This is the first time that Seoul enacted “7 Codes of Conduct for Low-floor Bus Drivers” based on which the bus drivers will be trained to become more considerate of vulnerable public transportation users and reinforce their services. The goal is to eradicate boarding denial, the greatest complaint among vulnerable passengers who use wheelchairs. Within the year, the city will be operating a center to which vulnerable passengers can report being denied boarding (Boarding Denial Report Center for Vulnerable Public Transportation Users).
Additionally, the “Bus Boarding Support System for Vulnerable Public Transportation Users” will be introduced, which will allow a vulnerable user, such as a wheelchair user, to notify the driver of the bus that is scheduled to arrive of the fact that he or she is waiting for the bus. This will alert the bus driver of the expected boarding of a vulnerable user so that they can offer support for boarding or getting off of a vehicle when necessary. The terminals will be piloted at six bus stops this year and be expanded step by step.
For newly introduced electric (hydrogen) buses, a “wheelchair-only space” will be secured around which the vertical handles will be dismantled for the smooth boarding of wheelchairs.
|Current Bus||Electric Bus|
The percentage of low-floor buses exceeded 50% for the first time (3,946 out of a total of 7,397 buses; 53% as of January 2020). This year, 452 more low-floor buses will be introduced or replace existing ones. For the moving convenience of vulnerable users, Seoul is pursuing to achieve 100% low-floor buses by 2025.
Seoul has announced the “Plan for Improving the Mobility Convenience of Vulnerable Public Transportation Passengers” that contains the efforts mentioned above. Major items include ① raising the awareness of bus drivers and citizens, ② improving facilities and structures, and ③ strengthening the system.
First, to eradicate boarding denial of vulnerable bus users, Seoul enacted “7 Codes of Conduct for Low-floor Bus Drivers” for the first time. The drivers will be trained through monthly practice- and field-based training to get used to the guidelines.
Second, Seoul will introduce the “Bus Boarding Support System for Vulnerable Public Transportation Users” to improve the interior structure of buses to create an environment in which vulnerable public transportation users can board a bus with confidence.
Third, Seoul will start operating the “Seoul Monitoring Team of the Disabled” to officialize and reorganize the existing activities through which the disabled detected problems and offered solutions with respect to their experiences of boarding and getting off of buses. The “Boarding Denial Report Center for Vulnerable Public Transportation Users” will be established by the end of the year and the “activity supporters” who help the mobility of vulnerable passengers will reinforce a short-term movement support service to eliminate blind spots.