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Transport Webzine

  • Transport Webzine Vol.1

  • Transport Webzine SMG 151

    News Briefing Promotion of the Present and Future of Seoul Transportation in the Era of COVID-19 on the Global Stage New Call Taxi App for Improved Taxi Services to People with Disabilities SMG and Korea Aerospace University Sign MOU for Urban Air Mobility Connection of Seoul and Metropolitan Railways Through Cross-Platform Interchange This month's policy Seoul Launches My-T App for Safe Use of Public Transportation Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic Seoul’s Achievements 1 year of limiting emissions in Green Transport Zone: Less grade 5 vehicles and brighter sky in Seoul ColumnThe Paradox of Sejong-daero

    News Briefing Promotion of the Present and Future of Seoul Transportation in the Era of COVID-19 on the Global Stage New Call Taxi App for Improved Taxi Services to People with Disabilities SMG and Korea Aerospace University Sign MOU for Urban Air Mobility Connection of Seoul and Metropolitan Railways Through Cross-Platform Interchange The SMG participated in the online international transportation forum “Transforming Transportation 2021” hosted by the World Bank on February 5 and delivered a Technical Session with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Transport Institute.
Under the theme “Future Mobility for the 4th Revolution & Non-contact Era”, this session touched on the case examples of response to COVID-19 as well as the trending autonomous driving, electric vehicles and ecomobility. Director Kang Jin-dong of the SMG’s Transportation Operation Division introduced some cases of Seoul’s effective response to COVID-19 that are praised as outstanding cases across the world, as well as the changes and trends in future Seoul transportation. 
The SMG announced that its survey on the customer satisfaction of call taxi services for people with disabilities in 2020 greatly improved recording a score of 91.1 out of 100. Customers were especially satisfied with the fact that the increased number of taxis for people with disabilities educed the average waiting time from 55 minutes (2019) to about 20 minutes (2021) in just two years.
In 2021, the number of taxis for people with disabilities who do not require wheelchairs will be expanded to 120 units. The taxis will be divided into a group for people who use wheelchairs and another for those who do not. Customer complaints will also be resolved through user-centered ervices through the “call taxi” app for people with disabilities that was launched in December 2020.
The SMG and Korea Aerospace University (KAU) signed a memorandum of understanding for the activation of the urban air mobility (UAM) industry on Feb. 8.
On Nov. 11, the SMG demonstrated urban air mobility in the sky above Yeouido in Seoul for the first time in Korea, showing the public that an innovative change is approaching in transportation.
With this MOU signing, the SMG’s UAM vehicle (Ehang-216) will be rented at no cost to KAU to provide future UAM experts with practical education opportunities. KAU plans to train students with competencies to research and develop drones through the smart drone engineering course.
The SMG plans to connect Seoul’s urban and metropolitan railways through “cross-platform interchange” instead of a “through service.” 
Cross-platform interchange is implemented in many countries for its various advantages, including users’ convenience, safety, and better working condition.
Seoul Metro has been undergoing difficulties in operation due to increased financial burden, uncooperative contributions of local governments, and requests for railway extensions.
Operators will soon provide safer and more accountable railway services through a crossplatform interchange arrangement

    This month's policy Seoul Launches My-T App for Safe Use of Public Transportation Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is launching the “My-T” smart phone application, which offers notifications of overlapping routes with COVID-19-confirmed individuals, guides to less congested routes and other various services for citizens’ safe use of public transportation during this time of coexistence with an infectious disease.
GPS location data collected on My-T will be combined and analyzed with data regarding public transportation operations, passengers’ transportation card tags and public Wi-Fi to compare personal passages and travel routes with the movements of confirmed individuals, and notify users of contact with confirmed individuals.
My-T will offer various services for safe and convenient commutes, such as notifications for infectious disease occurrences, navigations based on passenger congestion, personal detours through passage analysis, and low-floor bus reservations for vulnerable passengers. 1.Notifications for infectious disease occurrences My-T offers real-time information about overlapping routes and notifications of contact with confirmed individuals, which is expected to greatly mitigate the uneasiness of citizens who lack information about the spread of the virus.
First, app users will receive notifications once it is discovered that they have crossed paths with a confirmed individual. Before, passengers who boarded buses, subways, taxis, etc. operated by confirmed individuals were not considered to have had direct contact, which led to citizens’  uneasiness resulting from a lack of information about the movements of confirmed individuals. 
My-T will offer a notification service regarding overlapping routes with confirmed individuals to allow citizens to safely use public ransportation. 2.Navigations based on passenger congestions The app will offer a navigation service that offers information on the degree of passenger congestion so that users can avoid crowded routes and choose other safer modes of transportation. 3.Personal detours through passage analysis Personal movement history on buses, subways, taxis, and Ttareungi will be available on the app along with the history of use of public transportation. Combined services with private businesses will be available in the future to offer users coupons, discounts, points, and other benefits. 4.Low-floor bus reservations for vulnerable passengers Services for vulnerable passengers will be reinforced. A reservation service will be available for wheelchair users of low-floor buses to board at the bus stop of their choice.
The SMG plans to perfect the service in phases in the next three years. Starting with the safe use service that offers information about overlapping movements with COVID-19-confirmed individuals, the SMG plans to offer mileage accumulations and discounts for public transportation, improve credit ratings through reflection of public transportation use, and return data sales earnings through a merge between MyData and technologies owned by private businesses.

    Seoul’s Achievements. 1 year of limiting emissions in Green Transport Zone: 
Less grade 5 vehicles and brighter sky in Seoul The SMG’s Green Transport Zone program of limiting the operation of grade 5 vehicles within the parameters of Seoul City Wall with the intention to improve traffic congestion and air pollution turns out to be creating visible outcomes. Since its implementation in December 2019, there has been less grade 5 vehicles on the streets that led to less traffic overall, resulting in reduced gas emissions and effective vehicle control.
The SMG analyzed the effect of the implementation of the Green Transport Zone program of limiting the operation of grade 5 vehicles within the parameters of Seoul City Wall, revealing that there has been a drastic drop in the number of grade 5 vehicles on the streets after a year since the operation. Limitation of Grade 5 Vehicles in Green Transport Zone The program that was implemented on Dec. 1, 2019 and led by the SMG intends to reduce emissions from transportations to resolve the issue of particulates and traffic congestions by limiting the operation of old vehicles (grade 5) that are the main cause of particulate emission. 
•Low emission zone: Green Transport Zone (within the parameters of Seoul City Wall) 
•Target: All grade 5 (emission gas) vehicles •Exception: Emergency vehicles, people with disabilities, business activities of national meritorious people, national/public/special purpose, vehicles with low emission device, etc.
•Limitation hours: 6 AM–9 PM / Everyday (including weekends and holidays)
•Enforcement method: Monitoring via traffic management system (45 access points of the Green Transport Zone)
•Administrative fine: Once per day, KRW 100,000 (half of KRW 200,000 may be adjusted per the Enforcement Decree; KRW 200,000 from third violation) The traffic trend after the implementation of the Green Transport Zone program showed a decrease of the overall traffic, number of grade 5 vehicles on the streets, and vehicles that did not install low-emission devices.
•The traffic of grade 5 vehicles reduced by 23.5%, from 10,222 vehicles in December 2019,
when the program was implemented, to 7,823 vehicles in December 2020.
•The overall traffic reduced by 13.8%, from a daily average of 776,919 vehicles in December
2019 to 670,019 vehicles in December 2020.
•From the above data, vehicles that did not install diesel particulate filters (DPF) that are subject to administrative fine reduced by 58.9%, from a daily average of 1,760 vehicles to 724 vehicles, showing that the low emission program greatly contributed to the reduction of particulates and traffic congestion in downtown Seoul.
The decrease of grade 5 vehicles can also be seen from the number of registered vehicles. 
The number of registered grade 5 vehicles in the country reduced by 22.8%, from 2,170,158 to 1,676,819 vehicles, while that in Seoul reduced by 19.6%, from 201,321 to 161,864 vehicles. This was a result of the active cooperation of citizens in disposing old diesel cars. 39,457 old diesel 
cars were disposed in just a year, which is seen to have contributed to reducing the emission of air pollutants.
•Meanwhile, the number of vehicles with DPFs installed in the country increased by 22.1%, from 270,260 to 330,085 vehicles, while those in Seoul reduced by 11.8%, from 74,309 to 83,033 vehicles.
•This is thought to be the outcome of implementing the Green Transport Zones, limiting the operation of old diesel cars, and promoting the installation of low-emission devices. In addition, the air quality in the Green Transport Zones in consideration with the traffic of grade 
5 vehicles showed a reduction of inhalable particles (PM-10) by 16.7%, from a yearly average concentration of 42 (μg/m3)to35 (μg/m3) in 2019, while fine inhalable particles (PM-2.5) reduced by 16.0%, from yearly average concentration of 25 (μg/m3)to21 (μg/m3) in 2019.
This revealed that the limitation of grade 5 vehicles in Green Transport Zones was effective in reducing traffic in downtown Seoul, installing DPFs in vehicles, and disposing old cars, leading to reduction in urban traffic problems as well as improvement in air quality.
The SMG views that the effect of the Green Transport Zones has been proved to be better than expected. Imposing a fine on program violations is also expected to enhance the public’s awareness on environment and accelerate the promotion of reducing emissions from grade 5 vehicles across the country.
Seoul’s Achievements 1 year of limiting emissions in Green  Transport Zone: Less grade 5 vehicles and brighter sky in Seoul Limitation of Grade 5 Vehicles in Green Transport Zone Overall Traffic and Grade 5 Vehicle Traffic in Green Transport Zone A daily average of 238 vehicles were caught on December 2019 among the vehicles that were limited from operation. This drastically dropped by 87% in December 2020, with only 32 vehicles being caught on a daily average.  Daily Average No. of Vehicles Caught in Green Transport Zone The decrease of grade 5 vehicles can also be seen from the number of registered vehicles. 
The number of registered grade 5 vehicles in the country reduced by 22.8%, from 2,170,158 to 1,676,819 vehicles, while that in Seoul reduced by 19.6%, from 201,321 to 161,864 vehicles. This was a result of the active cooperation of citizens in disposing old diesel cars. 39,457 old diesel cars were disposed in just a year, which is seen to have contributed to reducing the emission of air pollutants.
•Meanwhile, the number of vehicles with DPFs installed in the country increased by 22.1%, from 270,260 to 330,085 vehicles, while those in Seoul reduced by 11.8%, from 74,309 to 83,033 vehicles.
•This is thought to be the outcome of implementing the Green Transport Zones, limiting the operation of old diesel cars, and promoting the installation of low-emission devices. Registration of Grade 5 Vehicles and Vehicles with DPFs Installed In addition, the air quality in the Green Transport Zones in consideration with the traffic of grade 5 vehicles showed a reduction of inhalable particles (PM-10) by 16.7%, from a yearly average concentration of 42 (μg/m3)to35 (μg/m3) in 2019, while fine inhalable particles (PM-2.5) reduced by 16.0%, from yearly average concentration of 25 (μg/m3)to21 (μg/m3) in 2019.
This revealed that the limitation of grade 5 vehicles in Green Transport Zones was effective in reducing traffic in downtown Seoul, installing DPFs in vehicles, and disposing old cars, leading to reduction in urban traffic problems as well as improvement in air quality.
The SMG views that the effect of the Green Transport Zones has been proved to be better than expected. Imposing a fine on program violations is also expected to enhance the public’s awareness on environment and accelerate the promotion of reducing emissions from grade 5 vehicles across the country.

    Column. The Paradox of Sejong-daero.In 2003, Cheonggyecheon Overpass that disturbed the cityscape was removed with the restoration project of Cheongyecheon Stream. It was in operation for just 34 years. There were concerns that if the frequently congested overpass was removed, there would be even more serious congestion in the area on the street level. However, the outcome was the complete opposite.
Citizens were given a beautiful urban park, and the traffic became smoother. It was a prime example of Braess's paradox where closing roads resulted in speeding up traffic. Drivers choose faster routes contrary to the intentions of civil engineers. This is the reason why we should pay more attention to dispersing traffic than increasing the number of roads.
Sejong-daero is a 12-lane road that is hardly seen in other cities. It is a simple passing road which 46% of vehicles in the center of Seoul do not necessarily have to take. Having a large road of a size of an expressway in the heart of the city is pulling vehicles onto the road like a magnet. Sejong-daero that was thought to be wide and convenient is in fact deteriorating the traffic and pedestrian environment. It even causes traffic congestion from a bottleneck effect because of the difference in the average speed with nearby roads. It is time when the traffic should be controlled by giving other options to vehicles that do not necessarily have to take Sejong-daero People who have walked in cities must have experienced the inconvenience when the sidewalks are disconnected, the roads are too wide, and the need to take a long detour to get to the sidewalk just across the street. The streets deprived of trees add heat and cold, making it difficult to walk.
The SMG will be reducing two to four lanes of Sejong-daero and convert them to citizen’s walkways through the Pedestrian Forest Path project. 
The walkways will be decorated with trees, including Chionanthus and Zelkova, creating a green forest-like path.
Sejong-daero will be reborn as Seoul’s main attraction where culture and history lay. The front of Daehanmun Gate where there are crowds to watch the Changing Ceremony of the Royal Guards will be expanded do double the size. It will also have a path that connects to Jeongdonggil. New paths will be made around Sungnyemun Gate for visitors to approach closer, which was not possible before.
The heart of Seoul will transform from vehicle roads to paths where people stay. There will be small shops and restaurants in the area for passersby to enjoy. Namdaemun, Bukchang-dong and Seoul Station that were distinguished as separate commercial districts will be connected as a commercial belt that can be accessed on foot. The food streets of Bukchang-dong, the lively Namdaemun Market, and Seoul Station will form a new travel route. It will become a street of shopping, culture, and cityscape.
There will also be more bicycle roads that are drawing attention in the post-COVID-19 era. The whole Sejong-daero and 4.2 kilometers of Hangang-daero will be paved with bicycle roads, creating a riding course that connect Gwanghwamun, Yongsan and Yeouido. It will become a heaven of green transport, where people can enjoy the nature and leisure at the same time.
Every effort is being made to minimize traffic concerns that may arise from the construction project. The signals of 82 intersections will be adjusted for the first time during the construction period. By changing the signal operation system, the vehicles in congested areas will be dispersed, expected to reduce congestions by 10%. The bus routes and frequency will also be adjusted flexibly in accordance with the project chedule and traffic situation to minimize citizens’ inconvenience.
The grayish Sejong-daero packed with cars will soon be filled with green urban forest, openair cafes, pedestrians, and bicycles. The congested road with harmful pollutants will become a clean and lively Pedestrian Forest Path. The new cityscape of Seoul is waiting for us.