Lithuania’s first intersection with priority for public transport launched

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FIMA, intelligent engineering solutions company, and the transport infrastructure design company, Kelprojektas, have completed the modernisation of the intersection on M. K. Čiurlionis Street, next to the Railway Station in Kaunas. A state-of-the-art traffic light system that gives priority to public transport has been installed at the intersection which suffers from especially heavy traffic and a high accident rate. Currently, it is the only public transport priority system (PTPS) operating in Lithuania.

“We have installed a system at an intersection in Kaunas that uses radio frequencies to identify vehicles and gives priority to them. This type of PTPS does not require paved roads to be dug up, for costly equipment to be installed on public transport or for traffic to be stopped while the system is installed. So it is an effective solution for improving urban traffic infrastructure all round. As far as we know, it is the first instance of this wireless PTPS solution in use in the Baltics,” said Rokas Šlekys, Director of the Solutions Department at Fima.

The project will help bus drivers on timetabled services to leave a parking area and safely join the particularly heavy stream of traffic on M. K. Čiurlionio Street. Bus drivers who stop at this parking area have contactless cards. As a bus approaches the intersection, the system detects the card, stops the traffic on M.K. Čiurlionio Street and switches the traffic lights to green for the bus.

“The big cities have witnessed increased traffic jams which are becoming a major obstacle to the effective management of public transport. To make public transport more effective and to ensure the safety and comfort of all road users, PTPS should be one of the key parts of any city traffic control system,” said Mr Šlekys.

PTPS was first introduced in the United States and became widespread in the 1970s in European countries with well-developed public transport systems including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries. Currently, technology similar to that operating in Kaunas is being installed on the Warsaw transport system.