Assessment of the Public Acceptability on Deep Underground Railway System in the Seoul Metropolitan Area of South Korea



Assessment of the Public Acceptability on Deep Underground Railway System in the Seoul Metropolitan Area of South Korea

Authors

Younshik Chung, The Korea Transport Institute, Hyun Kim, The Korea Transport Institute

Description

The objective of this study is to analyze the acceptability of the deep underground railway system in Korea, prior to the planning project of its construction.

Abstract

The construction of a new rail transportation system in the existing metropolitan area has to overcome various limitations, which include land compensation issue, urban landscape issue, environmental issue such as noise and vibration, and conflict with road transportation systems. The subsurface use of public land such urban roadways has been partly satisfied with such limitations. Based on this background, Seoul Metropolitan Government has also constructed the subway transportation network along with the urban roadway network, and its length amounts to about 500km. In addition, the daily and annual ridership of the subway transportation system in the Seoul Metropolitan Area is the third highest in the world, after that in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Japan and the Moscow Metropolitan area, Russia (Derrible and Kennedy, 2009).

Despite the high ridership of the subway transportation system in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korean Government is trying to extend the subway transportation systems to mitigate road traffic congestion as well as to cope with the global warming issue. Moreover, it is planning to construct the high-speed railway system to differentiate the service of the existing urban subway systems. However, underground space in the Seoul Metropolitan Area has been already crowded with various types of facilities such as electricity cables and ducts, sewerage and water supplies, gas pipes, underground parking lots, and subways. Additionally, although a specific level of horizontal curve is required for the operation of the high-speed railway, the subway system construction along with the urban roadway network can restricts the speed of the subway train.

As a result, Korean Government has been increasingly interested in the utilization of other space than the subsurface of the urban roadways. That is to utilize deep underground space defined as that space under 40m depth in which compensation to landowners of the surface space is unnecessary to acquire the right to use the underground. However, despite the fact that underground structures perform well during seismic events (Hashashi et al., 2001), the use of deep underground space could lead to the emotional instability of system users due to safety and security issues such as seismic risk , the fear of deep underground, and other disasters, inconvenience issues such as accessibility and transfer to deep stations, and environmental issues such as noise and vibration. The purpose of this study is therefore to analyze the public acceptability of the deep underground railway systems, prior to the planning project of its construction.

Publisher

Association for European Transport