The City is Gridlocked

Think about how you get around.
A city has many modes of transportation.

Cars, buses, trains, ferries –

thousands of moving parts in a delicate system that lies at the heart of a city's

efficiency and health.

It's a system that touches every other system. And it needs to keep moving.

Everyone is trying to get to work, make a delivery, find a parking space.

Which means more pollution, more wasted time, more gas.

You think traffic is bad now, what happens when we add more and more people

to an already choked system?

A few solutions come to mind –

why not widen some roads or turn them into pedestrian zones?

By the time we do that we might be facing an entirely different set of problems.

Our transportation system is just that – a system.

If we think about it as a whole, if we integrate the system,

we can keep the city's resources from getting trapped between locations.

Civic leaders can plan better.

We can make better decisions about how we go about our daily lives.

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Data Everywhere

It all begins with data.

We're gathering huge amounts of data. From tolls, traffic patterns,

eyewitnesses, turnstiles, ticket sales.

The trouble is, we're not using this data efficiently.

It's siloed in disparate departments and agencies.

It will have to become connected in order to make the city smart.

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Smarter Decisions

For any system to operate efficiently, many components have to work together.

In many instances, the bus, train and subways are owned by the same agency,

but are they making decisions as one?

Say a train is 5 minutes late arriving at the station.

If the buses can't take that into account, you get stranded, stressed commuters.

But don't blame the bus driver.

They didn't have the information they needed to serve their passengers.

It's not realistic to assume everything will always happen according to a schedule

which is why the system needs to react in real time.

In a smarter transportation system,

data is gathered from the trains and buses and synched

so that the buses know to wait for a late train.

Or to send an extra bus when the train does arrive.

People get to work on time. The whole system works better.

Now imagine this synchronicity working across all modes of transportation.

It's already happening in Singapore.

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The City is Smart

Information helps commuters make better decisions too.

A collision has just occurred at 5th and Maple.

Sensors in the roads beam information directly to transportation managers

who use traffic models to predict the effects this will have on the rest of the system

over the next few minutes and the next few hours.

Traffic alerts can be sent directly to commuters

who can then make better decisions about how to get to where they need to be.

Some change their route. Some leave later. Some decide to work from home.

Others use their multi-modal fare cards, like the ones in used in Singapore.

One ticket for the train, bus, toll booth, and ferry

encourages commuters to choose the best option based on real time information.

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Mobile City

The time to make our transportation systems work together is now.

The good news is, it is already starting to happen.

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