does the driver give change to adults who drop in 2 bills or a 5000 as well?

mattsid
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Joined: 09/15/2009
Re: T cards for bus and subway travel

Yes. You can get change, but keep the notes small otherwise they get a little pissed off. I once dropped a ten thousand in by mistake instead of a one and ended up getting change in coins only and a not very happy bus driver!

When my parents were here I sometimes used my card for the whole family when taking the bus. I just got on the bus and told the bus driver three people. The majority of drivers didn't bat an eyelid, because Koreans do it all the time. A couple did get a bit flustered with the 'Oh my god a foreigner is talking to me' thing. I guess also you would have to learn Korean for 'one adult and two kids' (1상인 2어린이)???

Of course, I don't think there is a way of doing this on the subway.

Edit: Btw, if what the person says above is correct and kids cards do need the 'Real Name Verification Check' good luck. Because I've tried to do it several times and got nowhere! But even if your kids have to pay full fare, I think going with the card is a better bet if you take into account the transfers as you mentioned.

And MyBi cards are another option at most major convenience stores.

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