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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New Generation of Trams

There aren’t any trams in Seoul since fifty years, but it doesn’t mean that Korea completely abandoned the idea of trams. Actually, Korea currently works on the development of new tram systems. In 2012 the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs decided to focus on one special kind of tram (via KBS):

The government has designated bimodal trams and magnet-embedded tracks as new transportation technologies.
Bimodal trams are built by applying railway technologies into buses. Bimodal trams are a new type of transportation that boasts the flexibility of buses and periodicity of trains. The trams are controlled electronically, provide a smoother ride for passengers, and can be automatically operated on dedicated tracks with magnets embedded in them.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs explained that such technologies are eco-friendly systems that could be used to replace light rail vehicles.

It’s great that South Koreal pursues development into this particular direction. There are some points which I would like to discuss: Bimodal trams, magnet-embedded tracks, replacement of light rail. We’ll start with the last one point. Read more of this post

Seoul Operates Car-Sharing Service

The new year started with big waves in the car-sharing business as Avis bought Zipcar, which previously grew so much that it became a serious competition to traditional car rental services. Zipcar was one of the first car-sharing systems in the world and it’s very popular in the USA. Some days after this big news, I read in the Korean news that Seoul developed a car-sharing system, too. It officially started yesterday Wednesday, Feb 20th and I want to introduce some characteristics of a car-sharing system and what kind you’ll see in Seoul. Read more of this post

A Visit to Songdo

Songdo Panorama

Songdo is the sensational urban development project of Incheon on reclaimed land at the western coast of South Korea. I follow the development and news articles about Songdo since a year or more. So I’ve went there with some certain expectations of a modern, green city, which is friendly to pedestrians. But I didn’t get the feeling like the short documentary  “Cities of Future: Songdo” by Cisco and an article by the Washington Post want to present. Read more of this post

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