No Standing Rule Implemented on Korean Intercity Buses

Article from Asia Economy:

The first day the no standing rule in intercity buses is implemented. People were “fidgeting” vs the local officials say it “went well”

intercity buses

A no standing rule on Korean intercity buses was adopted on July 16. A bus stop in front of Geonggyi is the spot where most intercity buses pass by on the way from Suwon to central Seoul area including Gangnam. Bus 3001, 3002, and 3007 head to Gangnam after passing Yeongdong highway, East Suwon IC and Gyeongbu highway. Bus 8800 goes to Seoul Station. Bus 7001 heads for Sadang. This bus stop is a gateway in Suwon for those heading to Seoul.

There are usually many passengers standing on the bus because of the lack of available seats. On July 16th, many passengers were crowded around the stop waiting to take a bus. At least more than 40 people were standing in line, and the long line didn’t move quickly. This is because buses passing by this spot usually stop more than 10 times including Yeongtong in Suwon, Gwanggyo, and Suwon Nambu Bus terminal. Many buses didn’t stop, showing a sign saying ‘no seats’ on the front door of the bus.

Some passengers noted the situation was “grave” and paid 6000 for a cab to go to Suwon station to take the subway. Some people complained about the implementation of the no standing rule in intercity buses.

Fifty-two year old Mr. Oh complained saying “The situation is serious as there are more people standing than sitting on buses in Suwon, Seongnam, and Yongin during the morning and evening rush hour. The government might think it can solve the problems caused by the no standing rule by raising the number of buses and shortening the intervals between buses, but I find the bureaucracy absurd.”

In Gyeonggi-do, 1390 intercity buses adopted the no standing rule. 35 million people use these buses every day, and among them, 98,000 people take the intercity bus during rush hour. The province estimates that a quarter of the 1.2 million ~ 1.3 million people using the bus during rush hour are taking no standing buses every day. By region, Yongin came in first with the most no standing buses, 400 buses in 35 routes. It is followed by Suwon, which has 232 buses in 14 routes, and Seongnam, with 121 buses in 12 routes.

Prior to implementing the measure, Gyeonggi-do came up with alternative measures such as adding 188 buses, focusing on the rush hour routes, shortening the interval between buses, etc. After a one month period observing the problems caused by the no standing rule, they will take additional measures. Gyong-pil Nam, the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, took bus 8201 from Suji in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do to Gangnam during rush hour at 8:00 AM for the site inspection.

An official of the province said “According to the official who inspected the site, as well as people involved in the bus industry, there are many reports that the system seems to be working well. At the site, during rush hour, buses were flexible and allowed some people who were in a rush to stand on the bus.”

He also said “In the case of Maseok in Euijeongbu, where many commuters live, there are no problems in adding more buses during rush hour. Hui-gyeom Kim,the vice-governor, even encouraged people.”

At 3:00 PM on July 16th, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport discussed additional measures regarding the no standing policy with the chief of traffic in Gyeong-gi, Seoul, and Incheon.

Comments from Naver:

Aren’t they supposed to add enough buses before implementing the policy..?


This shows the level of the politicians. So much bureaucracy. What is it that’s going well?


It must’ve been going well because buses don’t have to stop if no seats are available!!!


Is the system working well if you have to wait for 40 mins? Have you waited for a bus for that long under the hot sun? From Sadang to my place it would take about 2 hours. I would quit my job.


The answer is the double-decker bus.


The person who implemented this policy must drive his own car to work while blasting AC, and be the only one to think his idea is so great.


Such politicians will drive their own cars, however for students, buses are the only option and time is money. I’ve wasted my time waiting for a bus and now I need to wait longer because of this policy. Why don’t you take a bus? It really pisses me off. Even if I’m standing on a bus, I just want to go home and go to bed.


Is it supposed to be ‘creative economy’ that induces people to take a cab not a bus?


It’s clear that we need a no standing rule because of safety problems. However, what kind of situation is this? The right measure should be the one that the passengers want. What have they done without proper additional plans? Don’t say anything thoughtlessly just because you don’t personally have any discomforts.


Governor Nam Gyeong-pil, where did you take a bus in Suji? If you wanted a real site inspection, you should’ve taken a bus at the very last stop in Meonae, right before entering the highway. If you took a bus from there, you still wouldn’t have arrived at Gangnam yet.


You would never create this kind of law if you’ve ever ridden a bus.


If the government creates a law where there are no consequences for people who are late to work because of this no standing rule, people will be less worried.


Now if all the passengers drive their own cars, the government will tell them to use public transportation.


Ke ke ke, it was implemented by those who don’t even know how much they have to pay for the bus. What do you expect? I don’t know for how long people should experience inconvenience.


There’s an answer. Let’s sit in the isles. Then it isn’t standing, is it?


No matter how I look at it, this is bullshit.


So I guess ordinary people take something like the bus? It’s interesting. Why do you care about the policy? If I’m late, I usually take my own helicopter. Ordinary people seem to be uncomfortable. I will experience life as an ordinary person this weekend. ^^ I can try taking the metro and a bus. I’ll be happy to do that for my experience no matter how hard it is. ^^ It’s 70 won for the metro, right?


The starting position of buses should be different. Some buses leaving from Suji are already packed when they arrive in Suwon. Some buses should leave from places where people have a hard time getting to work without using the metro.


Why did Nam Gyeong-pil ride with others on the bus when seats were limited during rush hour? Because of him, there might have been at least five people who couldn’t take bus to work.

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