|▲ Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong introducing the new bus system Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
A comprehensive reorganization on Jeju's public transportation system will be put in place on Aug. 26, 2017.
The purpose of the reorganization is to offer a 'faster, easier, and cheaper' transportation service for people on Jeju.
It will do this by introducing bus lanes, by making transfers between buses more effective, by increasing the number of buses, by expanding the bus information system, and by improving the bus system infrastructure.
The biggest changes will be in the introduction of three types of bus route. These will be express buses, mainline buses, and feeder line buses. The buses will be sorted by color and by number so that people can easily recognize what kind of bus they are about to take.
The express buses that are being brought in will depart from the airport. These 12 bus routes will be established to enable people to travel to many of the important locations on the island from the airport within one hour.
Express buses will be red and will be given a 100 number. They will start at the airport and aim to take people to important hubs across the island in less than one hour. Places they will travel to include Seogwipo, Jungmun, and Seongsan and the fee will be between 2000 and 4000 won.
Mainline buses will be buses that follow the main routes on the island. There will be three types, Jeju City routes (Starting from bus number 200), Seogwipo City routes (starting from bus number 300), and intercity routes (starting from bus number 500). The fair will be set to 1200 won wherever you decide to go.
This means that if you travel from Jeju City to Seogwipo and back, instead of paying 6600 won like you do now, you will pay only 2400 won. These buses will run every 20 minutes or less.
The final type of bus will be the green feeder line buses. These buses in Jeju City will be given a 400 number, in Seogwipo City will be given a 600 number, and in rural locations a 700 number. They will also all cost 1200 won and will aim to link up the locations that the mainline and express buses don’t go to.
To improve transfers between the three types of bus, transfer bus stops are being built in 22 places. These will be finished by early July. At bus transfer stops, there will equipment such as safety lighting, thermal chairs, free Wi-Fi, chargers, and security bells. Moreover, the colors of the bus will be marked on the side of bus stops to help people out.
Furthermore, the amount of time in which it is possible to transfer without paying an extra fare will be extended from 30 minutes to 40 minutes. This time is taken from the moment the card touches the card reader.
There will also be a new system of bus lanes coming into use across the island. This is expected to improve the average speed of bus travel from 13.1km/h to 23.7km/h, or from 13.9km/h to 18.3km/h depending on the type of lane.
Construction of the bus lanes will be carried out in August. As this will be the first time bus lanes have been used in Jeju their will be briefing sessions with local residents and relevant organizations.
Due to the extra routes being introduced, 267 buses will be added to the Jeju bus fleet, taking the total amount of buses on Jeju to 797. As well as the extra buses, it is expected that around 800 new drivers will be hired.
Governor Won said “This will be the biggest reform of Jeju’s public transportation system for 30 years. To minimize potential problems as people get used to the new system, we will ensure that all the relevant departments are able to work together to solve any problems. Furthermore, we will carry out tests and rehearsals before the actual implementation of the reform.”