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Lahore's traffic agency designs Pakistan's first intelligent transportation system

The Pakistani city of Lahore’s Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) has designed an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) with an estimated cost of Rs2.5 billion (US$29 million) to solve problems facing the provincial capital. According to TEPA officials, the plan is in its final stage and will soon be submitted to the chief minister of the Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, for final approval. A feasibility study of the project has already been completed. Under the project, TEPA will upgrade all the city’s 130 traffic signals with modern facilities, such as countdown displays and CCTV cameras. A central control room will also be established to monitor all traffic signals, as well as roads and crossings. CCTV will provide real-time information of the entire city to the control room. Special training on the system’s operation would also be given to the city’s traffic wardens and police.

The ITS system will be the first of its kind in Pakistan and is due to cover all three parts of the city – central, southern and northern Lahore. The agency had planned to install ITS in the city as a result of the rising traffic congestion and problems, which has arisen due to increased motorization, urbanization, population growth and changes in population density. TEPA says congestion reduced the efficiency of the current transportation infrastructure and increased travel time, air pollution, and fuel consumption.

According to Israr Saeed, director of traffic engineering at TEPA, traffic flow measurement and automatic incident detection using video cameras was another advantage of the new ITS. He said the system would also ensure variable speed limits and would be able to control traffic signals to regulate VVIP and VIP movement across the city, without disturbing the normal traffic flow. Direct monitoring of roads and important crossings would also ensure immediate response of law enforcement agencies to crime, as well as to incidents and accidents. Saeed further revealed that, at the moment, about 60 signals were digital, while the remainder would be upgraded to meet the technological criteria of the ITS.
 

January 12, 2011

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