With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611
Greek Cities use Intelligent Transport Systems
More and more cities in Greece are endorsing the use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in order to facilitate the transportations of citizens, reduce traffic congestion, minimize the environmental impact of transports, and prevent the risks of accidents.
As modern transportation systems show significant requirements for safety, economy and efficiency, ITS aim to provide innovative services related to different modes of transport, by combining information and communication technologies. These services, such as digital information boards and traffic information boards, allow users to be better informed and make safer and smarter use of transport networks and available modes of transport.
Making an overview across the Greek territory and focusing on cities with more than 50,000 citizens, there are eight cities, which have already adopted the use of ITS.
Beginning with Athens, the Greek capital, digital information boards have been installed in thousands bus stops, informing the commuters about the available itineraries and the waiting time at the bus stops. Also, this information can be available to commuters via internet and smartphone applications. In addition and concerning traffic congestion, the traffic management system, which collects traffic data from cameras and traffic monitoring systems, informs drivers about traffic through traffic information boards, which have been installed in critical points of avenues. Despite of digital information boards and traffic management system, the “smart card” is another one system, which allows ticket issuance and can be used in all modes of transport. The “smart card” will be pre paid and the commuters are able to move without having to buy tickets for different modes of transport. This system will be very useful not only for commuters, but also for the transport providers, as it could minimize the stealthy transportations.
Moving on, in Thessaloniki, the second bigger city of Greece, digital information boards have been installed in the majority of bus stations allowing citizens and commuters to know the itineraries and the exact arrival time of the buses. Furthermore and concerning the transportation of people with vision problems, audio message broadcast systems operate in twenty bus station informing public about which buses are approaching the station and the waiting time. As in Athens, a corresponding traffic management system has been installed in Thessaloniki, informing drivers about traffic congestion through the establishment of traffic information boards in four major points in city center roads and ring road.
In the geographical district of Peloponnesus, there are two cities, which have established the use of ITS. In Patra, the third bigger city of Greece, thirty digital information boards have be installed in specific bus stations providing information about itineraries and arrival times of buses based on real time data. In the same direction, ten digital information boards have been installed in the most crowded bus stations of Kalamata and a website, which gives the commuters the opportunity to know the remaining time of the arrival of buses, has been created. Additionally, two electronic information signs and two traffic detectors, which inform drivers about the availability of parking spaces and traffic congestion respectively, have been placed in appropriate points.
Concerning the central Greece, three big cities have applied ITS in urban transports. In Larissa, ten digital information boards and ticket vending machines have be installed in the most crowded bus stations. Also, commuters, who have smartphones, are able to find the nearest bus stations and be informed about the arrival time of the buses. Moreover through the application “Build your route” not only citizens but also visitors can move easily and reliably with the city buses in the city. In Trikala, the ITS include digital information boards, which have been installed at all bus stations, information boards, which provide information about parking places and spaces, monitoring system of the municipal vehicle fleet and state – of – the art inductive loops for the study of city’s traffic data. In Volos, there are digital information boards and ticket vending machines in the bus stations of the city centre. However, the most significant is that citizens and visitors are able to plan their transports from one point of the city to another through the web application “volos routes” by combining walking and the use city buses.
Going back to north Greece, Ioannina is another one city which has adopted an ITS aiming to optimize the traffic congestion in the city centre. Actually, an integrated information management platform provides information to citizens and visitors about the current traffic conditions, the available parking spaces, the available modes of transport and also gives them the opportunity to plan their route by using different means of transport.
The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.
The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months