The City Hall of Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) first introduced ITIS (Integrated Traffic Information System) back in 2004, and spent a total of close to RM300 million appointing various contractors up till 2012 to first design, build and manage and subsequently just managing the system.
ITIS was meant as an integrated information provider for traffic monitoring and management purportedly to help ease traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur by providing up-to-date traffic information. To be fair, the introduction of ITIS was all before the availability of current-day technology of GPS driven real time traffic applications such as WAZE.
In late 2012, DBKL again announced that they would appoint a new contractor to manage ITIS. In addition, other traffic light management systems including TrafficSens by ITS (Intelligent Traffis System) would also used by DBKL to better manage traffic flow in the city.
It is safe to assume that since 2004 when ITIS was first announced, DBKL has been working to find a good integrated system that could help them achieve better traffic management in the city.
Though the final figure of how much has gone into these systems cannot be obtained by Cars, Bikes & Trucks, we did however interview a few road users to ask their opinion on what works best for them.
Mr.Wong Chin How commutes daily to work in his one year old Honda HRV, and he uses WAZE and sometimes, Google Maps to give him a better idea of which route and choice of road to take especially when he is out on sales calls. “I cannot understand what DBKL wants to achieve with ITIS, when it displays messages not related to the traffic. A good example is the infamous ‘Welcome The President of USA’ sign that was displayed when Obama was in town”
Wong was referring to the welcome message displayed on ITIS sign boards during President Obama’s visit to KL last year which drew much criticism and flak on social media.
Francis Ng who is on the road daily also cites Waze as his preferred choice of real time road mapping application, and swears by it as the traffic congestion markers as well as police ambush indicators are accurate.
The question is why would City Hall continue to pour good money after bad, by continuing to upkeep and appoint contractors to operate ITIS when a simple and free smart phone application like WAZE can achieve the same?
A senior official with DBKL who chose not to be named says that the ITIS system also caters to part of the community that does not use smart phones, citing that smart phone ownership is still low in numbers. Asked if he agreed that the ITIS overhead boards are not used to their full potential, he agreed and wish that it could show travel times just as how a similar system is managed in Singapore.
Our phone call to the Corporate Asset Management department of DBKL did not get us any answers.
For now, motorists passing by these ITIS overhead signs should just bear with DBKL, as it displays irrelevant messages such as ‘Jaga Berat Badan Anda’ dan ‘Selalu Utamakan Pejalan Kaki’ or ‘Awasi Jarak Kenderaan Anda’ when they pass.
An overpriced notice board it remains, if you ask us about our thoughts!