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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 2 (2006 Deadline)

Development of an ITS-Based Traffic Management Model for Metropolitan
Areas of Pakistan with Karachi as a Pilot Study
Waheed Uddin, University of Mississippi
Mir Shabbar Ali, NED University of Engineering and Technology
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $195,988
US Funding:    $94,000
Project Dates on US Side: February 1, 2007 -  September 30, 2010

Project Overview

Over the past decade, Pakistan has worked intensively to build and modernize motorways and national highways as part of the country’s overall economic development efforts. However, traffic-related fatalities are alarmingly high, and about 41 percent of all crashes involve deaths, a figure that is significantly higher than in most other countries. Frequent congestion in most urban and metropolitan areas is adversely affecting travel time, business operating costs, and air quality, and increased air pollution is affecting public health. These problems require modern solutions emphasizing efficiency and safety as the main goals of traffic management. The primary objective of this project was to strengthen the capabilities of the Pakistani partner institution, NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, for adapting modern geospatial technologies and scientific models of traffic flow and air quality. The implementation products should lead to increased transportation efficiency and safety, which can enhance economic prosperity, reduce public health costs, and benefit the people of Pakistan.

The partners on this project adapted and implemented an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) framework of traffic monitoring and evaluation technologies in which various traffic flow parameters and real-time traffic data were integrated to formulate an efficient Traffic Management System (TMS). Taking the densely populated metropolitan urban city of Karachi as a case study, they compiled a geo-referenced road network database using geographical information systems (GIS) technology. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis methodology was used to assess traffic management strategies considering savings from reduced user and societal costs. The US partner institution, the University of Mississippi, helped NED to adapt US ITS experience and provided training in GIS/geospatial analysis and traffic simulation models. The project deliverable was a GIS-based TMS that was recommended for implementation to Karachi City Traffic Officials (CDGK-EDO Transport), with whom the principal investigators maintained close contact throughout the project. The local government authorities showed great interest in the outcome of the study, and NED signed a memo of understanding with the Karachi city government to share information from the traffic cameras installed by the project. Regional workshops were also held to disseminate the methodologies and key results to other major Pakistani cities and universities. 

Major Results

  • Improved overall traffic flow management and road safety through ITS surveillance and reduced air pollution
  • Organized the first international conference on sustainable transportation and traffic management in Karachi, bringing together academics and professionals from all over Pakistan and abroad
  • Provided consensus recommendations for formulating a sustainable transportation policy for metropolitan cities
  • Developed close interaction and cooperation with the Command and Control System (CCC) of the Karachi City government, and launched three higher education partnerships between the United States and Pakistan
  • Trained 1,566 Pakistanis (13% women) in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Risalpur, Sukkur, and Khairpur, as well as 44 Americans (57% women)
  • Facilitated M.S. degrees obtained by one Pakistani and two U.S. students
  • Published or presented 12 research papers

Blog Links

Satellite Imagery Based Mapping of Road Network, Traffic Demand, and GHG Emissions

Tsunami Simulation for Karachi Port Area, Pakistan, Using Geospatial Analysis

Progress Report Summaries

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