Bus Number Signs

A problem in taking a bus in Seoul was always that you have to be careful to not miss it. Your bus might have hid behind another bus and just started off before the other vehicle. Or on the median bus lanes the buses piled up and it was impossible to read the number of every bus. Seoul solved this problem without any costs and it raised the convenience of Seoul’s public transportation system even more.

How did Seoul solve that? Read more of this post

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Update – 30 August 2014: After a month the measure was revoked.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

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.
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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.

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Public Transport in Taipei

The last six days I was in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, for a city-trip. Beforehand I heard a lot of good things about public transport of Taipei and so I was very excited to use subway, bus and other modes of transport. This post is going to summarize my experience and from time to time I’ll compare it with Seoul. The following picture shows the most important historical figures for Taiwan Chiang Kai-shek and China Sun Yat-sen sitting in a train.

Chiang-Kai-shek

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How Good is Seoul’s BRT?

What do you combine with Curitiba in Brazil? Of course, the first thing that comes into mind, is the bus rapid transit system of that city. Curitiba could be described as the inventor of bus rapid transit and their accomplishments set the bar for other cities around the world. If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, let me introduce this special bus system for you: Bus rapid transit is abbreviated as “BRT” and a good definition is given by the New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Agency:

Bus Rapid Transit or BRT has been defined as “a flexible, integrated, high performance transit system with a quality image and a strong identity.” BRT combines the speed, reliability and amenities of rail-based rapid transit systems with the flexibility of buses.

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