The Collaboration Between Sofia and Korea Under the IURC Program is Progressing

20 December, 2021

Sofia’s participation in the International Urban & Regional Cooperation (IURC) program provides new opportunities for the Capital to be part of an international network for the exchange of digital cooperation.

In recent months, the team of the Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development Division (Innovative Sofia) of Sofia Municipality has been actively cooperating with the partners from IURC Korea and IURC China under the program. The last meeting was held on December 15 with the participation of the team from the city of Sejong. The main focus of the discussion was the topic “Transport”, as the main goal was to create a discussion of common interests on the topic, as well as the presentation of good practices.

In addition to the team of Innovative Sofia, the meeting was joined by other participants from the capital’s ecosystem – representatives of the Center for Urban Mobility Sofia, Sofia Plan and Green Sofia.

Analysis of the data in Sofia shows shows that the largest share belongs to public transport with 37% of all trips. This is the main indicator for measuring the achievement of the goals in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of Sofia Municipality. The goal is for 80% of all trips in 2035 to be made with sustainable forms of transport (pedestrian, cycling, public transport) and only 20% by car, said Tsvetan Tsolov (Head of International Projects – Center for Urban Mobility Sofia ).

Some of the projects presented by the team of the city of Sofia during the meeting are:

New automated ticketing system – 1,200 public transport vehicles are equipped with more than 15,000 on-board devices, including single ticket printers, recorders, 3,934 validators and CCTV cameras. Validators in public transport vehicles, as well as barriers in metro stations, recognize the new contactless smart cards, credit and debit cards, telephones and other smart devices for payment for a single trip. The system is fully implemented in all types of public transport – metro and land transport.

The web and the mobile site provide easy access to purchase tickets and public transport tickets without visiting the ticket office. The web portal provides an opportunity to purchase online transport documents for the public transport of Sofia, as well as to load them with the new electronic cards Sofia City Card, issued by the Center for Urban Mobility. The innovative MPASS application is part of the new functionalities of the integrated automated charging system. Provides the opportunity to purchase a one-way ticket and a daily card in the form of a QR code and travel with it on public transport.

Video Surveillance and Analytical Services – The installed video surveillance system, which is part of the Project for a new automated ticket system in Sofia, aims to increase passenger safety and provide better security. Cameras in public transport vehicles can also provide data that is further evaluated by human flow analysis software to assess employment levels in public transport.

Some of the projects presented by the Sejong City team during the meeting are:

Public bicycle service – offers bicycles as a form of public transport that can be easily rented at any place and returned to a nearby place after use. The public bicycle pilot program began in 2014 with 29 rental stations and 320 bicycles in a residential area near Cheotmaul. Currently, the public bicycle program has 629 rental stations and 3,540 bicycles covering up to four residential areas.

Intelligent Transport System (ITS) operational status – Sejong has been continuously building and operating the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) since 2013 to solve the ever-increasing problem of urban traffic. The system is designed to prevent accidents by checking the surrounding road conditions and giving real-time warning signals. The system uses two-way communication between vehicles and between and infrastructure to ensure safety, mobility and sustainability.

During the meeting, the two cities found many common topics, which will be further discussed in the future, with the idea of ​​making a plan for joint partnership. The next meeting, which will take place with the IURC Korea team, is scheduled for January 2022.

You will find more about the participation of Sofia Municipality in the International and Regional Cooperation Program (IURC) here.