Seoul Bike instructions and chatbot service for international tourists
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced that it has rolled out an English chatbot service for Seoul Bike for international tourists to conveniently rent, ride and return the city’s public bikes. Moreover, users will be able to connect to third-party interpreters via Dasan Call Center for detailed assistance.
While the Seoul Bike app has been accessible to any user—allowing foreign residents to register with their mobile phone and use Seoul Bike like Korean citizens as well as international tourists to select the “Foreigner” option via the main menu to purchase a pass to use Seoul Bike—the chatbot has only been available in Korean.
In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 26,000 international users of Seoul Bike per year. This figure dropped to 10,000 during the pandemic and recovered to 49,000 in 2022. This figure is expected to surpass 50,000 in 2023, leading the city to preemptively address the gradually mounting demand for more convenient Seoul Bike services for international tourists and foreign residents.
First, the city plans to provide translated Seoul Bike chatbot services for more convenient use after only being available in Korean. The city announced that it will begin by providing services in English and will follow by developing and implementing services in Chinese, then Japanese, for total of three supported languages.
Users of the Seoul Bike chatbot can receive information such as how to rent a bike and purchase a pass, as well as use the service or select the relevant menu item to troubleshoot rental errors.
Next, the city will establish an interpretation service between the 120 Dasan Call Center and the Seoul Bike app to ensure that international tourists can receive smooth customer service support. The hotline number will operate from 9 AM to 6 PM, offering three-way calls with provided interpretation between users, the Seoul Bike app, and the 120 Dasan Call Center when a user requests support.
Finally, the city will expand the sales channel for Seoul Bike passes to international tourists using the current Discover Seoul Pass (DSP) sold by the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO). The city developed a deferred payment system in October for commercial use and plans to actively promote these commercial Seoul Bike passes starting in November through a sales agency in locations often utilized by international tourists, such as travel agencies and accommodations. Passes purchased through the sales channel can be applied to the Seoul Bike app by entering the provided code.