No Idling
The PEAK Hong Kong|January 2018

Kuala Lumpur is pushing ahead with smart solutions to its notorious and costly traffic jams. But it might take more than new rail infrastructure and a few smart apps to overcome the desire to drive.

Technology has certainly improved lives and raised standards of living in one way or another. Of course, Malaysia is no stranger to these advancements. The government has taken to smart technology as the key to reach developed status by 2020.

The Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) area has been earmarked as one of 12 key areas in the country to be transformed into a smart environment as part of the Economic Transformation Program. The programme is pushing initiatives that facilitate the uptake of smart technology to cope with rapid urbanisation in the capital city.

One key area that is receiving considerable amount of “smart” attention is the city’s horrendous traffic jams. Ask any KL resident what is the biggest pain point of life in the city, and nine out of ten will highlight traffic congestion as the main issue. Daily commutes of one to two hours for a distance of 20 to 30 kilometres are a consistent complaint. Spending a combined 270 to 500 million hours stuck in traffic each year is maddening for drivers. It is also costly, translating to RM5.51 billion (HK$ 10.55 billon) in productivity lost per annum, according to a World Bank report.

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