WORK IS UNDERWAY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN URBAN TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN THE KINGSTON METROPOLITAN REGION (KMR)

Commuters will soon benefit from a new Urban Traffic Management System (UTMS) that will reduce travel times and fuel consumption by 30% through improved traffic control management in the KMR.

The UTMS is a component of the Energy Management and Efficiency Programme (EMEP), a government initiative that is a key element of Vision 2030 for government ministries and agencies to be models/leaders in energy conservation and environmental stewardship in Jamaica. The programme is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF).

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) signed a contract in March 2021 with the Columbian engineering company, Consortium Kingston-Jamaica 2018 to implement the project at a cost of US$3.4 million. To date, approximately 53% of the work has been completed, with the major planning works done, procurement and delivery of materials and commenced the installation of software and cameras.

Traffic signals in the KMR now operate independently without remote control. The project will include the upgrade of the National Works Agency's Central Traffic Control Centre and automation of traffic signals in the KMR.

Traffic signals in the KMR now operate independently without remote control. The project will include the upgrade of the National Works Agency’s Central Traffic Control Centre and automation of traffic signals in the KMR.

The project began execution in May 2021 and is expected to be completed in early 2022. This was an aggressive planning by the team to reduce implementation time. The National Works Agency, with responsibility for traffic management and road safety, is supervising the works and will operate and maintain the new system. The ministry in collaboration with Consortium Kingston-Jamaica 2018 will train and certify personnel in the new automated traffic management system operation and maintenance.

“A traffic system overhaul will benefit motorists, pedestrians, and emergency responders,” says Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz. “It will reduce travel time and fuel consumption, as well as improve safety awareness by allowing us to share early warnings for accidents and flooding in flood-prone areas. It will even send video feeds of traffic operations to emergency services dispatch centres.”

Other countries with similar projects have seen improved vehicular mobility in their cities.

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