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Water buses on Han River to be reviewed, says Seoul mayor

Water buses on Han River to be reviewed, says Seoul mayor

Posted March. 15, 2023 07:43,   

Updated March. 15, 2023 07:43


Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced that he would consider introducing water buses as a means of public transportation between the east and west ends of the Han river, following gondolas that connect the north and south sides of the Han River.

On Monday (local time), Mayor Oh, who is on a tour of Europe, boarded a “Thames river bus,” a water bus on the Thames River in London, England, and said, “I believe that building (water buses) is technically doable. Once I go back to Seoul, I will review their practicality and technical aspects.”

Thames River buses, which have been in operation since 1999 in London, are fast ferries and have become a means of public transport used by 10.4 million people annually (as of 2018). 100 to 150 people can ride from the Tower of London on the Thames River to Greenwich Market in 18 minutes at about 50 km per hour. This is a distance that takes up to 55 minutes by car during rush hour. The fare is 10 pounds one way (about 16,000 won). “On weekends and public holidays, tourists use the bus a lot, and on weekdays, Londoners mainly use it for the commute,” an official from the North Greenwich dock said.

“It is very fast and there is no noise, making the ride very comfortable," said Mayor Oh, who rode the Thames river bus for 25 minutes on this day. "At this speed on the Han river, it may only take 20 to 30 minutes to get to Sangam from Jamsil, and we will consider building about 10 bus stops.”

Some point out that the utilization rate will be low, just like the Han River water call taxis introduced by Mayor Oh in 2007. Regarding this, a Seoul city official explained, “There will be demand and economic feasibility for river buses because more people can be accommodated than in the water taxis.”