The Success of Tayo Buses

Earlier this year Seoul decorated four of their buses with the main characters of the famous Korean cartoon show “Tayo the Little Bus” (꼬마버스 타요). Within a short time it became a huge success. Parents make a pilgrimage to bus stops with their children in order to ride their heroes from the TV show.

Tayo_Bus_4

All that it took was a pair of eyes and a smile on the front of the bus. On the side and the rear of the vehicles are drawings of the Tayo characters. It’s probably one of the most successful measures to promote the usage of buses towards children and parents. Read more of this post

Opinion Piece on Banning Standing Passengers

During the research for the previous article about the government’s plans to ban standing on the red buses, I came across an opinion piece by Dr. Jaehak Oh, who works for the Korea Transport Institute. You can find an interview about his background and work here. The article I want to introduce was written back in June, shortly after the government unveiled their plans.

I won’t comment on the content of the article. Here’s my translation (There could be some errors and misinterpretations.): Read more of this post

No More Standing in Red Buses

Update – 30 August 2014: After a month the measure was revoked. The number of buses will be increased by 200 vehicles, as I stated in the blog post. But it won’t be illegal to allow standing passengers. The number of standing passengers decreased from 18% to 7%. The main reason for revoking the measure is that in September the new semester at university begins and the number of bus passengers will be higher than now. So, we are back to normal and it’s allowed to stand in the red Kyeonggi-buses.

 

A huge change awaits the public transportation in the capital region of Korea: In order to improve convenience and safety of buses, standing passengers won’t be allowed anymore on the majority of red buses. This measure was announced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) in June and next week the measure will be implemented. Read more of this post

Yonsei-ro, Seoul’s First Transit Mall

Seoul_Transit_Mall (11)A transformation took place in Sinchon (신촌), a popular nightlife area in front of Yonsei University! Seoul forbids private cars on the main road Yonsei-ro since January 2014. This measure was accompanied by a overall facelift of that street. The 500 meters from Sinchon Station to Yonsei University became the first transit mall of Seoul. Last Friday I had the chance to explore the area. In my opinion, it is an outstanding project and the area improved immensely. Others areas in Seoul and all over Korea are going to get transit malls, too. Let me explain the details of Korea’s transit mall concept. I’ve made many pictures of the new Yonsei-ro in order to make it easier to understand.  Read more of this post

Sustainable Transportation in Korea

UN-HABITAT published some weeks ago the GRHS 2013 (Global Report on Human Settlements) with a focus on sustainable human transport. Even though the report sometimes mentions Korea/Seoul and it contains an info-box about the bike sharing system in Changwon (p. 137),  a background study about sustainable transport in East Asia was more interesting for me. This report analyzed the condition of transport in China, Japan, Korea (South AND North), Mongolia and Taiwan. The authors seem to be great experts about mainland China and Shanghai but not so much about other regions. Nevertheless, it gives a nice context about sustainability in the transport sector of Korea. This post is going to summarize their main findings related to Korea without going too deep into the topic.

Read more of this post

Full Operation of Night Bus Services

Back in April we wrote about the beginning of night buses on two routes. The trial was successful with over 220,000 passengers (2,100 people per night!) and so Seoul is going to begin operation of 7 new night lines from September 12. A survey among Seoulites also found out that 88% of the people support bus services throughout the night.

The night buses will also get a special branding: They are going to be called “Owl buses” and this is the concept behind it:

owl-buses

This map in Korean shows where the nine routes are going to operate:

seoul-night-lines

 

Overview of Night Lines in Seoul

N26: Western Seoul Depot – Jungang Depot (강서차고지~중랑차고지) *already operating since April*

N37: Jingwan Depot – Songpa Depot (진관차고지~ 송파차고지) *already operating since April*

N13: Sanggye-dong – Songpachagoji (상계동~송파차고지)

N16: Dobongsan Depot – Onsu-dong (도봉산차고지~온수동)

N61: Yangcheon Depot – Nowon Station (양천차고지~노원역)

N62:  Yangchoen Depot – Myeonmok-dong (양천차고지~면목동)

N10: Ui-dong – Seoul Station (우이동~서울역)

N30: Gangdong Depot – Seoul Station (강동차고지~서울역)  

N40: Bangbae-dong – Seoul Station (방배동~서울역)

 

During the trial the fare price was only at 1,050 KRW but along the start of the other night lines from September 12 the fare will rise to 1,850 KRW. Of course, the bus drivers of the N-lines will have higher wages than their colleagues of the daily services. They aren’t allowed to work during the day to prevent fatigue. The special features of the bus is that the drivers will be separated by a special partition. This should prevent drunk passengers to to attack or distract the driver. Enjoy the ride through Seoul’s night!

Wireless Charging of Electric Bus in Gumi

The biggest problem of electric vehicles is their battery. Whereas it seems like the capacity cannot be extended, anymore other more creative ways have to be explored. At Kojects, we introduced the battery-swapping method but there’s another method in development for Korean vehicle: Wireless charging through magnetic fields, which are directly beneath the asphalt surface of the street. This system is called “OLEV” and the world’s first system of that kind started commercial operation on last Thursday in Gumi, a city close to Daegu. This post is going to explain what OLEV means and why Gumi was chosen to be the first city.
Read more of this post

Love-Hate Relationship with the M-Bus

Did you ever wonder which genius invented these fabulous grey-blue buses with a digital number display in the front window? Secondly, what does the “M” stand for in the name M-Bus?

korea-mbus-designThe first time I was very positively surprised because it was an innovation in Korea’s public transport system. I loved the buses for their comfort, concept and branding. Since some months I rely on them on a daily bases and I have to say that my love turned fast into dislike (and in some very weak moments I hate these buses). I will try to describe my relationship with the M-Buses in this post. Read more of this post

First Survey of Seoul’s Night Bus Services

Since April 19 there are buses operating through the whole night on two routes in Seoul. The transport division of Seoul City Government published some statistics about the usage of the night bus. This survey is very important because it helps the city government to decide if operation should continue and expand or not. Read more of this post

Korean Solution to Electric Power Supply for Public Transport

We talked about the history of streetcars in Seoul and that Korea is developing a new type of public transport method, which merges the advantages of streetcars and buses. The dependence on fossil fuels has to be reduced. The solution are electrically powered vehicles. Electric vehicles could get energy through external connections (like overhead wire) or they have to carry a battery with a high capacity. Even though overhead wires are still very common in Europe, Korea seems to prefer batteries.  That makes the development very challenging and creative solutions have to be found. In Korea, a company seemed to found such a solution, which involves changing batteries instead of recharging them directly inside of the vehicle.

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 727 other followers