IDB gives TT US$.5m to improve traffic management

FILE PHOTO: Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, on February 15. -
FILE PHOTO: Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, on February 15. -

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has given his ministry a US$500,000 grant to upgrade the technology of the National Traffic Management Centre and propel its new digital strategies to facilitate improved traffic management.

Speaking at the launch of the project at the Caroni Licensing Office on Tuesday, chief traffic engineer Adande Piggott said the centre monitors traffic flow and was working towards incident management to detect, respond to and clear traffic incidents, and restore traffic flow as safely as possible.

He said the primary goals were to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, incident response and clearance time. It would also involve network surveillance, data collection, information dissemination, traffic management for special events, and evacuation.

“This will be done by increasing efficiency through effectively managing incidents and traveller information, making route adjustments in the response to traffic conditions, and providing travellers with real time accurate information.”

Soon, the centre will be able to expand the use of variable message signs to include letting the driving public know where and when a road incident or traffic jam occurred so drivers could use an alternate route. It will be able to monitor about 200 traffic light intersections and better co-ordinate the lights to ease traffic congestion. Also, through the Waze for Cities app, the population can submit information to the centre.

While not saying how many cameras the centre already had access to, Sinanan said the National Security Ministry would give the centre a link to access some of its CCTV cameras, widening the centre’s network.

Rohan Sinanan -

He said although all the feeds would be monitored for traffic management reasons, it would also help the country with national security.

“That is the beauty about technology. You could always upgrade your system. And as I said before, this is really the start of it. Very soon we will have the red-light cameras installed, the stop-speed cameras. The system is designed where all the traffic lights in Trinidad can link, and we’re hoping to get to that point where we can manage them from here.”

He also said the ministry had three vehicles with multiple cameras strapped to them, to help with its road conditional survey, which was done approximately every three years. He said it usually took 12 to 15 teams of people 18 months and $3.2 million to survey all the roads on the island and get a report to the minister.

“That system could give us a road survey in about two weeks at a cost of about $60,000. And that is what technology does. That is why you have to embrace technology.”

Asked for an update on speed cameras for roads, Sinanan added that the suppliers were being negotiated, since the prices of some cameras would have been drastically reduced over the years, and others were more technologically advanced.

IDB president Ilan Goldfajn stressed that technology was important to saving and improving lives.

“It’s great to see the government of TT taking digitalisation so seriously and we are very glad to be part of that.

“Digitalisation also brings new opportunities, and opens now horizons. It helps us unlock the country’s potential and hence, helps us underpin competitiveness, innovation and productivity for the future.”


"IDB gives TT US$.5m to improve traffic management"

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