Successes major cities have achieved with ITS
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Needless to say, smart transportation is a critical element in any smart city initiative. Intelligent transportation systems or ITS, therefore, are gaining importance. Across the globe, major cities are implementing ITS to make roads safer, less congested and less polluted.
That was the point raised in a whitepaper released by by Frost & Sullivan
, which argues that amid rapid urbanization, smarter transportation is demanded by citizens who are faced with various issues, including congestion, road safety and pollution.
“Although distance remains the same, commuting time has increased significantly due to congestion,” the paper said. “Emissions are a concern all over the world due to unlimited pollutants and increasing consumption. Vehicle ownership is rising, increasing the emission of pollutant gases that are hazardous to humans.”
And this is where ITS comes in, whereby municipal administrators apply information and communication technologies to passenger and freight transport to address the aforementioned challenges. The paper then cited several major cities in the world that have achieved success with ITS.
According to the paper, Singapore is supported with an advanced transportation system including bus, rail, road and water taxi and employs a variety of ITS systems, such as electronic road pricing (ERP) and electronic parking system (EPS), to tackle congestion and emissions.
“ERP uses a short-range communication system called DSRC to collect tolls on certain roadways. This pricing system is levied during peak hours to control the traffic flow in congested areas. In the near future, ERP is going to change from a gantry system to GNSS technology due to better practicality,” it said. “EPS was introduced to provide a consistent user experience to motorists. It leverages the hardware that facilitates ERP. It automates parking fees and collection, and can accurately count the number of free spaces available in car parks.”
According to the paper, London’s congestion costs the economy an estimated 2 billion pounds a year. The city uses various means to combat this, including congestion zone and peak pricing.
“Congestion charge is a fee imposed on most vehicles for entering a prescribed zone during certain hours of the day. A certain fee is charged for entering the congestion charge zone between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. A fare for travelling on certain public rail lines is applied for peak hours during the workday,” it said, adding that the city’s transportation authorities also use multimedia to disseminate traveler information. For example, it launched a social media TravelBot service in 2017, the paper said.
New York City’s challenges mainly revolve around congestion, traffic accidents and emissions, and technologies such as intelligent traffic signals and transit signal priority are used, according to the paper.
“New York City upgraded its existing intelligent traffic signal infrastructure to a more advanced system. The new system uses RFID readers and cameras that are used to transmit real-time information to the traffic management center, enabling real-time control of traffic. It is the world’s largest traffic signal control system,” it said. “Transit signal priority (TSP) is a method used to improve bus travel times by prioritizing the traffic signals to reduce the travel time of buses along a corridor.”
According to paper, to overcome Istanbul city traffic challenges, ITS was introduced in the late 1990s and has been improved since. Solutions include traffic control center and fully adaptive traffic management, digital traffic density map and mobile traffic app, and electronic toll system and smart ticketing.
“There are two different advanced payment options in Istanbul: electronic toll system (ETC) and smart ticketing system, called Istanbul Card, which was introduced in 1995 and can be used in all public transportation, parking, taxis and certain social services,” it said.