Efforts to Encourage Public Transportation Use and its Achievements
SMG has taken charge of the planning, design and construction of the lanes, and the National Police Agency has offered advice and made deliberations regarding the installation of transportation safety facilities. The local municipal authorities where the lanes are built and their city councils have closely cooperated with the City from the beginning of the project. Residents and tenants of commercial complexes around the lanes have also made suggestions and presented their opinions through public hearings. By actively resolving differences in opinions, Seoul Metropolitan Government has tried to ensure that all the support is behind us in pushing ahead with the project. We have allowed advertisement by a private company at some facilities including bus stop shelters at the median lanes for a certain period of time, to attract private funds and to enable specialized public transportation companies to build and operate such facilities.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has made a great effort in reforming the transportation system into public transportation-centered system in order to resolve the traffic problem caused by the expansion of urban life zone and the increase of cars. It is needed to develop technology that changes the demand of cars into public transportation by developing functions that correspond to the convenience of cars in order to activate public transportation.
We continually have improved accessibility of PT by expanding crosswalks and removal of overpass. Transfer centers were also built for citizens can transfer between different mode such as bus, subway, taxi and train. We now aims at providing world-class public transport service through improvement of traffic facilities such as median bus lane and transfer center along with improving walking environment.
Spanning 100.4 km of 12 road routes as of 2011, the exclusive median bus lanes forms a basic network and provides faster and safer bus services on most major arteries. We plan to construct 26.3 km long lanes by 2014 on a gradual basis, and double the construction of lanes to 200 km, depending on long-term traffic conditions.
Due to the implementation of the exclusive bus lane system, people’s confidence in the bus system has been greatly enhanced as the deviation of bus running time has stabilized to ±1-2 minutes, the average bus speed has also increased by 4 km/h. In addition, the number of bus passengers also increased by 2-10% for every route. Across Seoul, the number of bus users increased from 5.66 million a day in 2006 to 5.68 million in 2009, a daily increase of 22,000 persons on average.
Financially, the exclusive bus lanes are covered by the City budget, government subsidies and private capital. The resources needed for lane design and construction of basic infrastructure come from the city budget while the central government provides a certain level (25%) of support as part of its policy to promote the public transportation system. The private sector pays for the installation of facilities of bus stops at the median lanes and for maintenance, but recoups its investment.
Since the reform of the public transportation system, the City has spent a total of KRW 193 billion on the exclusive median bus lanes, or KRW 24 billion a year. Since 2009, Seoul Metropolitan Government has brought its investment to KRW 40 billion (KRW 35 billion in 2009 and KRW 50.4 billion in 2010), maintaining twice of the level. As this figure is less than 2% of the budget set aside for the City’s road and transportation sector, it is absolutely within the budget. For further expansion in the future, Seoul Metropolitan Government has devised a predictable mid- and long-term investment plan every year as well as a stable financing plan.
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