SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul city government is considering raising the city's subway fare by 150 won (US$0.11) this year in a step back from the initially planned 300 won hike in consideration of growing financial burdens on the public, sources said Wednesday.
The city had been pushing to increase the base subway fare in the city by 300 won in late April to cope with growing transportation budget deficits but put off the plan to the second half of this year mainly due to rising living costs burdening households.
The basic subway fare currently stands at 1,250 won if paid by credit or transportation cards and 1,350 won by cash.
The city is currently discussing the tentative 150 won hike plan with the Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) and other subway-related institutions at the suggestion of the state rail operator, the sources said
The suggestion calls for carrying out a 150 won hike during the second half of this year to stave off financial burdens on the public and determining the timing for another 150 won hike later, the sources said.
During a confirmation hearing at the Seoul Metropolitan Council, Baek Ho, Seoul Metro's chief nominee, said, "As far as I know, the city has set a plan to raise (the subway fare) by 150 won in the second half ... for reasons that include the country's rising living costs."
The nominee said Seoul Metro, the operator of the city's subway services, has a budget shortfall of 1.68 trillion won.
City officials said the 150 won hike plan is still under discussion, and once it is finalized, the city's price setting committee will review it for approval. The planned fare hike is expected to take place sometime between August and September.
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