Riding the subway in Seoul showed me how far behind even a major city like New York is

A recent trip to South Korea made me realise that it may be time for New York City's subway system to get a major face-lift

Eugene Kim
Business Insider
Tuesday 12 December 2017 11:59

As someone who lived in New York City for over a decade, I've relied heavily on the subway system there. But as much as I appreciate the MTA, it's not the most sophisticated or technologically advanced service in the world. A recent trip to South Korea made me realise that it may be time for NYC's subway system to get a major face-lift.

Here are some of the things I found really interesting:

The differences are obvious from the beginning of each trip. You don't need to buy a separate ticket if you download the subway app. It saves a lot of time.

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But if you want to buy tickets and don't have change, you can use this to get singles. it saves you from carrying change.

The stations are full of big, widely touted subway maps. They helped me find my way to the right train.

This is the platform. These screen doors prevent people from falling onto the tracks. It saves a lot of people from getting injured.

These screens show where the train is in real time. It gives you an idea of how much more you need to wait on the platform.

There were tonnes of screens all over the station. Lots of opportunities to sell ad space.

Vending machines were pretty common. Some stations had convenience stores on the platform.

The train's finally here! See anything strange?

That's right - no driver! Apparently, it's safer and more cost-efficient to go driverless.

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Screens in the subway show the exact time and distance left to get to your next stop. I was headed to an area called Gangnam to tour the Google Seoul Campus.

The shows on the screen kept me entertained...

And of course, the Wi-Fi connection was solid.

Interesting behaviour: Corner seats are left empty, even when the train is packed, so seniors or pregnant women can find them.

Finally, time to get off. It tells riders which side to exit from.

On my way out of the station, I saw this “3D Holovision” advertising screen. Unfortunately, it wasn't working when I was passing by.

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But there was this full-wall screen that ran ads 24/7.

There was also this moving walkway for slow walkers, like me.

The escalators don't move until someone steps on them. That saves a lot in energy costs.

I stopped by the bathroom, and surprise! It was really clean! No sketchy people or trash strewn all over the floor ...

But this was a little odd. Some bathrooms didn't have toilet paper and sold them in these vending machines instead. The machine sold things like gum, Listerine, and ... condoms.

The yellow line is there to help the visually impaired find directions. It led all over the station.

I needed this station map to find my way out.

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Finally found Google's Seoul Campus. That was a fun ride!

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