Hybrid mass transit vehicle to debut in 2009

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Hybrid mass transit vehicle to debut in 2009

 

July 22, 2005


The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) said on July 18 that it is developing a new public transportation vehicle that can run on both asphalt roads and magnetic railways like a subway train.

The "bimodal" (bus/train) vehicle, using environmentally friendly fuel, will be able to change its operation mode depending on road conditions and traffic situations. The vehicle will be designed to transport a larger number of passengers than do ordinary gasoline-powered buses during rush hours, the institute said.

The government will invest 29 billion won by 2009 to develop the vehicle, according to Mok Jae-kyun, a researcher at the institute's public transportation research bureau.

The vehicle will transport passengers faster in and out of downtown areas, and make their journey more fun, KRRI researchers said. It will be powered by fuel cells, emission-free energy creators that will likely be adopted by automobile manufacturers for future cars.

The project began in 2003 and some automakers, such as Hyundai Motor and Daewoo Bus, have provided technologies and money. A number of universities are also taking part in the project, the KRRI said.

To operate the vehicle, the government needs to build railway shortcuts in jammed areas in advance. KRRI researchers said it will cut transportation costs in a long run because it doesn't need large underground facilities like the subway system.

The institute plans to conduct a test run for the vehicle as early as 2009. If adopted, the system will be a popular means of mass transit along with buses, subways and the railway transit system, the institute said.

 

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