People-oriented approaches, intelligence systems and stakeholder engagement, key for efficient urban transportation policies

David290, via Wikimedia Commons

The Seoul Human Resource Development Center conducted a training program on Urban Transportation Policy from last March 15th to 23rd, with participants from our member cities of Guangzhou, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Shiraz. The program consisted on lectures and field visits to transportation hubs in Seoul, and also gave participants the opportunity to share the practices and challenges from their own local contexts. Among the great diversity of cases presented, it was possible to identify the key role of metropolitan authorities in the provision of transportation services to growing urban populations. Facing challenges such as the increased number of private cars and congested ways, participants gave common emphasis on the importance of intelligence systems, stakeholder engagement and people-oriented approaches in order to reach effective transportation solutions.

The workshop applied action plan and group discussion methodologies, which allowed to share each city’s challenges and concerns, as well as to discuss how to improve our cooperative relations.

On one hand, the lectures from Seoul provided comprehensive background on the following subjects: History of Seoul Transportation; Transportation and Environment; Sustainable Seoul Transportation with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Public Transportation Reform; Intelligent Transportation Systems; and Transportation Policy of Korea.

On the other hand, experiences shared by the participants showed the various challenges in the implementation of transportation policies, as well as common approaches to address them. People-oriented approaches, which would attract citizens to use mass public transportation instead of private vehicles, appeared to be strategic by many participants. In this context, BRT systems, for instance, were presented as a high capacity transport solution for the citizens in Guangzhou (which has the largest Asian BRT line in passenger carrying volume, carrying 800 thousand persons daily), Jakarta (which is developing Transjakarta, the longest BRT network in the world), and Rio de Janeiro (which has recently inaugurated four corridors of this system, totaling 154km). 

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) were also highlighted in most of the presentations, showing the importance of data integration in the delivery of accurate information for users, in services ranging from the logistics of ports to the supply of parking spaces, public transport timetables, operation traffic lights, and electronic road pricing. In common, all the policies show the need of the engagement of different stakeholders in their implementation: government authorities in the municipal, metropolitan and national levels, private companies (which in many cases hold expertise in software and infrastructure management), and citizens. 

The 15 participants of the training program also had the chance to visit on the ground the most relevant transportation hubs in Seoul: the Seoul Station Bus Transfer Center, the Korea Smartcard Company, the headquarters of the Transport Operation and Information Service (Topis), and the Han River.

In addition to the Metropolis members mentioned above, the workshop counted on the participation of officials from the cities of Cuenca, Hong Kong, Kidapawan, Prague, Seberang Perai, Tungurahua and Ulaanbaatar.

Please visit the training program event page to have access to the presentations shared in the workshop, which show further details about the transportation policies of each participant city.

All the videos of the workshop are available here