NEC to deploy transit-focussed ITS network for Mecca pilgrims


Japanese IT and network systems integrator NEC Corporation has received an order from the Modern Bus Company for an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) to improve the performance of bus traffic and transit operations in the city of Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia.

With each passing year, the number of pilgrims visiting Makkah continues to increase, and more than 2 million pilgrims from around the world participated in the city’s 5-day Hajj Pilgrimage in 2018. This number is expected to double over the next 15 years, making the development of an efficient public transport system essential for the successful completion of millions of pilgrimages, while also posing a challenge for the Saudi Arabian government.

NEC’s ITS deployment will help to overcome this challenge by providing a wide range of innovative services, including an automated fare collection system, which uses IC cards to enable cashless, accurate and reliable fare collection for millions of travelers, as well as a bus location management system, which uses GPS to monitor the location of approximately 400 buses in real-time, thereby supporting the successful implementation of scheduled operations. In addition, real-time bus information will be provided to passengers through solar powered displays installed at bus stops and via new mobile applications. NEC’s new integrated system is scheduled to begin operations in 2020.

“Together with Modern Bus Company, we aim to manage the operation of approximately 2,000 buses in Makkah within the next five years,” said Ryuji Nakagawa, general manager of NEC’s transportation and logistics solutions division. “We have a well-established record of providing Intelligent Transportation Systems throughout Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and India, and will continue to build partnerships globally in support of the development of safe, secure and efficient transportation infrastructure.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.