Kangnam New Transit Line (NTL)

(Low Capacity Public Rapid Transit)

Kangnam is located in the southern part of Seoul, Korea. This project description was prepared in February, 2001. No contact person in Korea has been determined at this time.


Seoul is continuing to develop. As it does so it attracts increasing demands for travel, both into and in the City. The City boasts an extensive modern subway system, comprising 8 lines with a further line under construction. There is a limit to the number of additional roads that a city can provide and the environmental factors are yet another issue to be considered. There are concerns that the increasing traffic congestion is becoming detrimental to business efficiency as well as imposing other unnecessary social-economic expenses. The development and implementation of an alternative complementary transport system that is also environmentally friendly is regarded as being an imperative.

The Kangnam New Transit Line (NTL) has been announced as a PPI project to provide a solution for the heavily congested Kangnam Area. A local transportation service is needed for areas that are specifically designated for transportation management. The project aims to establish an effective transportation network that connects to other public transportation systems and transit stops. The project will also be able to provide a novel method of public transportation for short-distance business travel.

Project status

A PPI project is being proposed over a 30 year concession period. Many of the details regarding the route, type of technology (proven rather than developmental), degree of government support, etc. have yet to be determined.

Scheme rationale

The Kangnam district suffers from a high rate of car use, almost double that of the City as a whole. Traffic congestion continues throughout the day and is now affecting adjacent areas. There is no longer a peak period for heavy traffic.

Of the 450,000 employees working in the Kangnam area, 350,000 are located on the main Teheran Road. There is heavy local business traffic, again almost double the levels across the rest of the City. A considerable volume of traffic is generated by by the ASEM Conference Center, International Trade Center, Kangnam Subway Station, nearby residential areas in Chungdam-dong and Dogok-dong, etc.

Despite the high demand for an effective public transportation, there is only a few bus-line that serves the Kangnam area while only one bus-line serves Teheran Road. People prefer to use taxis as a main method of transportation for short distance travel on Teheran Road despite the heavy traffic conditions. There is always congestion on the subway, and the distance between stations is on average around 1.5 km, which is detrimental for good access to the commercial centers located in the corridor.

Many foreigners visit the tourist facilities located in Kangnam. These include the ASEM Conference Center, International Trade Center, and several hotels. At the West end of Teheran Road, there is Kangnam subway station. The proposed NTL route will connect Sinsa Station to Kangnam Station to Samsung Station in an L configuration

The Kangnam area is also distinct with high-rise buildings and the new NTL stations could be integrated within the buildings and thus make full use of the spatial advantages of the developments. Three large (3000 space) car parks are to be located along the road.

The route is about 8 km long. Frequent stations are proposed, at approximately between 300-400m intervals. This will maximize the accessibility of the system. A highly automated service is envisaged, with small 1 to 2 car units (20 persons each) running at 1 minute frequencies.

Phasing of the construction may be possible, with the 1st phase (Samsung-Kangnam) being started in 2001 and the 2nd phase(Kangnam-Sinsa) following.

Traffic demand

Preliminary estimates of ridership predict a demand of 120,000 passengers a day in 2011, rising to 145,000 passengers by 2021.

Project Costs

Outline cost estimates price the completed system at between US$ 170 and 200 million

Financial projections

Initial analysis shows that, given the necessary financial support as proposed from government, the project would generate an IRR of about 16% in 2021, i.e. within the range acceptable to government..

Government Support

The Seoul Metropolitan City Government will cover the entire Compensation Cost for Land Acquisition, etc. The State and Seoul Metropolitan City Government will share 40% of the Construction Cost. The project is at an early stage and participation is being sought by means of Equity Participation, Joint Investment with domestic Corporations, or Syndicated Loan.


Last modified: February 20, 2001