News Release

Cisco and the City of Seoul Launch Personal Travel Assistant Solution

Residents Now Able to Reduce Personal Carbon Footprint, Transit Costs, and Travel Time Via New, Web-Based Service
May 21, 2009

SEOUL, Korea, May 21, 2009 – As part of the third Global Connected Urban Development Conference, Cisco and the city of Seoul today announced the debut of Personal Travel Assistant (PTA), a Web-based service that allows residents to make on-the-go travel decisions based on time, cost and carbon impact.  Unlike map-based direction-finders or trip planners, PTA offers "virtual assistant" features and access to real-time information and user- and trip-specific travel guidance via any Web-enabled device, from any location. The Seoul PTA is available at


  • PTA will empower the people of Seoul to improve their transit experience and reduce their personal carbon footprint by providing them with access to real-time transportation information from any location, on any Web-enabled device or communications channel, including smart phones, PDAs, websites, transit stations, vehicles and personal computers. As part of the Connected Urban Development (CUD) program, the PTA pilot is a collaborative effort among the city of Seoul, the city of Amsterdam and the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), the company's strategic global consulting arm.
  • PTA offers citizens a way to improve their quality of life by choosing alternative transportation options based on their personal goals, and provides unique insights into the impact that transportation decisions have on their individual carbon footprint. The primary features of PTA include:
    • Personal Travel Planner: Citizens can select better transportation modes for each trip segment based on user preferences, available transportation options, and the expected duration, distance, and carbon emissions of the planned trip.  
    • Carbon Calculator: On a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, citizens can view and manage the carbon footprint of their travel activities.
    • Real-Time Router: By accessing real-time traffic and transportation information via any mobile device, citizens can easily identify alternative transit routes based upon personal preferences, the fastest route option, and an estimate of carbon emissions from current location to final destination.
    • Transportation Information Service: Citizens receive a more predictable and enjoyable public transportation experience, with on-the-go visibility into information such as subway times and maps as well as the arrival of the next  buses.

  • PTA's pilot is available for the Jung-gu and Jongno-gu districts of Seoul; citywide coverage will roll out later this year and will be accessible from any IP-enabled device. The PTA online service is free, with mobile device usage subject to service provider charges.
  • Cisco is collaborating on the PTA pilot with industry, government and academic leaders, such as the city of Seoul, city of Amsterdam, MIT Mobile Experience Lab, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, and Y&H Engineering & Consulting Ltd. In addition to the city of Seoul, other CUD founding cities such as Amsterdam have plans to pilot PTA later this year.
  • Roll out of the PTA to other cities around the world is part of a global urban services platform approach, which Cisco refers to as its Smart+Connected Communities initiative, and toward which visionary governments, countries, city planners and the information and communications technology (ICT) industry are moving. Incorporating PTA into this type of platform will enable cities to optimize citizen services over time, encourage adoption of alternatives to road travel, and provide a catalyst for local services innovation, all with the goal of enhancing economic development, improving quality of life for citizens and carbon reduction initiatives.

Additional Information:

  • The PTA pilot is one of a number of landmark projects that have resulted from Cisco's participation in the Clinton Global Initiative and its pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Launched in 2006, CUD is a public-private partnership aimed at addressing the unique environmental problems facing urban areas, and at developing ICT solutions for cities around the world.  Additional projects include:  the pilots with the City of San Francisco; Smart Work Center development with the City of Amsterdam; the Smart UrbanEnergy in Schools platform with Lisbon, Portugal; and an UrbanEnergy Management pilot with Madrid, Spain.

Supporting quotes:

  • Mr.  Sangbum Kim, assistant Mayor and head of city transportation, city of Seoul
  • "As a founding city of the Connected Urban Development program, we are now able to provide our citizens with the prototype of Personal Travel Assistant, which will allow them experience to increase their ability to make informed, eco-friendly travel decisions that will help reduce travel time and increase productivity. In addition to increasing citizen engagement with our city's sustainability objectives, PTA enables our city leaders and agencies to better manage the urban environment and transportation system."

  • Simon Willis, vice president, global public sector, Cisco IBSG
  • "Since the first Connected Urban Development Global Conference in February 2008, CUD has made tremendous progress with the launch and execution of sustainability pilots around the globe.  We envision that the same principles of openness that have made the Internet a thriving ecosystem over the past 20 years can be applied to make cities a smarter platform for people, products and services. We are pleased to debut the Seoul PTA as another example of the way we are using our global, open standards approach to provide real-time information that enables citizens, communities, cities, countries, and business organizations to develop policies and tangible pilots designed to improve the sustainability of cities."

Supporting Resources:

Tags / Keywords:

Cisco, IBSG, Personal Travel Assistant, PTA, City of Seoul, CUD, Connected Urban Development, Clinton Global Initiative, Sustainability, Environment

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