To solve the problem of standing on buses in the metropolitan area, the government and local governments will increase the number of chartered buses by 107 and regular buses by 56 during commuting hours. A total of 46 large-capacity double-decker electric buses will be put into operation by the first half of next year.
The Metropolitan Area Transportation Committee (Daegwang Commission) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced on the 5th that it would prepare and implement the ‘Secondary Measures for Standing Buses in Wide Areas’ together with local governments having jurisdictions such as Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Incheon.
In July, the Daegwang Commission announced the first measures, including an increase of 28 chartered buses, as the demand for public transportation surged due to the lifting of social distancing and other factors. The second measure included adding 163 chartered buses and regular buses to 79 routes in the metropolitan area to increase the number of commute times by 216 times. If the first measure is included, the total number of inter-area bus operations during commuting hours will increase by 482 times.
By region, the number of commuting operations on 65 routes in southern Gyeonggi Province, such as Suwon, Hwaseong, and Yongin, with the highest number of passengers, will increase by 17% from 1896 to 2,217 by the end of the year. In the northern regions of Gyeonggi-do, which have long distances such as Goyang, Namyangju, and Paju, the number of trips will be increased by 15% from 624 to 719. In the case of Incheon, the number of trips during rush hour will increase by 29% from 230 to 296. Separately, a total of 46 double-decker electric buses, which have increased the number of seats from 45 to 70, will also be used.
In addition to expanding bus supply, the government and local governments also announced plans to relieve inconvenience to bus users. A reservation system is implemented through a mobile application (app) so that you can get on the bus right at a set time without waiting in long lines at the bus stop. The wide-area bus seat reservation system will be implemented in stages, starting from December on routes with a large number of waiting people, such as Sadang Station and Gangnam Station.
At a stop where the wide-area bus arrives full and passes frequently without stopping, an intermediate dispatch method will be introduced in which bus operation starts from that stop. To this end, it was decided to prepare guidelines for the diversification of inter-area bus routes during this month and select the applicable routes.
The Daegwang Committee decided to take a joint response, such as forming a ‘wide-area bus standing response consultative body’ together with Seoul, Gyeonggi-do and Incheon, holding regular meetings every month and monitoring the status of standing seats at all times.
Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Won Hee-ryong said, “We expect that the standing problem will be significantly alleviated with this measure.
Reporter Park Se-joon [email protected]
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