Assessing transit competitiveness in Seoul considering actual transit travel times based on smart card data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, planning - methods, planning - service improvement, ridership - behaviour, technology - passenger information


Smart card data, Application programming interface (API) service, Transit, Competitiveness


Transit is important for alleviating traffic congestion, air pollution, and parking problems caused by excessive auto traffic in sustainable transport systems. Therefore, it is crucial to enhance transit ridership in a city by providing a more competitive transit service. Meanwhile, with the recent development of traffic information collection technologies, it is possible to acquire more accurate and rich information on transit and auto travel times through smart card data and map-based application programming interface (API) services. In this study, we analyze transit competitiveness compared to autos in Seoul using smart card data, which can represent actual transit travel times. Auto travel information is obtained from the T map, which is the most popular navigation application in Korea. As a methodology, we present a new transit competitiveness index to measure transit competitiveness for the network-wide analysis based on the travel time. The analysis of the results shows that the transit is more competitive for the people commuting to and from two major business districts, i.e., Gangnam business district (GBD) and Central business district (CBD), in Seoul on peak hours. This means that the transit system in Seoul is well-equipped, and people can easily access to employment or other opportunities by using transit. However, there are some residential and another major business district where transit is not competitive. The results also show that variability in transit travel time at peak hours may cause a decrease in transit competitiveness. We also suggest recommendations to improve transit competitiveness in Seoul. Based on the recommendations, the Seoul government should strive to improve transit competitiveness.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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