In August, the first stage of the intelligent transport system project in Bielsko-Biała was completed, being one of the most important investments in the city in the recent years. Just 11 months was enough to introduce a system for prioritisation in public transport, create facilities for passengers and drivers, and modernise traffic lights at 18 crucial junctions and pedestrian crossings. The contractor of the system was Sprint S.A.
The main aim of the investment was to improve the conditions of road traffic in the city, with particular attention paid to public transport. Thanks to the mechanism of giving priority to buses which are late in relation to their time-tables, it is now possible to reduce their waiting times at red lights. At 22 bus stops, passengers can obtain information from tables presenting the real arrival time of buses: each of them, thanks to the voice reading of messages about departures, is adjusted to the needs of persons with impaired vision. Passenger information with the new functionalities is available also on the dedicated on-line website: rozklady.bielsko.pl. The city has also opened a website providing information about road traffic: its.bielsko.pl — which presents data about current congestion in the network of roads covered by ITS, about traffic disruptions in the city, and about the paid parking zone.
It is worth noting that, at the same time, the Municipal Department of Communication in Bielsko-Biała has made a key replacement of its fleet by buying 50 low-emission buses. The new and the remaining fleet of the carrier (total of 128 vehicles) has been equipped with on-board computers cooperating with the ITS system, as well as with internal LCD screens for presenting passenger information.
The ITS system project in Bielsko-Biała involved the modernisation of 18 sets of traffic lights at road junctions and pedestrian crossings, introducing 425 new lights, 202 jibs and masts, and 18 traffic light controllers. The project has also brought about the installation and restoration of 295 inductive loops, allowing the identification and classification of vehicles approaching the traffic lights. Junctions and bus stops have received 62 new CCTV surveillance cameras, connected with the City Guard, Police, and Traffic Management Centre at the Municipal Traffic Management. The Traffic Management Centre at the Municipal Traffic Management is equipped with a tool for direct supervision, management and control of traffic along roads covered by the project —
It also needs to be borne in mind that creation of such a system in the city entails a lot of ground-works — 32 km of optical fibre cables alone have been laid as part of the project. Fortunately, the works have been going smoothly, allowing the first stage of the investment to be completed on time.