Seoul, South Korea - The Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched an autonomous night bus service, a first in global urban transportation.
The service complements the city's existing late-night public transportation options.
Why it matters:
Seoul's new autonomous bus service represents a significant innovation in public transportation, potentially reshaping urban mobility and setting a precedent for cities worldwide.
The Key Points
- Route and operation: The service travels a 9.8 km route from Hapjeong to Dongdaemun, using central bus lanes, and runs from 11:30 p.m. to 5:10 a.m., Monday through Friday, with a frequency of 70 minutes.
- Fare and access: Currently accessible, the service will transition to a fare-based model in early 2024, which is expected to be lower than the current night bus fare of 2,500 won, with payment accepted via standard transport cards.
- Safety and technology: Enhanced safety features include seat belts for all seats, no standing passengers, onboard security personnel and integration with local emergency services, and improved route infrastructure such as traffic signal information systems.
- Rider Information: Real-time bus arrival information is available at bus stops and on online platforms such as Naver and Daum, with a reminder for passengers to use transit cards when boarding and alighting.
What They Say:
Seoul's autonomous bus service is seen as a forward-thinking solution to improve late-night transportation options.
The initiative is an essential step toward improving urban connectivity and safety.