South Korean Token?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by jlblonde, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. jlblonde

    jlblonde Señor Member

    Hi All,
    Here's a coin that I believe is a South Korean token. I'm not sure if it is a phone or transit token.
    I believe I might have posted a question about this token on CT many years ago, but I can't seem to find any references for it.
    Does anybody know what it might be or if there is a site referencing these tokens.

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  3. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    It is a bus token. Top picture says "One Way". Bottom Says "City Bus".
    Jwt708 likes this.
  4. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Here's a set of rare bus tokens from all over South Korea, including student and private bus company tokens. One is even a specimen! Your token looks like the ones you can see on either side in this photo, but yours only says "시내버스" which means, 'city (downtown) bus'. All the ones in this photo have the addition of the names of the city they were issued in. Yours doesn't, which implies to me that it's a Seoul City bus token. In the 1993~1996 period, I used your very same bus token often in Seoul. There was another smaller silver copper nickel one that was used, too. These soon disappeared while I was living in the city that last year I was there.

    Bus tokens were first issued in 1977 in Seoul. Later, other localities used them; mostly the larger cities of South Korea, although one provincial issue exists (경기, Gyeonggi, shown here!). Bus tokens were a means of streamlining the collection of bus fares. Prior to tokens, fares had been collected by young women who rode the buses and had to individually collect each fare from every passenger. Bus ridership in Korea declined drastically after 1980 due to the development of underground railways and the growth in the ownership of private cars. Bus tokens continued to be used over various periods of time depending on location, but were gradually phased out. The death knell for bus tokens was when bus companies in Seoul started fitting their buses with RFID "saved-value card” card readers. This began around 1996. The last tokens in Seoul were used in 1999. The last bus tokens used in Korea were in Daegu and they were finally withdrawn in 2008.

    See Patrick O’Donnell’s 2016 book: “Tokens of Korea”:
  5. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! Supporter

    Shouldn't it be Won Way?... sorry bad joke :muted:

    Very interesting token and information provided by mlov43!
    furryfrog02 likes this.
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