Smart parking system to be introduced to save people’s time

  • 4224
  • 0

During its last plenary session, Parliament heard the information about traffic congestion in Ulaanbaatar, reducing its negative effects, and improving the accessibility, quality, and standards of public transportation.

Minister or Chairman of the National Committee on Reducing Traffic Congestion J.Sukhbaatar reported, “In 2022, 18 to 20 percent of the work to be carried out within the framework of the goal of reducing traffic congestion in Ulaanbaatar by 50 percent was successfully completed. As this is the basis of the total work to be done in 2023 and 2024, we believe that by completing 60 percent in 2023 and the remaining 20 percent in 2024, congestion in the city will be reduced by 50 percent.”

The average speed of vehicles during rush hours is 8.9 to 10.8 km/h. A preliminary study by the JICA shows that in 2030, it will reach five km/h and in 2040, traffic congestion will continue for a whole day, he said.

In 2023, it was decided to spend 15.1 billion MNT to renovate some parts of pedestrian and bicycle paths and increase access to schools and kindergartens. Moreover, 29.5 billion MNT was budgeted for the construction of main streets in Ulaanbaatar.

“We started to implement the optimal planning of road construction, expansion and renovation based on the impact on the reduction of road congestion, as reflected in the medium and long-term master plan for the development of the capital’s road network. In this context, we plan to build 16.45 kilometers of roads and 963.7 meters of bridges in 11 locations. With the full implementation of projects and measures, traffic congestion is projected to reduce by nine percent,” the minister continued.

As of today, 996 buses serve more than 500,000 citizens in 107 directions, but 68 percent of them are more than ten years old. In 2023, it is planned to purchase 600 large-capacity Euro5 standard buses, 160 buses with electric engines, and 50 medium-capacity buses. This year, 272 billion MNT was approved for public transport park renewal. The construction of a public transport park commenced in Khan-Uul and Songinokhairkhan districts. In 2024, 100 percent renewal of the public transport park will be achieved, old buses will be removed from service, running costs and air and environmental pollution will be reduced, and an outdoor parking lot with a capacity of 150 buses, a warm parking lot with a capacity of 220 buses, and a comprehensive service channel will be put into operation, and the quality of public transport services will be improved, according to J.Sukhbaatar.

He added, “The Introduction of High-Capacity Buses” Project is under research. According to preliminary calculations, the introduction of large-capacity buses using the highway from Tolgoit to Amgalan bus station along Peace Avenue will increase the speed of public transport and create a type of public transport that provides prompt services according to a detailed schedule.”

The first phase of the road network load reduction work was successfully implemented by introducing a road transport system, using technology to process actual road and vehicle data, perform data-based calculations, and manage traffic based on real-time monitoring. In 2023 and 2024, the second phase will be implemented to collect real-time integrated data of vehicles and regulate roads and transport. Thus, traffic control will be improved by 40 percent and road traffic load will be reduced by 20 percent. Smart parking and electronic payment system will be introduced to save people’s time. Checkpoint bureaus and mobile police vehicles will be connected to each other through smart terminals to exchange information quickly, Minister J.Sukhbaatar elaborated.

As of today, citizens spend an average of 2.5 hours a day and 35 days a year in traffic jams in the capital vity, and the total cost of this lost opportunity is 2.7 trillion MNT. In order to reduce this lost opportunity and cost, the national committee conducted basic studies that will have a major impact on reducing traffic in Ulaanbaatar in 2022. Opportunities to increase the road network and decongest traffic have been identified. Options for increasing access to schools were also considered. In addition, in order to improve the public transport services of Ulaanbaatar, it is planned to run small and medium-sized buses and increase the average speed of the buses.

During the session, parliamentarian S.Odontuya expressed, “Is it necessary to impose a zoning tax on citizens in Ulaanbaatar? Which is more important in the capital, metro or LRT? Traffic congestion is one of the most annoying problems for Ulaanbaatar residents. Now that we have a minister in charge of this issue, we hope that it will bring results. In the future, it is necessary to be proactive and work well.”

Chairman of the Democratic Party caucus in Parliament O.Tsogtgerel commented, “Congestion is a reflection of politicized decisions, partisan appointments and corrupt land allocations. The problem should be looked at holistically, and major changes should be made. The solution to congestion is not just a problem of buses and public transport, but comes from the intersection of many policies. It will be found by comprehensively looking at the problems related to Mongolia’s demographic localization, settlement policy, tax policy, urbanization, cultural change, and payment systems. I want the minister to work diligently to find effective solutions to the problem of congestion.”

Misheel Lkhasuren