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SRT train passenger numbers top 8.9 mln since start of operations

All Headlines 15:05 June 12, 2017

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's latest bullet train line has been used by 8.9 million passengers since its launch six months ago, its operator said Monday.

The total breaks down to 6.85 million passengers that used the Gyeongbu Line linking Suseo Station in southeastern Seoul and the southeastern port city of Busan, and 2.05 million people who rode the Honam route from Suseo to the southwestern port city of Mokpo, according to SR Co., which operates the Super Rapid Train (SRT).

The figure translates into an average 49,000 passengers per day since the high-speed train started service Dec. 9, with the record number of daily passengers being reached May 7 when 67,661 used the SRT.

The average daily passengers rose gradually to 52,585 in the month of May from 43,870 in December. In January, 47,599 used the railway, with numbers rising to 49,373 in February, 46,656 in March and 51,270 in April.

"The number of passengers has increased steadily except for March, which is seen as the offseason for tourism," an SR Co. official said.

The SRT bullet train achieved the on-time arrival rate of 99.8 percent under the International Union of Railways (UIC) standards, which allow less than 15 minutes of delays.

The SRT train has posted 261.2 billion won (US$232 million) in ticket sales for the past half year.

Industry watchers say the introduction of the SRT train allows passengers in the southern part of Seoul easier access to the bullet train service as they no longer need to come into downtown Seoul to board the KTX bullet train.

The SRT train offers 10 percent cheaper tickets than KTX tickets and boasts 10 minutes shorter travel time on the Gyeongbu and Honam railways.

It also offers more spacious seats, snacks and beverages, monitors with mobile Internet access, prompting its competitor KTX train to follow suits with reduced fares and greater Internet access on board.

SRT train passenger numbers top 8.9 mln since start of operations - 1

hdh@yna.co.kr
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