I refer to the Free Malaysia Today and Malaysia Outlook reports about your Right Honourable asking the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate seemingly exorbitant price the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) paid for the eDrive application which interacts with the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS), and lets users check traffic current conditions on certain roads on their Apple iPhones, iPads or Android devices; as well as another RM198 million which the DBKL has spent over six years to maintain and rent the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and system.
Whilst I'll let the MACC reply to your questions, however what I would like elected representatives like your Right Honourable to do is to ask the relevant highway authorities or concessionaires what they have done in the medium and longer term to remedy and rectify the factors which cause such horrendous traffic congestion on our roads, especially during peak travel periods as this has been a perennial problem in the Klang Valley despite the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) which went into operation in 2005 or 12 years ago.
According to ITS Asia Pacific, the "Key objectives of the system are the early detection of disruptive traffic incidents and, in to collaboration with first responders, to clear the blockages so that normal traffic flows can be restored expediently. The system operates 140 variable message signboards (VMS) and a wide array of automated traffic counters to provide a real time view of the overall traffic network." ITS Asia Pacific is a regional membership-based organisation of intelligent transport system (ITS) operators from across the Asia Pacific region.
So ITIS basically provides information to the public on current traffic conditions such as congestion on certain roads in real time so they can decide to take alternative routes, delay their travel time, choose a different mode of transport such as the LRT or MRT. It also lets the authorities remotely monitor traffic conditions and for incidents and despatch first-response teams to clear blockages.
Also, according to The Star, eDrive lets users see a map that shows a 5km radius of Variable Message Sign (VMS) and CCTV view of 40 locations. Those VMS signboards are those electronic signboards mounted on gantries above the roads where ITIS operates and informs drivers especially of adverse traffic conditions ahead and its extent; whilst its Parking Guidance Information System feature lets uses remotely check the current avilability of parking at 14 malls including Suria KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Low Yat Plaza and Maju Junction.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/07/10/kl-traffic-in-the-palm-of-your-hands-twomonth-test-period-for-new-app-featuring-realtime-cctv-images/#UXXAjZjL2Yw1WSvH.99
I have been writing about the information and communications technology industry (ICT) industry since September 1994, including about eleven and a half years with The Star and I recall having written some articles in which I mentioned ITIS even before it was launched.
I live in Petaling Jaya, close to the horrendously congested Federal Highway and my work required me to travel to venues within the Golden Triangle and where they are not near the LRT line, I had to drive and endure the horrendous traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur on my return, especially if it was after 5 pm and oftentimes I looked up at the ITIS signboard and wondered what is the point of it telling me that the road I am on is congested, when I am in the thick of it and already know only too well that it is congested; especially when this is the same story, year after year, with no end in sight, even until today, and also horrendously congested until today, is the main road in front of The Star, Eastin Hotel, Phileo Damansara I and II.
A study on the effectiveness of Kuala Lumpur's ITIS system published in the Proceedings of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol.8, 2011, reveals slight improvement in traffic flow on certain roads where ITIS operates, so it is minimally effective by letting road users know about current traffic conditions in advance,so they can take alternative routes but what is really needed to be done in the medium terms is to despatch traffic police to direct traffic to hasten traffic flow and inthe longer term to once and for all resolve the causes of traffic congestion, such as the bottlenecks in traffic flow, widen roads, build more roads and so forth.
One of the major causes of traffic congestion, such as on the Federal Highway are entry and exit points points where traffic from other roads or highways enter the Federal Highway, since the additional number of cars at these points, many of which will also want to change lane, all of which results in a bottleneck. Also, new exit ramps from the Federal Highway, such as the one being built just before the exit to the LDP are also bottlenecks.
However sophisticated or "gee whiz" it may be, Information Technology (IT) does not solve the physical causes of traffic congestion, which requires physical intervention and remedies in REALSPACE, not Cyberspace.
It would be great, if like in Star Trek, Scottie can beam us between home and office over fibre optic or 4G LTE connections but such solutions are still far off in the future, if ever they will be practically possible. Until then, they will remain in the realm of science fiction.
We suffering denizens of the Klang Valley need REALSPACE solutions to our traffic problems, not Cyber-solutions.
The two articles referred to follow below.
With many thanks and regards
MP wants probe on DBKL’s RM565 million eDrive app
Nurul Ain Huda August 21, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: A DAP MP has asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate how Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) spent a whopping RM565 million on a traffic and parking information app while a nearby municipality bought a similar system for only RM27,000.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who lodged the complaint today, called the project a waste of tax payers’ money.
“It should be scrapped,” he said.
The app, known as eDrive, is linked to the Integrated Transportation Information System (Itis). It was developed in 2002 and will remain under test till September.
“MACC should investigate the RM2.9 million spent on eDrive which took a year to develop.
“Another RM198 million was spent over six years maintaining and renting the cameras and CCTV system since 2002,” said Lim.
He revealed that the appointed contracter was VADS Lyfe, formerly known as GTC Global Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Berhad.
Lim said eDrive’s functions were limited to traffic information and parking guidance information system for 14 malls, including Suria KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Low Yat Plaza and Maju Junction.
The traffic function focuses on congested roads such as Jalan Mahameru, Jalan Syed Putra and the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway.
“Such an app can be downloaded for free and does not require RM565 million to develop,” he said.
Taman Segambut DAP secretary Yew Jia Haur revealed that a similar system, which was put in place in a matter of six months for the Selayang Municipal Council, only cost RM27,000 with a one-year warranty.
The system, “Aduan MPS”, has been up and running for the past two years and can be downloaded for free from Google playstore and Applestore.
Projek eDrive dan ITIS: ‘SPRM harus siasat’By Noraizura Ahmad Aug 21, 2017
CHERAS: Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) digesa menjalankan siasatan terhadap Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) susulan timbul persoalan dalam perbelanjaan untuk projek aplikasi eDrive dan sistem maklumat pengangkutan bersepadu (ITIS).
Ahli Parlimen Segambut, Lim Lip Eng berkata, DBKL harus menjawab mengenai pembayaran harga yang melebihi harga pasaran dalam projek aplikasi eDrive dan ITIS.
Menurutnya, menerusi sebuah akhbar tempatan, pihaknya mendapati DBKL telah membelanjakan RM2.9 juta untuk aplikasi eDrive yang dikatakan boleh menampilkan pelbagai maklumat trafik kepada pengguna jalan raya di Kuala Lumpur.
“SPRM harus menyiasat perbelanjaan tersebut kerana aplikasi berkenaan hanya memberikan maklumat trafik kepada pengguna dan ia bukanlah sebuah aplikasi navigasi.
“Aplikasi navigasi seperti Waze dan google Maps adalah percuma,” katanya selepas menyerahkan surat desakan siasatan di pejabat SPRM Kuala Lumpur di sini, hari ini.
Lip Eng turut mendakwa DBKL membelanjakan RM198 juta untuk penyelenggaraan ITIS selama enam tahun dan jumlah yang dibelanjakan oleh ITIS sejak diperkenalkan pada 2002 adalah sebanyak RM565 juta.
“SPRM harus juga menyiasat siapa yang meluluskan kontrak ITIS sama ada harga serta kos penyelenggaraan yang dibayar jauh lebih tinggi berbanding harga pasaran.
“Mereka perlu juga menyiasat sama ada kontrak ITIS diberikan melalui sebut harga tender atau bagaimana,” katanya.
Ahli Parlimen DAP itu berkata, SPRM diberikan tempoh empat minggu untuk menjalankan siasatan dan sekiranya gagal perkara tersebut akan dibawa ke peringkat Dewan Rakyat. – MO