Seoul's 'Hechi Bus' Attracts Over 160,000 Riders in First Month With Fun Design | Be Korea-savvy

Seoul’s ‘Hechi Bus’ Attracts Over 160,000 Riders in First Month With Fun Design

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SEOUL, May 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Seoul’s efforts to inject fun and creativity into public transportation have proven to be a hit, as the newly launched “Hechi Bus” surpassed 160,000 riders within just a month of its trial operation in the city’s central areas like Namsan Mountain and the presidential Blue House.

The Hechi Bus is an embodiment of Seoul’s “FUN Design” urban strategy, featuring the city’s iconic “Hechi and Soul Friends” character mascots adorning the vehicle’s exterior, seats, floors, and ceilings. 

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Since March 30, Seoul has been operating the Hechi Bus on two routes – Route 01A, circulating between Namsan Mountain and the Blue House, and Route 01B, looping around Namsan Park.

According to city officials, as of April 30, the Hechi Bus recorded 166,283 passengers, averaging 5,196 daily riders. The influx of visitors to Namsan during the spring season is cited as a contributing factor to the bus’s increasing popularity. 

The fourth week of April saw the highest ridership, with a total of 54,990 passengers boarding the Hechi Bus. 

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The bus’s design, allowing close encounters with the beloved “Hechi and Soul Friends” characters, has particularly resonated with young riders. In April alone, 5,758 children rode the Hechi Bus, marking a significant increase of over 1,000 compared to the 4,423 child passengers on Namsan’s regular shuttle buses in March.

Encouraged by the positive public response, Seoul has expanded the Hechi Bus service. Initially operating with just one vehicle on each of the 01A and 01B routes, the city has now replaced all 22 buses (16 on Route 01A and 6 on Route 01B) circulating Namsan with the Hechi Bus design.

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To enhance the experience, multilingual audio guides in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese are broadcasted on the buses, introducing the Hechi Bus to passengers and tourists alike.

Yoon Jong-jang, director of Seoul’s Transportation Planning Bureau, stated, “We will continue to offer diverse services that showcase the appeal of Seoul’s public transportation through vibrant and enjoyable travel experiences.”

Image credit: Seoul City /

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