GPS devices to be put in short-haul Seoul buses

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GPS devices to be put in short-haul Seoul buses

Seoul’s short-haul public buses will soon be installed with GPS devices, allowing them to be tracked by smartphone applications that display arrivals down to the seconds on users’ handsets.

Seoul announced yesterday that the Bus Management System (BMS), which utilizes the U.S.-operated Global Positioning System, will be expanded to its fleet of so-called village buses. Village buses generally only service individual neighborhoods.

The BMS system has long been installed in the rest of the city’s fleet of public buses.

A number of apps exist that allow smartphone users to track the whereabouts of buses to time their arrival at stops along their routes. One popular app called Seoul Bus, which is available in English, allows users to time a bus’s arrival down to the second.

There are 1,366 village buses in Seoul servicing 207 routes and run by 121 companies. Over 1.2 million people on average use village buses daily. BMS will use GPS technology to transmit bus’ locations to a central bus control center, which will be processed and provided to users in real time. The service will be available in November.

Aside from smartphones, the information will be accessible via the Internet and by dialing a phone number.

The system also allows bus companies to more efficiently operate their routes and time the intervals of their departures. Seoul will spend 2 billion won ($1.81 million) to fit the 1,366 village buses with the system. Some of the money will be spent on upgrading the CCTV system.

Seoul also announced that it will spend 9 billion won to support 40 village bus companies that are running deficits.


By Yim Seung-hye [enational@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
마을버스 ‘스마트 서비스’… 기다리는 시간 줄어든다
11월부터 도착시간 알림 정보

올 연말부터 서울의 마을버스를 이용하는 사람들은 스마트폰 등으로 도착 시각 등 운행 정보를 알 수 있게 된다. 서울시가 대중교통수단에 대한 운행 정보를 제공하는 것은 지하철·시내버스에 이어 세 번째다.

서울시는 시내 마을버스 1366대에 대해 버스운행관리시스템(BMS)을 도입하기로 하고 11월부터 가동한다고 29일 밝혔다. 서울시는 운행 정보가 제공되면 마을버스 이용객들이 불필요하게 기다리는 시간이 줄어들 것으로 예상했다. 서울시는 이 사업을 위해 20억원을 투입한다. 그동안 마을버스는 배차 상황이 고르지 못해 버스 이용객들의 불만을 사왔다. 버스회사가 대부분 영세한 데다 독립채산제로 운영돼 서울시가 차량 편성에 개입할 수 없었기 때문이다. 서울시는 스마트폰과 휴대전화·ARS·인터넷 등을 통해 관련 정보를 제공할 계획이다.

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