Did you know that the average commuter wastes a full week of his/her life stuck in traffic each year? When you think about it, that’s a lot of time you could use for spending time with your family, going to the gym, and other more productive things. Thankfully, cities all over the world are implementing bold measures to curb traffic paralysis:
Stockholm – Electronic Road Pricing
In Stockholm, convenient driving comes with a price. Motorists who wish to enter the city center during rush hour on weekdays are charged a special rate for this convenience. During the first two years of implementation, peak traffic flow fell by 25%, removing about one million vehicles from the road. Better yet, the toll fees raised are used to improve other transport services in the city.
Barcelona – Dynamic Traffic Forecasting
In many ways, traffic congestion can be eased by accurate and timely forecasting. As such, Barcelona has made the necessary investments to allow it to forecast traffic conditions with startling accuracy through the use of sensors in parking spaces that analyze the flow of cars in and out of the lot. This real-time data is transmitted through the city’s WiFi system into local control centers and the motorists’ smart devices. This allows local traffic authorities to increase or reduce the frequency of green lights as traffic ebbs and flows.
Tehran – Shared Taxis
Ride-sharing services have turned transportation systems on their head since first being introduced. But not everyone has a smartphone or a credit card that enables them to access these services. That’s why in Tehran, they’ve introduced a hybrid system. People share taxis with other passengers, but taxis have fixed stops where they pick up commuters—in short, Tehran has mobilized taxi fleets as city buses. As a result, people can enjoy convenient transportation that’s also inexpensive.
London – Electronic Journey Planner
Ever wanted to have your personal transportation advisor? Thanks to technology, London commuters have just that. It’s an app called Transport for London Online Journey Planner, which provides real-time advice on the best transport routes to take. It can tell you whether it’s better to take the train, bus, or your own car at any given time of day. Of course, these projects can only be successful if the different transportation operators are willing to share their data with the public.
Traffic congestion is an age-old problem, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of innovation and forward thinking, commutes can become convenient and efficient.