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Seoul city to raise subway, bus fares next month
SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to raise public transportation fares by 150 won (US$0.13) next month to make up for rising deficits from transfer fee discounts and energy costs, officials said Wednesday.

   The city government has come up with a proposal to raise bus and subway fares from 900 won to 1,150 won (traffic card fares for adult) next month, while freezing prices for students and children, officials said.

   The plan and further specifics will be finalized if approved by a civilian-government committee on inflation at a meeting next week. If approved, the city plans to implement the raise within next month, officials said.

   It would be the first time in nearly five years for an increase in public transportation fees.

   The move came as the Seoul metropolitan subway's budget registered a 478.6 billion won deficit in 2010, up 24.1 percent from 2007, when transfer fee discounts were adopted. The city bus operators' deficit also jumped to 307.9 billion won as of September last year, a 86 percent rise from 2007.

   There are nine metropolitan subway lines connecting Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province.