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Rapid Bus System to Debut by 2012
Kim Rahn, The Korea Times, 28 Dec 2004 16:51

Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas, including Kyonggi Province and Inchon, will adopt a new bus transit system to relieve traffic congestion during rush hours by 2012, according to the Construction and Transportation Ministry Tuesday.

Korea Bus Rapid Transit Routes

The ministry said it had chosen 12 trunk lines and 10 car-only roads in the metropolitan area as routes for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, planning to complete a total of 540 kilometers of routes by 2012.

The BRT is an upgraded form of the central bus-only lane system, with improvements in speed, punctuality and capacity, the ministry said.

Buses will run on exclusive central bus ways while passengers will be able to get information concerning the departure and arrival of buses through a system similar to that currently operating in subway stations.

The BRT will adopt transfer terminals and be given priority in traffic signals over other forms of transportation. Articulated buses with low floors will also be introduced.

``The new system combines the bus system’s proximity to the homes of citizens with the subway system’s convenience and promptness,’’ a ministry official said.

Passengers will also be able to transfer to other forms of transportation such as city buses and the subway with discounted fares as they do with the current mass transit system. Underground passages or overpasses will be built connecting central bus stops and sidewalks to ensure people’s safety, the official said.

Eighteen of the 22 routes will have a transport capacity of 30,000 people per hour, while the other four will have a capacity of 20,000 people. The construction cost will be 5-15 billion won per kilometer for the routes with larger capacities, and 3-7 billion won for the routes with smaller capacities.

The ministry will choose two model routes from among the 22 next year for launching construction in 2006. The first sections are expected to be completed by 2007.

``We selected the routes after considering connections with other transport, links between cities, the number of commuters and road conditions for the operation of articulated buses,’’ the official said.

rahnita at

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Rahn, Kim

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