“Owl Bus” Based on Big Data Technology

owl bus1_s


The Seoul Night Bus, also known as the “Owl Bus,” is the brand name of the city’s intra-city buses that run nine routes exclusively from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Like an owl, animated in the dark with its yellow-glowing eyes, the “Owl Bus” was born to make Seoul’s public transportation service ceaseless, carrying the city’s late night commuters.


Period of Implementation

Ongoing since September 2009



Selection of bus routes: Big data analysis of the KT call volume during late night hours During the initial stages of mapping out how to operate the Seoul Night Bus, the issue of selecting bus routes emerged. The municipal government color-coded regions by call volume based on the data provided by a private communication service provider, KT. Then, it analyzed the number of passengers who get on and off at each bus stop in the heavy-call volume regions and connected the dots to lead to the most pertinent routes.


Efficient operation: Measures to optimize the operation interval As the intervals between buses grew longer in the longer distance routes, the SMG introduced the simultaneous dispatching system in which vehicles depart simultaneously from both ends of the bus line, thereby minimizing the gap in the intervals between different directions. Passengers can also easily transfer at the major intersections of different routes and the interval was optimized to to 30 to 40 minutes in consideration of the demand and frequency.


Convenience and safety of passengers: real-time operation information The service provides citizens with real-time operation information. Anyone who wants to take the “Owl Bus” can check the arrival time and location of the bus stop in advance through the website or smartphone apps. Meantime, given that the service operates late night, safety measures were critical to protect citizens. Besides the protective partition and speeding prevention device, it was made mandatory to inspect the vehicle before driving. The drivers with proven qualifications are also well remunerated so that they do not have to take on other vocational activities during the daytime hours and can fully concentrate during night time driving.



Safe and Affordable Means of Transportation for Citizens The numbers of “Owl Bus” passengers are on the constant rise. A total of 1,735,000 people have taken the buses from September 2009 to June 2013, making the daily average passengers stand at around 7,000. As for economic aspects, passengers are expected to save approximately KRW 6,000 as the “Owl Bus” charges KRW 1,850 per trip while the average taxi fare in the same timeframe costs KRW 8,000. Given that the most of the passengers are students, self-employed small business owners or workers, the service is expected to help stabilize their household finances.

Meantime, most passengers are concentrated in the timeframe from midnight to 03:00, when students and workers return home completing their after-school self-study and night duties. As the unfrequented time tends to leave them more vulnerable, the “Owl Bus” is considered to help them move more safely. Notably, the “Safe returning-home service” provided in cooperation with the nearby police stations reinforce the safety.



Global Urban Partnership Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (policyshare@seoul.go.kr)


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KLRTC 27: Integrated Urban Planning in the Asia Pacific Region and World Conference on Sustainable Cities

23-26 September 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KLRTC and Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur)

cifal_Kuala LumpurOne of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Centre’s most popular programs, the 2013 “Integrated Urban Planning in the Asia Pacific Region” workshop will take place in Kuala Lumpur from September 23rd to 26th. Throughout the workshop, there will be discussions, presentations and interactive sessions on urbanization as it impacts on housing, energy, water, waste management and informal markets. Participants will deliver presentations on their city’s biggest urban planning challenges and will develop action plans based on their learnings to implement upon their return.

In addition to leading urban planning experts, trainers from UN-Habitat will provide an in-depth introduction of their new guide, Urban Planning for City Leaders, which is sponsored by Siemens and aimed at providing local leaders and decision makers with the tools to support urban planning good practice.

Timed to coincide with the 5th International Conference on World Class Sustainable Cities 2013 themed “Liveable Cities are Creative and Competitive Cities” at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, CITYNET will be organizing a succeeding training course for planning practitioners from across Asia and the Pacific. The sessions will use problem-based learning methods and real life case studies to skill city managers in infrastructure provision, the pursuit of sustainable development and means of addressing informality.

In addition to leading urban planning experts, trainers from UN-Habitat will provide an in-depth introduction of their new guide, Urban Planning for City Leaders, which is sponsored by Siemens and aimed at providing local leaders and decision makers with the tools to support urban planning good practice.

For more details, please contact the CITYNET Secretariat at programs1(at)citynet-ap.org. 

KLRTC 26: 4th International Conference on Green Purchasing

18 – 20 September 2013, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Malaysia

cifal_Kuala LumpurEveryone will be “seeing Green” during the 4th International Conference on Green Purchasing on 18 – 20 September 2013 in Subang Jaya which is organized by the Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Centre (KLRTC) and Green Purchasing Network of Malaysia (GPNM). The three-day conference will bring together around 400 participants from national and local governments, businesses, the private sector, academe and international organizations to discuss and exchange knowledge on sustainable green development, purchasing and productivity. Resource speakers, presenters and panelists composed of high level officials and world renowned experts and practitioners in green purchasing and green productivity will share programs, strategies and critical factors for the successful attainment of a ‘green’ environment, sustainable ‘green-oriented’ policies and mechanisms and impacts of green development on the environment. Participants will examine how the roadmap for Government Green Procurement (GGP) has been implemented in advanced green purchasing countries, with a focus on strategies and techniques, such as resource productivity, eco design and private enterprises. Case studies and best practices on eco-labeling as well as green procurement and purchasing from the government and the private sector will be highlighted emphasizing ongoing initiatives, installed technology and policy reforms. The third day will be on safe and green buildings with special focus on Kuala Lumpur and sessions on fire and hazard management. The conference will also include a one-day seminar on safe and green commercial complexes and high-rise buildings.

The venue of the conference will be the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, one of Malaysia’s premier destinations for business and leisure, just 25 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city center.

Please email admin(at)gpnm.org for more information.

The 9th International Symposium on Water Supply Technology

The 9th International Symposium on Water Supply Technology will be held in Yokohama City, the birthplace of the country’s first modern water service, for three days from Tuesday, November 20th to Thursday November 22nd, 2012. For over 20 years since the 1st symposium in 1988, the International Symposium on Water Supply Technology has been continually held on a triennial basis as an opportunity to discuss the world’s current water supply problems and most recent water supply technology trends.
Under the theme of “Resilient Water Supply System – Pursuing Safety, Sustainability and Environmental Friendliness”, the 9th symposium will be held with the support of the International Water Association (IWA) along with the participation of many countries from around the world. Together with a keynote speech, special lecture, and presentations by invited speakers, reports regarding cutting-edge water supply technology such as the presentations of public reports in three technical sessions will be made. In addition, based on these sessions, the problems and direction of water supply technology in the world will be summarized by a general panel discussion. A special session based on the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 with the theme of “Toward Water Supply Systems Resistant to Earthquake and Tsunami” will also be held at this symposium.

[Official Website] http://www2.convention.co.jp/water2012/english/index.html

CITYNET 25th Anniversary Celebration

CITYNET 25th Anniversary in Yokohama, Japan

The year 2012 is a significant year for CITYNET as it marks the 25th Anniversary for CITYNET from its establishment on July 27, 1987.
The City of Yokohama will organise the CITYNET 25th Anniversary Ceremony and the 25th Anniversary Seminar on disaster management to be held in Yokohama, Japan on 30-31 Octover, 2012 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary and to further promote sustainable develpment in Asia-Pacific region.
The Ceremony is for members only, but the Seminar is open to public.

It will be held in conjunction with the Asia Smart City Conference, one of the main programme of “Smart Cities Week” to be held from 29 October to 2 November, 2012 organised by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc in special cooperation with the City of Yokohama.

KLRTC 24: Sustainable Urban Transport

Promoting sustainable transport systems has been a major challenge for local governments in many cities in Asia and the Pacific region due to various reasons, including lack of political will and vision as well as coordination of a wide range of interest groups and sufficient technical and personal capacity to design and implement policies. Often, transport issues are tackled as one single sector and not as a part of an entire urban planning issue.

The Sustainable Transportation Systems Training Course is held regularly under the framework of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Centre (KLRTC) or CIFAL Kuala Lumpur. The Training provides excellent examples how local governments have effectively developed and promoted public transport operations and management. It also emphasies on how integration into a broader framework of city planning is essential in order for a sustainable system to operate.

KLRTC XXIV on Sustainable Transportation Systems aims to share the lessons learnt on meeting transport challenges through best and failure practices applied in this region, focusing on the theme of Urban Transportation Planning in Asia. The Training will also be the platform for local governments to network and develop the city-to-city cooperation and partner with private sectors to put the lessons learnt into practice. This training will show why widening of roads, building railroads or investing in new transit systems alone will not solve the current issues.

Local government officials and partners are invited to participate in the KLRTC XXIV on Sustainable Transportation Systems to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 22-24, 2012. The Training will include lectures/presentations from experts, field trips, and working group discussions.

The Training is organised by the KLRTC Team of Kuala Lumpur City Hall, UNITAR, GIZ, CITYNET, Veolia Environnement. Targeted participants are local government officials responsible for transport and planning, and representatives from training and research institutions.

The programme is divided into seven topics:
Topic A: Understanding Challenges of Sustainable Transport in Asia
Topic B: Policy Planning in Public/ Private Transport
Topic C: Challenges in Financing Sustainable Urban Transport
Topic D: Co-Benefit for Transport and Environment
Topic E: Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley Site Visits
Topic F: Sustaining High Quality Public Transport Systems with Private Sectors
Topic G: Action Plans and its Implementation

The Training Course will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Training Institute.

The deadline for all applications is March 30th.

12th International Congress of Educating Cities

Changwon City, a member of CITYNET, is inviting all members of CITYNET to participate in the 12th International Congress of Educating Cities to be held from 25th-29th April 2012 in Changwon, Korea. The Congress will focus on ?¢æ?Green Environment, Creative Education.?¢æ¢â This will include the green economy and how to create a green environmental city that combines both environmental, economic and social aspects. The Congress will include presentations by keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops on a wide variety of themes.

All CITYNET members are encouraged to participate. Limited sponsorships are available for cities/organisations from the least developed countries.

The deadline for registration is January 13th, 2012. For more information, please click here. If you are interested in registering, please send an email to the following email address: {encode=”registration@iaec2012.go.kr” title=”registration@iaec2012.go.kr”}


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