Passengers will be able to travel on the 18.1km, 15-station line free-of-charge until the launch of full commercial services on April 29.
The 35-year build-operate-transfer contract was awarded in July 2004 to Yongin Rapid Transit Company (YRTC), a consortium of Bombardier, Korean civil works contractors Daelim Industrial, Hanil Engineering and Construction, and Korea Development Corporation, and Korean electrical and mechanical partners Hanjin Heavy Industries and Iljin Electric.
Bombardier supplied 30 driverless vehicles with linear induction motors together with its Cityflo 650 automatic train control system. Each vehicle accommodates up to 226 passengers and the line has capacity for up to 30,000 passengers per hour. Bombardier is also responsible for operation and maintenance of the system, and has recruited 170 full-time operations staff in Yongin.
Following four years of construction, test operation began on schedule at the end of 2009 with the aim of starting commercial services in July 2010. However, the launch of services was deferred by the city council, which expressed concerns over noise and safety. Following a year of delays, YRTC subsequently sued the city council in the International Court of Arbitration, which ruled in favour of the constructor and ordered the council to pay Won 515.9bn ($US 435m) to YRTC in compensation for the delay.
As this was equivalent to around 40% of the city's total annual budget, the council has sought other ways to compensate YRTC for the delay. According to local press reports the city has agreed to provide Won 29.5bn towards the operation of the line and plans to restructure its investment in the project over the next few months.