The number of airport bus passengers in Seoul increased by 2.6 times during the past six months, the city government said Wednesday, as the demand for air travel has spiked after the lifting of almost all COVID-19 social distancing restrictions in April.
The number of rides performed by foreign tourist taxis has also rebounded and exceeded 5,000 in only three months after they resumed operations in April, the government said.
The two modes of public transportation had suspended operations for about two years due to the pandemic but have shown signs of a gradual recovery in the first half of this year in line with the restoration of many international air routes and the rising demand for overseas travel.
Currently, four companies are operating airport buses on 15 routes and the cumulative number of passengers exceeded 180,000 in the first half. The number of airport bus users was tallied at 57,420, or a daily average of 1,914, in June, which was 2.6 times higher than the January total of 21,947 users, or 708 on a daily average. On the month-to-month basis, the increase rate amounted to 20 percent in May and 95 percent in June.
"The number of airport bus passengers is expected to continue to increase, as the rapid recovery of the tourism and travel sectors has raised the daily number of travelers using Incheon International Airport to a two-year high of about 50,000 this month," a city government official said.
In the case of foreign tourist taxis, 189 vehicles are currently in operation and the number of their rides surged from 1,321 in April to 2,095 in May and 2,328 in June, the city government noted. (Yonhap)