BELGA/VERGULT

New GPS tracking system will get trams through traffic lights more quickly

The Flemish public transport company De Lijn and the Highways and Traffic Agency have invited tenders for the installation of a GPS tracking systems that will enable traffic lights to turn to green more quickly if a tram is approaching. If all goes to plan the system will be rolled out next year on 313 trams in Antwerp, Ghent and along the West Flemish coast.    

Delays and vehicles becoming stuck in traffic (for example at traffic lights) are two of the main sources of dissatisfaction among those that use public transport. The new system will ensure that traffic lights almost immediately turn to green when a tram approaches. De Lijn hopes that this will serve to considerably improve customer satisfaction.

Currently, there a system is in place whereby trams can influence traffic lights when they travel over electrical circuits that are placed between the tracks. However, this system is prone to technical issues. The new system with GPS tracking should alleviate these issues. The tracking system inside will be in contact with the traffic lights. The lights will change to green as quickly as possible once the tram approaches.   

De Lijn and the Highways and Traffic Agency are now looking for a company to supply the system. They hope that it can be rolled out on the region’s tram next work from next year.