Readers Voice: Yongho-dong Trams

Image courtesy of Stephen Tait
 

I was delighted to read about the new trams to be installed between Yongho-Dong and the Kyungsung University, and with extensions to come later.

This will be a huge benefit as somehow the area was missed when the Metro systems were being installed and expanded.

My wife and I lived for several years in Turkey where they have embraced Trams for a long time, both historically — as in Busan, from the very late 1800s until the 1950s, and again now right up to date.

We were particularly affected by the new system recently installed in Izmir. The second line, only opened in 2018 and went right past our apartment. The line is just over 12km long and with 19 stations (platforms) and 21 running Trams.

The construction lasted for about three years and with much disruption — there were also other side-projects and complications (such as underpasses and new one-way systems) along the way.

There was an outcry at the planning stages because among other things over 2,000 car parking spaces would be lost. This was a big concern because Izmir is quite congested already, and most buildings do not have underground parking as we enjoy here in Busan.

In fact, ultimately some parking spaces were lost but the final effect was not as severe as originally expected.

Now the project is finished and well in operation, it is a two-way line with peak time trams every 6 minutes. The Trams were produced by Hyundai Rotem as will be used for Yongho-dong. The trams are clean and smart, electric of course, comfortable, quiet, air-conditioned and with a low entry height and wheelchair access.

The tram lines are next to the roads and with grass or paving between the rails, it actually blends in very well to the surroundings, and with vehicle traffic lights synchronized to the tram movements, there is virtually no disruption to the traffic flow. As with the new Yongho-dong line, there is some integration with the Metro stations too.

After the early uncertainties, the Izmir Trams are well liked and very popular among Izmirians.

I am looking forward to the new Trams here in Busan.

Stephen Tait
Suyeong-gu, Busan

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