The term intelligent transportation systems (ITS) refers to information and communication technology (applied to transport infrastructure and vehicles) that improve transport outcomes such as transport safety, transport productivity, travel reliability, informed travel choices, social equity, environmental performance and network operation resilience.
Recognizing that this advanced transportation system is regarded an appropriate policy option for the city of Ulsan, where the city government is forced to meet the growing demand in the urban transportation sector with limited financial resources, the government took an ambitious initiative to tackle a variety of urban transportation problems.
In order to improve effectiveness of urban transportation system in Ulsan, the metropolitan government decided to adopt "Intelligent Transportation System" in the late 1990s. Based on the bill "Optimization of Transportation System" enacted by central government, the city government established a comprehensive ITS plan in 2000 that all local ITS programs should be completed by 2005.
The comprehensive local ITS plan designates five target areas (transportation management, electronic payment, urban traffic information, tourist information, and mass transportation) with special attention on both the increase of urban traffic efficiency and the improvement of mass transportation services.
Currently, bus service in Ulsan is the only available mass transportation means unlike other Korean cities, where various means of urban transportation such as subways and public transit are available. The heavy dependence on its bus service caused several problems with regards to service schedules, convenience, and safety. Bus Information System (BIS), a subsidiary unit of ITS, provides the arrival and departure times to all bus station information boards on a real-time basis so that bus users can reduce waiting times for buses making it a more convenient way of transportation. In particular, it greatly contributed to enhancing the convenience of bus services for the residents living at the peripheries of the city, where very limited numbers of bus lines are in operation.