The Seoul Metropolitan Government won the first “Local Government Award in Asia-Pacific” at the 2013 ITS World Congress (Intelligent Transportation System World Congress) a massive international event in the field of transportation, dubbed the “Transportation Olympics” for its efforts to maximize citizens’ participation in its transportation information system through an Open API (Open Application Programmer Interface) that the city began to disclose to the public in 2010.
Kicking off on Monday, October 14, the 20th ITS World Congress Tokyo launched a local government award. The Seoul Metropolitan Government won the inaugural honor representing the entire Asia- Pacific region.
The ITS World Congress began in Paris in 1994. Each year, representatives of corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies from about 90 countries participate in the congress and view exhibits of new technologies and presentations of research papers on intelligent transportation. Korea has held the world congress twice, first in Seoul in 1998 and second in Busan in 2010.
The inaugural Local Government Award at the 2013 Tokyo Congress was given to a local government each in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific for their initiatives to develop intelligent transportation and contributions to technological innovations in the area.
For the first time in Korea, the Seoul Metropolitan Government built a “transportation information service model with the action of citizens.” The Seoul Metropolitan Government has disclosed public transportation information including bus arrival times to the public, and citizens and corporations have developed various service programs such as mobile apps for smartphones and provided them to the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the good of the community.
So far, more than 10 apps have been developed and supplied to the public free of charge.
In addition to its disclosure of public transportation information to the public, the Seoul transportation information service model is also widely recognized internationally for other aspects as well: fast and accurate real-time information on traffic situations and anticipated bus arrival times; GPS-based scientific management of bus operations; cutting-edge, automated visual surveillance system, and; integrated transportation card system that allows citizens to use all types of transportation modes with single cards.
In fact, the preeminence of the “intelligent transportation system” of Seoul has been well verified by the fact that more than 1,200 foreign heads of state, ministers, and vice ministers of transportation departments and transportation experts have visited the Seoul Metropolitan Government to learn about and benchmark the advanced Seoul Transportation Operation and Information Service (TOPIS) since 2004 when the city began to overhaul its public transport systems thoroughly.