Kiambu, Kenya 15 September 2016-- Experts from UN-Habitat, telecommunications giant Ericsson, Mat Q- a leading transport sectors' web based ERP System - and the County Government of Kiambu among other stakeholders held a consultative meeting in Nairobi which concluded that Intelligent Transport Solutions for urban mobility is timely and key.
The transport industry is dynamic with a rapid urbanization trend observed within the Sub-Saharan region. There is need for all players to respond and act. According to the 2014 IBM report, Nairobi is classified fourth among the World's most congested roadways. The industry faces a lot of challenges as a result of congestion; a lot of revenue is lost in productivity daily due to traffic, there is a high record of deaths as in the case of Kiambu County where 100 lives are lost annually due to road carnage, the lack of predictability of travel times with the public transport, as well as revenue leakage from the an accounted for revenue.
Through a partnership, UN-Habitat, Ericsson, MatQ, Matatu Saccos (a cooperative of the public transport vehicles known by their Kiswahili name Matatu) and the County Government of Kiambu seek to carry out a pilot project in Ruiru town on intelligent transport systems. The pilot project addresses various challenges and outlines solutions that will be beneficial and sustainable; establishment of a traffic management system where traffic flow can be controlled efficiently, a transport transaction platform that will provide transport owners real time update on revenues and usage.
This ICT approach is set to benefit all the industry players in terms of safety and security, set predictable fares, financial transparency that will enable public transport to be managed better, infrastructure development where city authorities will have access to the traffic and transport data and trend, this will enable them to plan better for the town in the long term reduce congestion.
The partnership aims at making the public transport attractive, safer, effective and efficient to the residents and all players in public transport. For the past three years UN-Habitat and Ericsson have conducted collaborative research and specific projects which aim to provide valuable insights for city leaders and policy makers on ICT and sustainable urbanization. The partnership also explores how ICT-enabled solutions for cities can drive progress toward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11; Sustainable Cities and Communities.