City of Kigali is set to gain a new intelligent transport system that is expected to ease traffic movement and improve public transport efficiency, thanks to a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and Japan signed on Thursday.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, together with Japan’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Isao Fukushima and Minako Shiotsuka, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed the grant agreement which will see Japan fund the intelligent transport system in Kigali, up to the tune of $14.6 million.
The project is expected to contribute to the improvement of traffic flow and safety in Kigali through the development of a traffic control system and signal control system together with intersection improvements.
Officials said the population of Kigali will considerably benefit from the project as it will reduce congestions which will make it timesaving.
How will the Intelligent Transport System work?
The system known as ‘Moderato’, which relies on real time signals, will be installed in traffic lights at selected 20 junctions and connected to the fiber network, to be able to share information with the traffic control centre, to be established in City of Kigali, which will have the interconnection with the traffic police system to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The project will also work on the improvement of intersection to improve movement of vehicles, both public and private, especially during peak hours.
The initial phase of the system will be installed along the main corridor of city road networks, particularly those where the dedicated bus lanes will be established.
The intelligent traffic control system relies on signals, data and information collected from the roads and traffic sensors in real time, which is then relayed to the traffic control centre in City Hall, to determine the optimal waiting and moving time for each direction by synchronizing the the green and red light timing at traffic lights.
This means that the system releases or holds vehicles based on the urgency, determined by real time information gathered by Moderato. The system calculates cycles, waiting and moving times in a more efficient manner, based on macro and micro controls, ensuring more smooth and efficient flow of traffic.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Dr. Ndagijimana thanked the Japanese Government for the consistent support of Rwanda’s development programmes, particularly in the area of the infrastructure, where the Asian Island nation has made tremendous gains in developing smart transport systems.
“The intelligent transport system will be a game changer in terms of reducing congestion improving safety, mobility, convenience and efficiency of transport within and through Kigali,”
“Efficient and sustainable transport systems are critical for accelerating trade, which benefits businesses and boosts the economy,” Minister Ndagijimana said.
Amb. Fukushima on his part said that Japan is committed to continue supporting Rwanda in different sectors of the economy, particularly those areas where his country has already made good progress and can offer good examples.
““Given that Rwanda is a land-linked country, it has an integral role to play as the nodal point between the “Central and Northern Corridor,”
“Rwanda is expected to expedite the trade in the region and continent under The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). It is the sincere hope of the Government and the people of Japan that this Grant assistance will contribute to improve the lives of Rwandan people and economic development of the country.” Amb. Fukushima said.
The Mayor of Kigali, Pudence Rubingisa, said that the establishment of the intelligent transport system will contribute to the city’s vision to create smart transportation solutions, especially in regard to decongesting roads and improving public transport systems.
The project is aligned with “Ease of mobility and efficient transport “in the fourth pillar “Urbanizations and Agglomeration” in the Vision 2050, aiming at “Economic Growth and Prosperity” and “High Quality and Standards of Life for Rwandans”.
Japan has been supporting the Government of Rwanda in the infrastructure sector through JICA, mainly developing the economic infrastructures such as one-stop border post, road improvements, improvement of Substations and Distribution Network, and in water sector, strengthening water supply infrastructure, and operation and maintenance of water supply system through grant aid project as well as technical cooperation.