September 13, 2010 11:18
Traffic congestion during Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving, which falls on Sept. 22 this year, is expected to be most serious on the morning of Sept. 21 when travelers hit expressways to travel to their hometowns, and on the afternoon of Sept. 22, when they travel back to urban areas.
In a survey by the Korea Transport Institute for the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, 40.3 percent of respondents said they will travel to their hometowns on the morning of Sept. 21. That was followed by the morning of Chuseok (19.3 percent) and the afternoon of Sept. 21 (14.5 percent).
Meanwhile, 36 percent of respondents said they will hit expressways to travel back to urban areas on the afternoon of Sept. 22, followed by the afternoon of Sept. 23 (29.1 percent) and the morning of Sept. 23 (15.7 percent).
This estimate is similar to traffic flow during previous Chuseok holidays, showing that traffic along nationwide expressways will not be distributed any better even though some companies take as many as nine days off for Chuseok this year.
On the most congested days, it will likely take as many as four hours for vehicles to travel from Seoul to Daejeon, eight hours to Busan, six hours and 30 minutes to Gwangju or Mokpo, and four hours and 30 minutes to Gangneung.
Some 81.1 respondents said they will take their own cars, followed by buses (13.6 percent), trains (4.1 percent) and airplanes (0.7 percent).
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