I use the public transport infrastructure in Singapore everyday, especially the expressways.
On long trips between one end of the island to the other or when I’m in a rush for time, I will usually check the expressway webcams (on onemotoring.com.sg) to see if my favourite route have smooth flowing traffic or if there is a jam forming.
On weekends, when I go shopping along Orchard Road or visit Marina Bay area, I rely on the various sign-boards that shows parking availability at popular carparks to decide where I should shop at depending on parking lots available.
And of course, there are many time when I’m on the road … I would wonder if anyone was looking at me through the many cameras mounted on top of lamp post along our roads.
Well … sometime last month I got the answer to that question and witness how a bunch of good folks over at the ITSC keep the cars flowing smoothly on our road network (well, at least as smooth as it could be moving 5.3 million folks around).
I was invited to visit the Intelligent Transport System Centre (ITSC) in January … a rare chance to have a glimpse into the how LTA manages Singapore road condition on a daily basis – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – basically everyday.
Oh … by the way, photo taking was not allowed but ITSC have supplied me with the very picture I wanted to take anyway … of the ITS Ops Centre (pictured above and yes, it’s the only picture I have).
Ensuring Smooth Traffic
The ITSC operates the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS), Junction Eyes (J-Eyes), Green Link Determining System (GLIDE) and various other ITS to monitor traffic conditions on our roads. When it detects an incident – either an accident, traffic build-up or faulty traffic light – it will deploy it’s resources to deal with the incident.
Dealing with the incident could mean dispatching a EMAS recovery vehicle to tow a vehicle which have broken down to a safe location and in the process clear the road of an obstruction or updating the EMAS with advisory of heavy traffic on affected roads so road users can react accordingly.
What I understood from my visit to ITSC was that their goal is always to ensure the safety of road users first, follow by ensuring the smooth flow of traffic.
I won’t spend too much time introducing each system to you since LTA has that covered on their website … so here are some links for your reading pleasure if you are interested to learn more about the Intelligent Transport System:
Real Time Traffic Data
Halfway through the presentation at ITSC, I was asking myself … “It would be GREAT if they could share the wealth of information they were collecting and make it available to motorist” … and what did I know, a key benefit of ITS was it’s ability to disseminate traffic information to motorist in a timely manner!
Just how did they do that?
Through various avenues such as Radio, Web Portal and Smart Phone, to name a few.
And here I would like to share with you a new App that is becoming my favourite source of real-time traffic information – MyTransport Singapore App.
Why do I like it?
First, I don’t have to hunt for a sign board now to check the car park lot availability. I can do it on my Smart Phone App.
Second, I can check the expressway traffic condition on the same app and can also customise my favourite expressway webcam.
Third, I can check for traffic events such as accidents and road works on the same app too!
Fourthly, I can also check the current ERP rate at any ERP Gantry. Yes, on the very same App too!
And there are many more functionality which I don’t use personally but it might be useful to you, such as:
- Information on Premium Buses
- Information on Nite Buses
- Information on Bus Arrival Time
- and many more
While you many not have the opportunity to visit ITSC and experience what they do … you can definitely enjoy the benefits of the ITS in the form of a nifty App called MyTransport Singapore to better plan your journey.
More Transport Resources
If you need instant traffic update and you are on Twitter, you can follow LTA on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LTAsg.
OR if you prefer to get updates on Transport News, you can join LTA’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/
Oh and in case you were wondering if the folks at ITSC can see what you are doing in your car? They probably can but I think they are probably to busy handling incidences to notice what you are doing!
Don’t Speed & Drive Safely!