Public transport in Seoul is so extremely convenient and inexpensive that it makes a lot of sense to use instead of buying your own car. Trains, buses and subways are almost always on time and if you use it regularly you will be spending less per month than if you owned and maintained your own vehicle.
Some expats are nervous on Korean public buses because the drivers tend to have a death wish, but it should be noted that taking the bus is still far safer than driving in your own car – especially if you aren’t used to driving in Korea. Subways and trains have excellent safety records and the Korean people pride themselves on designing practical, safe and efficient forms of public transport. On the other hand, Korea has one of the highest car accident rates in the world, so it makes sense that many people prefer to stay out from behind the wheel and on the subway platform.
The negative aspect is that Koreans use public transport all the time. That means that at certain times of the day, you probably won’t get a seat on the subway or bus. If you’re claustrophobic, or even if you are not, this overcrowding can be uncomfortable.
On the whole, though, Seoul’s public transport system is practical, covering the small geographic area efficiently and is open very early in the morning until very late at night. Usually, the benefits outweigh the tight squeezes. Most expats opt to brave the tightness for avoiding traffic and getting from point A to B quickly.