S. Korea to deploy more electric double-deckers to ease traffic congestion during commuting hours

Kim Joo-heon Reporter() | Posted : January 28, 2022, 11:16 | Updated : March 2, 2022, 17:33

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport]

SEOUL -- To help commuters travel more conveniently, South Korea will accelerate the adoption of electric intercity double decker buses. Currently, there are 20 eco-friendly double-deckers in operation and the transport ministry will deploy 35 more two-story buses by the end of 2022. 

According to government data released in 2016, a daily average of about 6.1 million people traveled from Seoul's satellite cities and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province to the capital city and back to commute. About 25 percent of commuters to Seoul used intercity buses while 11 percent used subway trains. They spent an average of 90 minutes to get to work. 

Diesel engine double decker buses were first adopted in Seoul and its satellite cities in 2015 and electric double decker buses were adopted in 2020. Double-deckers with 71 seats can carry about twice as more passengers than ordinary buses which has 45 seats. 

The Metropolitan Transport Commission operated by the transport ministry said in a statement on January 28 that a total of 42.6 billion won ($35.5 million) will be injected in 2022 to improve the inter-city bus service including the additional deployment of electric double-decker buses. As a state research and development project, the transport ministry aims to increase the number of seats on intercity buses and reduce carbon emissions. 

To provide a more convenient commute experience to workers, South Korea's transport ministry raised the intercity bus budget by 4.3 times since 2020, from 9.9 billion won ($8.2 million) to 42.6 billion won. 

South Korea, with a renewable energy dependency rate of 4.8 percent in 2020, has accelerated the adoption of hydrogen and electric buses to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. As part of the eco-friendly project, Seoul will operate some 1,000 hydrogen buses and build 11 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025. In January 2021, Seoul also adopted 27 electric buses to replace diesel buses.
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