(LEAD) Yoon attends opening of section of GTX-A commuter rail line

President Yoon Suk Yeol attended the opening of a section of the Great Train Express (GTX)-A commuter rail line in southern Seoul on Friday, part of a fulfillment of a campaign pledge to reduce the commute between the capital city and the surrounding area to the 30-minute range. Yoon attended a ceremony at Suseo Station in Gangnam Ward to mark the opening of the section of the GTX-A line that connects Suseo to Dongtan Station in Hwaseong, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. He then boarded a GTX train at Suseo and made the 20-minute trip to Dongtan together with other passengers. "With the opening of the GTX Suseo-Dongtan section today, your lives will be greatly changed," Yoon said during the ceremony. "What used to take more than 80 minutes by intercity bus between Suseo and Dongtan will become 20 minutes by GTX. The arduous commute will be cut by more than an hour." Citing research that a reduction of an hour translates to 1.14 million won (US$848) per month in monetary terms, Yoon said what is more meaning ful is the regained family time and work-life balance. He also said the new rail network will help narrow economic and social gaps between regions, as various industrial campuses will be linked by rail and more homes will be built in neighborhoods surrounding the stations. Discounts will be offered on GTX fares so that those who use the network frequently can travel between Suseo and Dongtan for somewhere between 2,000 won and 3,000 won starting May 1. The same discount will apply to senior citizens, children, the disabled and those recognized by the government as people of merit. The GTX-A line is the first GTX route to enter service, with lines B to F scheduled to be completed in the coming years to improve commuter transport in the wider capital region. Once completed, the full GTX-A line will have 11 stops over a distance of 82.1 kilometers. In his remarks, Yoon said work is already under way on a separate x-TX project, which will connect regions outside the capital area via high-speed trains. The x- TX lines will be established in four regions -- Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province; Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province; Daejeon, Sejong and the Chungcheong provinces; and Gwangju and South Jeolla Province. Source: Yonhap News Agency