A recent study carried out by Prof. Adrian Muscat and Prof. Maria Attard in collaboration with PROJECT AEGLE clearly shows a correlation between the level of academic activity at the University of Malta and the delay experienced on Triq Dun Karm (B’Kara bypass) during rush hours. The study is based on Global Positioning System (GPS) data, from which the delay on Triq Dun Karm is computed, and on traffic data collected on the University premises. Traffic to University is characterized by prolonged periods of low, medium and high counts which correlate to seasonal variation in the delay experienced on Triq Dun Karm. From the data it is conservatively estimated that if 40-50% of University students and employees take up shared transport, the delay on the road is reduced by 20-30%, depending on the type of transport provided.
“Looking at those numbers confirms studies we have conducted already earlier this year. It is all about thinking about alternatives to a single occupied vehicle. Key is that we change our mind-set and are prepared to try out new ways of mobility,” says Nicoletta Moss, Project Manager of Project Aegle.
These results encourage the provision of an agile personalized transport system that provides services to and from University and nearby businesses to towns along the corridor to the west of the university. A 2016 study by the two University of Malta academics entitled Shared Demand Responsive Transport Service for the University of Malta, supported by the Vodafone Malta Foundation, demonstrated the feasibility of an on-line automated flexible demand responsive transport system to service the University community along the western corridor. The implementation of such a system would result in mitigating congestion on Triq Dun Karm, reduce noise and improve air quality. Needless to say the same concept may be applicable to commuters in adjacent large-scale activities around the Tal-Qroqq, Mater Dei, Swatar and San Gwann industrial area or along other corridors in the island’s urban areas.