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Establishing buses as a competitive mode transportation: Introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes and transfer discounts

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Establishing buses as a competitive mode transportation: Introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes and transfer discounts06



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Title Establishing buses as a competitive mode transportation: Introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes and transfer discounts
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Date 2015
Language Korean
File Type Theme
Subject Territorial Development < Transport/Logistics

Abstract

A) Exclusive median bus lanes

 

A.1) ##3D_LAYER##Exclusive median bus lanes##3D_TEXT:1) Noh, Y. and Lee, K. (2005). Economic evaluation of Seoul city’s Bus-only-lane Project.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/economic-evaluation-seoul-citys-bus-only-lane-project--04201307040127045.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.V5aZPtLhCiN##3D_TEXT:2) 서울연구원. (2013). 서울시 중앙버스전용차로 포장방법 개선방안 연구(A study on the improvement of pavement for bus rapid transit system in Seoul).##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8%EC%8B%9C-%EC%A4%91%EC%95%99%EB%B2%84%EC%8A%A4%EC%A0%84%EC%9A%A9%EC%B0%A8%EB%A1%9C-%ED%8F%AC%EC%9E%A5%EB%B0%A9%EB%B2%95-%EA%B0%9C%EC%84%A0%EB%B0%A9%EC%95%88-%EC%97%B0%EA%B5%AC-study-improvement-pavement-bus-rapid-transit-system-seoul--05201406190132486.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.VvN1ZuKLSWg##3D_LAYER_END## background



The expansion of roads in Seoul has utterly failed to keep up with the explosive growth in car ownership, resulting in intensifying traffic congestion. This, in turn, has slowed down the speed of buses and made it impossible for them to operate punctually. In an effort to mitigate this problem, Seoul Metropolitan Government began introducing exclusive bus lanes on main roads, but the majority of these lanes were ##3D_LAYER##roadside lanes##3D_TEXT:Agrawal et al. (2013). Shared-use bus priority lanes on city streets: Approaches to access and enforcement.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/shared-use-bus-priority-lanes-city-streets--05201603290143938.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.V5aZktLhCiN##3D_LAYER_END##. Compared to exclusive bus lanes in the center of roads, roadside lanes proved to be significantly less effective at ensuring the speed and punctuality of bus services. The city government thus shifted its focus accordingly and began increasing the number of exclusive median bus lanes.



[Figure 6 Exclusive roadside bus lane and exclusive median bus lane]



Source: Renault-Samsung Motor blog.



[Figure 7 ##3D_LAYER##Exclusive median bus lane##3D_TEXT:[Figure] Exclusive median bus lane.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/resource/view/01201608210145796.do#.V7mme1t96Uk##3D_LAYER_END##]



Source: Seoul Transportation Policy Department



A.2) Trial and error



Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to increase the number of routes with ##3D_LAYER##bus-only lanes##3D_TEXT:Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. (2007). Analysis of policy processes to introduce bus rapid transit systems in Asian cities from the perspective of lesson-drawing: Cases of Jakarta, Seoul, and Beijing.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/analysis-policy-processes-introduce-bus-rapid-transit-systems-asicities-perspective-lesson-drawing--05201603300143947.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.VvxsOPmLQhc##3D_LAYER_END## along trunk roads and urban expressways to 13, creating a total of 170 kilometers of exclusive bus lanes. Under Phase 1, six of the 13 bus routes were to be completed in 2004, and seven more were ##LINK_POPUP##to be added in 2005, under Phase 2##MAINTITLE:to be added in 2005, under Phase 2##TITLE:Phase-by-phase plan for introducing bus-priority lanes##CONTENT:










































































































































































  Route Roads Lane

Type
Phase Length

(km)
No. of

lanes
Major stops
Urban

trunk

roads
1 Dobong-ro and Mia-ro Center Phase 1 14.0 7~9 Mia
2 Mangu-ro and Wangsan-ro Center Phase 1 10.4 6~7 Cheongnyangni, Mangu
3 Cheonho-ro and Hajeong-ro (with central bus-only lanes prior to 2004) Center In operation 7.6 5~10 Cheongnyangni, Wangsipni
3-1 Cheonho-ro and Hajeong-ro

(new exclusive median bus lane to be installed)
Center Phase 2 8.3 6~11 Cheonho, Gil-dong
4 Songpa-ro and Jayang-ro Center Phase 2 9.6 5~11 Jamsil
5 Gangnam-daero Center Phase 1 9.3 8~10 Yeong-dong
5-1 Gangnam-daero

(Hannam-ro section)
Center Phase 1 6.5 6~10 -
6 Dongjak-ro and Sinbanpo-ro Center Phase 2 8.4 6~9 Sadang, Namhyeon
7 Siheung-ro and Hangang-ro Center Phase 1 14.9 6~11 Daerim, Yongsan
7 Siheung-ro and Hangang-ro

(Noryangjin section)
Center Phase 2 3.8 6 -
8 Gyeongin-ro and Mapo-ro Center Phase 1 16.2 6~10 Yeongdeungpo, Gongdeok
9 Gonghang-ro Center Phase 2 10.3 6~8 -
10 Susaek-ro and Seongsan-ro Center Phase 1 8.7 6~8 Susaek, Sinchon
11 Tongil-ro and Uiju-ro Center Phase 2 10.6 6~7 Yeonsinnae
12 Teheran-ro and Olympic-ro Center Phase 2

(long-term

review)
14.7 6~7 Sadang, Yeong-dong, Jamsil, Cheonho
Urban

Expres-

way
13 Gangbyeonbuk-ro

(Goyang border to Mapo Br.)
Center+

Roadside
Phase 2 8.6 8~10 -
13-1 Gangbyeonbuk-ro

(Guri border to Jamsil Br.)
Center Phase 2 4.2 6~8 -

Source: Seoul Metroplitan Government (2006). Convenient Public Transportation, Happy Citizens of Seoul.

##LINK_POPUP_END##.

 
[Figure 8 Distribution of exlusive median bus lanes in Seoul]




Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government





The first exclusive bus lanes entered service on July 1, 2004. The large number of buses that had previously traveled along the exclusive roadside bus lanes, along with other buses, now lined up along the exclusive median bus lanes in endless throngs. In particular, the incredibly long lines of buses in the exclusive median bus lane of Gangnam-daero became known as “train buses.” Seoul City sought to solve this problem by requiring that Gyeonggi buses (transporting passengers back and forth between towns in Gyeonggi-do and Seoul) and feeder buses make their stops in roadside lanes. As citizens became more familiar with the new lane system and bus stop designs, the congestion along the exclusive median bus lanes began to clear up, and buses started operating at a faster pace. As citizens came to understand, and even actively support, Seoul’s bus reform policy, bus reform finally began achieving tangible results.

 
[Figure 9 Early days of the exclusive median bus lanes]


Source: Newsis article

 

[Figure 10 ##3D_LAYER##Later stage in the introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes##3D_TEXT:[Figure] Later stage in the introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes.##3D_LINK:##3D_LAYER_END##]


Source: Seoul Transportation Policy Department



A.3) ##3D_LAYER##Effects of the introduction of exclusive median bus lanes##3D_TEXT:1) Kim, H. (2003). Performance of bus lanes in Seoul: Some impacts and suggestions.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/performance-bus-lanes-seoul--04201603290143941.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.V5aa69LhCiN##3D_TEXT:2) Kang, C. (2010). The impact of bus rapid transit on location choice of creative industries and employment density in Seoul, Korea.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/impact-bus-rapid-transit-location-choice-creative-industries-employment-density-seoul-korea--05201603290143940.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.V5abH9LhCiN##3D_LAYER_END##



The exclusive median bus lanes have greatly improved the pace and punctuality of bus services in Seoul, thus allowing passengers to predict, with accuracy, when any particular bus will arrive at any given stop. This has made buses a much more competitive mode of public transportation than in the past. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##Today, someone driving their own car can be up to four to five minutes late for an appointment, compared to only one or two minutes late, at most, if they take a bus. The exclusive median bus lanes have also increased the speed of buses by 33 to 100 percent and improved overall transportation efficiency by 1.75 to 2.8 percent. As buses are now able to drive in straight lines at almost all times, the comfort of passengers has been increased as well.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##



The introduction of exclusive median bus lanes has greatly improved the speed and punctuality of buses. Today, the headway between buses traveling in these lanes is about two minutes, at most. Considering that the headway between subway trains is one minute, buses are now almost as reliable and punctual as the subway system. As buses running in median lanes now drive in straight lines for the majority of their routes, passenger discomfort has been minimized, and their sense of safety has been enhanced. The “bus trains” that used to clog up Gangnam-daero have all but disappeared, and more than 10 percent of all vehicle passengers on this main road at any particular moment are now bus passengers.



As a ##3D_LAYER##result of the introduction##3D_TEXT:Hwang, S. and Kim, G. (2014). 50 praxes for better transport in Korea.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/50-praxes-better-transport-korea--05201503120137177.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_TR#.V3y6ovmLRrQ##3D_LAYER_END## of exclusive median bus lanes, the speed of buses has increased by 31.74 percent, and the deviation between average punctuality and headway has decreased to 27.74 percent. Also, the number of bus passengers along ##LINK_POPUP##exclusive median bus lanes##MAINTITLE:Exclusive median bus lanes##TITLE:Improvements resulting from exclusive median bus lanes##CONTENT:

 

































Aspect Unit/measure Improvement
Speed Operating speed (km/h) 16.7 (December 2003) ⇒ 22.0 (December 2004)
Punctuality Length of headway 0.69 (roadside, July 2004))

⇒ 0.56 (central, July 2005) 

⇒ 0.50 (central, February 2006)
Transportation

efficiency
Number of passengers Up by 26.8 percent between December 2004 and December 2005
Cost reduction Travel cost savings KRW 225.1 billion saved in travel costs

Notes:

(1) The speed prior to the introduction of the exclusive median bus lanes is the average speed of buses traveling in any given lane. The speed after introduction is the average speed of buses in the center lanes.



(2) Punctuality is measured as the difference between average headway andactual headway. The closer this difference is to zero, the more punctual the bus service is considered to be.



(3) The number of passengers, used as a measure of transportation efficiency, was measured with respect to buses traveling along the Mangu-Wansang, Gyeongin-Mapo, and Siheung-Hangang roads, which were newly opened in 2005.



Source: KOTI (2013). Public Transportation System Reform.##LINK_POPUP_END## has increased by 26.8 percent, raising the overall transportation efficiency of buses.




B) Transfer discounts



B.1) Transfer discounts: Background




Subway passengers have long had the benefit of receiving discounts on fares when transferring between trains, but no such benefit was offered for bus passengers. Under this system, a passenger traveling a long distance on a single bus paid almost half the fare of a passenger traveling a shorter distance by taking two or more buses. Moreover, the system offered no discounts for passengers transferring from a bus to a subway train, or vice versa. As the companies operating the subways, urban buses, and neighborhood buses all insisted on separate fare rates, passengers had to pay unfairly high fares when transferring between these modes of transportation.



B.2) Integrated Distance-based Fare System for buses and subways



Seoul Metropolitan Government thus introduced integrated distance-based fare rates (applicable to buses and subways alike) and a fixed bus fare rate for buses carrying passengers into and out of the city. These two fare rate systems formed the main pillars of Seoul’s new fare policy, which it called the Integrated Fare System for Public Transportation (IFSPT). ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##The IFSPT applies to all modes of public transportation in Seoul.

* Fare formula: basic fare + additional unit fare (travel distance – basic fare distance) / additional distance unit



In order to ensure that long-distance travelers are charged reasonable public transportation fares, Seoul City applies a fixed fare rate for travel distances of 40 kilometers or more. Also, the basic fare rates are differentiated by mode of transportation so as to reflect the differences in the quality and value of services provided by different modes. Both buses and subways inside Seoul apply the fare formula described above. Passengers traveling by bus only benefit from the flat fare system applied to buses traveling into and out of the city. 



Seoul has extended the distance-based fare system to apply to all subway zones inside the city’s limits, thereby applying the basic rate to the basic distance of 10 kilometers and charging extra fares on every five additional kilometers of travel. Buses likewise adopted the same system of distance-based fares, charging the basic fare for the first 10 kilometers of travel and extra fares for every five additional kilometers. Considering that 50 percent of bus passengers in Seoul travel six kilometers or less by bus, passengers traveling by bus only would pay fares in accordance with the existing flat fare system.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##



B.2) Effects of the IFSPT



When Seoul Metropolitan Government unveiled its new integrated fare policy, there was strong opposition from the subway operating companies and the Gyeonggi bus operating companies. However, the city had relatively little problem securing the consent of the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation (SMRT) and Seoul Metro, as both were part of the city government itself. On the other hand, Seoul struggled to reach an agreement with the Incheon Transit Corporation and KORAIL, which objected to the plan on the grounds that switching to an integrated distance-based fare system would inevitably force them to raise the basic fare rate. This meant that passengers who had paid a basic fare of only KRW 650, thanks to the discount benefits associated with their transportation cards, would have to pay KRW 800. The city could mitigate the controversy over this issue by offering transfer discounts, but KORAIL had to raise its fare rate without providing any similar compensatory measures. In the end, though, KORAIL agreed to the introduction of the new fare system for the convenience of the public. Nevertheless, the new fare rates increased the financial burden on passengers traveling long distances, from one end of the city to the other, by subway daily. Faced with mounting public criticism, Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to increase subsidies for long-distance commuters and readjust the basic and additional fare distances to 12 kilometers and six kilometers, respectively. Through difficult negotiations and concessions, the city government was able to enter into a final agreement with KORAIL only 10 days before implementing the public transportation reform, as scheduled, on July 1, 2004. 



However, there was still the problem of passengers traveling by bus from Gyeonggi-do to Seoul, where they then transferred to urban or neighborhood buses, expecting to benefit from the same transfer discounts. The key point of contention was deciding which government—Seoul or Gyeonggi-do—should subsidize the transfer and fare discounts for such inter-city bus travelers. Seoul and Gyeonggi-do held numerous meetings to discuss and decide which of the various measures and fare subsidization plans were the fairest. One proposal suggested conducting a joint survey to determine the proportions of Seoul- and Gyeonggi-based passengers taking buses across the borders of Seoul and dividing the burden of subsidization accordingly. Another proposal suggested that the local government responsible for the departure point subsidize the fares. The two governments finally reached an agreement in January 2005, with Gyeonggi-do accepting Seoul’s proposed integrated fare system and subsidization formulae.



Seoul Metropolitan Government sought to reform the public transportation fares in order to increase the popularity and competitiveness of public transportation and ensure the transparency of public transportation revenue. As a result of the new fare system, the average cost per passenger per trip has decreased from KRW 620 to KRW 592, or by 4.5 percent.

 
[Table 4 Pre- and post-reform bus fares]






















Goal Unit/measure Change
Affordable fare Fare per trip (KRW) 620 (latter half of 2003) 

⇒ 592 (first half of 2004)
Transparency of revenue Card transaction ratio (%) 77.4% (January 2003) 

⇒ 88.9% (December 2004)


Source: KOTI (2013). Public Transportation System Reform