About this good practice
The ITS is the combination of a traffic control system, an analytical tool, and a traveler information system. It controls the traffic at intersections, signal lights to green waves, gives priority to the tram at intersections, analyses the travel time of road traffic using license plate recognition, and informs road vehicles about travel times via information panels. In its traffic control room, graphics display the planned and the actual situation, and a “top view” simulation shows the general traffic flow in certain areas. The operators of the ITS system can remotely operate the traffic signals, e.g. for emergency operations, accidents and other special cases. The flow information, like where congestion takes place, can be used for policy-making.
Numerous technical means have been implemented to achieve the described functionalities, like 90 CCTV video surveillance or automatic recording cameras, together covering about 60% of all intersections, and priority radio transmitters in 80 trams. An ITS subsystem refers to parking and includes 26 parking information boards. The parking information system cooperates with an paid parking zone regulation.
The main goal of the system is to shorten the travel time by tram transport and motor vehicles. In addition, the system is to increase the capacity of the street network, improve the quality of the natural environment (e.g. by reducing the amount of exhaust fumes), and reduce associated maintenance and renovation costs.
The costs of ITS was PLN 53,984,700 gross (c.a. 12 000 000 EUR), including: 85% from the European Union funds and 15% from the City of Bydgoszcz budget. The system is maintained by 5 workers and yearly costs is 292 000 EUR.
Evidence of success
The benefits of ITS are increasing capacity of streets, shortening the travel time, lower costs and reduction of CO2. Initial target was to shorten the tram travel time by about 8%, and motor vehicles by about 6%. It actually led to even greater reductions, with 13% shorter average travel times for tram. Similar reductions were achieved in road network, car travel times were shorter by up to 20 – 25%. After 5 years the average bus travel time decreased by 20% and trams by 10%.
Potential for learning or transfer
The ITS Bydgoszcz was one of the first of its kind in Poland therefore other cities can learn of its 7 years implementation and continuous improvement.
The success and perspectives of the ITS Bydgoszcz caused other Polish cities to also implement an ITS.
Given its features, the ITS Bydgoszcz is also of interest for European cities outside of Poland who are willing to implement smart solutions in order to improve development of the city and wellbeing of their inhabitants and visitors.