In its second phase (2009-2013), the METRASYS project focuses on the realization of a traffic management system in Hefei. It aims at reducing the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions caused by urban traffic. The METRASYS project concentrates on traffic in mega cities and rapidly growing agglomeration regions. Exemplarily, a comprehensive traffic management system will be developed, implemented and applied for the city of Hefei, China. Furthermore, the traffic management system is to be integrated into the overall city planning, transportation planning and transportation policy.
According to transportation experts, traffic management measures sum up to 15 to 25% of energy reduction compared to the current situation. In contrast to the optimization of vehicles, the effectiveness of traffic management systems is quite high. The vehicle fleet is directly and comprehensively influenced by the traffic management system. An approach based on a traffic management system provides the advantages of reducing to number of traffic accidents and lost time, of a higher utilization of the transport system and higher average velocity. An emission free car float could not counterbalance these advantages.
After the implementation of the traffic management system, the effectiveness of the system will be evaluated and the reduction of emission will be calculated. Both, the evaluation and calculation rely on an analysis instrument which bases on measured data, selected scenarios and air pollutants dispersion models (immission and emission models for air pollutants).
Hefei, the capital of the Anhui Province, China, was selected as research area. It is on the threshold of becoming a mega city within the next decade. Already accounting to 5 million inhabitants, Hefei represents a number of fast growing medium-sized cities in China. Most of them might be future mega cities. Currently, China has 167 cities with one to five million inhabitants, but only four cities with more than ten million inhabitants. By increasing the attractiveness of Chinese medium-sized cities, those cities might absorb the high population and migration pressure in the prosperous Chinese metropolitan regions. Thus, decentralization of congested urban areas and metropolitan regions is an overall objective of Chinese policies. Population and economic potentials should be dispersed among small-scale urban agglomerations instead of a concentrating population and economic potentials in few mega cities, each with more than 15 million inhabitants. And political regulation of small-scale urban agglomeration would be feasible.
In Hefei, the general condition of high population growth provides an opportunity to control and evaluate the effectiveness of the newly implemented systems. Relying on evaluation helps to transfer the systems to other Chinese cities as well as to developed and developing countries with similar problems of high population growth.
The implementation phase starts with a detailed analysis of the current situation in Hefei. One focus of the analysis are local institutions and decision-making processes as well as existing city development plans and strategies. The objective of the implementation phase is the development and implementation of a traffic management system including the measuring of traffic data and the digital multimedia-based broadcasting of traffic information.
One important element of the METRASYS project will be the coordination of different modes of transportation, including public transportation. The public transportation with busses and taxicabs is relatively important for the traffic system in Hefei. The METRASYS project not only strives to integrate existing, but also new modes of transportation into the traffic management system. Currently, a bus rapid transit system including traffic lanes for the busses and new bus stops is planned and is to be realized in the near future.