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South Korea Table of Contents

South Korea


Figure 11. Transportation System, 1988

Domestic transportation improved greatly during the 1980s, and growth was evident in all sectors. The rapid improvement and extension of public roads and the increasing availability of motor vehicles contributed enormously to the mobility of the population. Approximately 51,000 kilometers of roadways spanned the country in 1988, 46.3 percent of which were paved. Express highways facilitated travel between major cities and reached a combined length of 1,539 kilometers in 1988, as compared to 86.8 kilometers in 1967 (see fig. 11). The 1980s saw the increased paving of roads and the building of ultramodern highways around Seoul (especially in the vicinity of the Olympic stadiums) and between Seoul and such major cities as Pusan and Taegu. In 1989 the government announced that it would start construction on nine new expressways with a combined length of 1,243 kilometers. In 1996, when the expressways and two additional projects were expected to be completed, South Korea was expected to have twenty-one expressways with a combined length of 2,840 kilometers.

The total number of motor vehicles climbed rapidly in the 1980s. By 1987 there were approximately 845,000 passenger cars and 748,000 commercial vehicles, up from a combined total of about 744,000 in 1980. In 1988 South Korean automakers produced 504,000 vehicles for domestic sale and 576,134 vehicles for export. In the first nine months of 1989, domestic sales reached nearly 800,000 vehicles.

The expansion and rapid improvement of South Korea's longdistance highway system led to the growth of an excellent intercity bus system in the 1980s. In 1988 there were ten express bus companies operating a fleet of some 900 buses connecting all of the major cities of Korea.

Data as of June 1990