SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – Riding a public bus during rush hour can be an unpleasant way to start or end a day, especially on routes that are particularly busy with commuters.
In order to ease over-crowded buses on Seoul’s busiest routes, the Seoul metropolitan government announced Tuesday the launch of what are being called “squirrel buses” – taken from squirrel wheels, calling on only a handful of bus stops that are most busy during rush hour.
Officials said that the decision reflects the fact that commuters flock to specific bus routes at a fixed set of hours, during which the remainder of the routes remained unoccupied.
In fact, the local government’s study of one of the buses (no. 153) earlier this month revealed that nine of 19 buses exceeded their capacity of 60 persons at Gwangheungchang bus stop in northwestern Seoul, between 7 and 9 a.m. These buses were the busiest from Gwangheungchang to Yeouido station, which is only three stops away.
“We believe that it will be much more efficient to introduce more buses for specific routes at certain hours, instead of increasing their number for the entire journey,” said a city official.
Officials added that the government will evaluate all other bus routes operating in the city by May, and start a pilot project involving the short-route buses in June based on the findings.
“We’ll see if the new buses help ease traffic congestion, and how much they actually help local commuters, then expand their operation based on the results.”
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)