FOR city of Daejeon, eco-friendly, science and technology, and citizens are the key words for public transportation system development. The city has an eco-friendly transportation system using science and technology and puts top priority on people. Daejeon has witnessed how the development in public service also generates sustainable growth in local society.
Eco-Friendly Public Transportation
- Ta-shu – Public Bike Rental System
“Ta-shu” is a public bike rental system that local people and tourists can all use. The name ‘Ta-shu,’ meaning ‘Take a ride’ in a standard language, is the dialect from Chungcheong Province nearby Daejeon. With Ta-Shu, people can easily borrow and return the public bicycle by using application on smartphone or Kiosk (self-device in Ta-shu stations). Local people are constantly using Ta-shu, particularly after COVID-19 outbreak considering it requires less physical contact with others. Besides, the city and its people are heading towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. One of the ways is by actively using the eco-friendly transportation mode like Ta-shu.
- Tram – Daejeon’s new transportation in future
City of Daejeon also plans to complete the construction of ‘tram,’ other people-centered and eco-friendly transportation mode. Local government of Daejeon has seen that tram aligns with the city’s vision of sustainable urban transportation system. Tram can lower the amount of greenhouse gas and fine dust emission as it runs by electricity. Besides, ordinary passengers and vulnerable group of people including pregnant women and senior citizens can conveniently use it.
Envisioned to be the city’s future transportation mode, tram, however also presents challenges. Similar to cars, tram is sensitive to climate change such as heavy rain and snow. Challenge, such as congestion, may also arise as the tram will share city’s roads with cars. Local government of Daejeon plans to prepare suitable measures in construction process to solve the challenge and ensure the optimum benefits for people when using the tram. Daejeon plans to complete the tram construction in 2027. By the time construction concludes, tram will be a significant public transportation to make the city more convenient and pleasant as it will be closely connected with other public transportations in the city including subway and bus.
Using Science and Technology for Public Transportation Service
- Bus Information Terminal (BIT) and Address of Things (AoT)
City of Daejeon plans to enhance the city’s public transportation services by ensuring minimum 60 percent of the bus stations are equipped with Bus Information Terminal (BIT). BIT, using Bus Information System (BIS), informs passengers on bus arrival time per minute on the screen by identifying the location of the buses. It also enables people who are visually impaired to use this service as a sound by pressing the sound button on BIT. Also, when the bus is near the station, the bus number is informed again as a sound. In addition to the bus information, concentration of fine dust in the city is informed on BIT.
Furthermore, road name addresses have been assigned in each bus stations in Daejeon. Locations can be easily found as the technology called ‘AoT’ is used to assign the addresses. In case of emergency, people can easily call police by using the address of the bus station. Bus stations in Daejeon are designed to be helpful and make people’s life convenient.
Citizen-Centered Public Transportation Service
- Metropolitan Transport Commission (MTC) Card – Transportation Cost Saving Service
Daejeon has also provided Metropolitan Transport Commission (MTC) Card to local people so that they receive up to 50 percent discount of transportation cost since 1 August 2020. The service is generated from central government project. To get the benefit, users have to press Start/Arrival button (from smartphone application), when they go out and arrive at the destination, Ride/Get off button when they are taking public transportation, and pay the transportation cost from MTC Card. Mileages for the discounts are only given by counting the distance of walking or riding a bicycle to take the public transportation between their departure and arrival (Start/Arrival). Users could get the discount on transportation cost from the saved mileages after taking public transportation above 15 times in a month. Local government of Daejeon expects increase in the number of public transportation usage, which is currently decreased from the COVID-19 outbreak, and the cost savings of local people’s transportation costs.
- Prevention of disease in public transportation after COVID-19 outbreak
Daejeon is preventing citizens from COVID-19 infection by regulating the mask-wearing mandatory for passengers of public transportations since 27 May 2020. For the first time in Korea, the city installed a safe prevention gate in front of the Daejeon Subway Station, one of the Daejeon Urban Railway Line 1 stations. This is a strategic location as many people pass through this subway station and located underneath the Daejeon Station where major railways pass through including Korea Train Express (KTX). Also Daejeon is sanitising public buses at the starting stations by commissioned company since the first COVID-19 case occurred on 11 February 2020. These efforts are conducted to prevent virus spread in public transportation.
City of Daejeon is designing its own public transportation system by continuously ensuring increased benefits and services to people. As a result, the city experiences development and sees high participation in public transportation usage.
In cooperation with UCLG ASPAC, City of Daejeon and the Daejeon Metropolitan Express Transit Corp. (DJET) have published the Fighting Against COVID-19, Brief Countermeasures Report that covers the experience Daejeon in managing its public transport system during the COVID-19. They have also participated in Web-share session of UCLG ASPAC and shared their insights to many cities and local governments in the region.