Saturday, March 19, 2011


One of the main feature or globalization is the ease of mobility around the borderless globe. However, in most cases, mobility refers to the transmission of data and information in communication. From the conventional fixed line technology, communication has moved to many steps into the 4G spectrum. This has changed the way we live our daily life. The same kind of borderless mobility however does not apply to the movement of human and goods. While human trafficking is viewed negatively, issues involving traffic movements especially in urban living are becoming more complex.

Although new technology has been part of the improved people movers system, such as for the LRT, ERL, Monorail or even KTMB rail network, there are other aspects of transportation system which the technology alone cannot resolve. This is because transportation system involves physical rather than virtual infrastructures. How do we then, come up with an intelligent integrated transportation network when the required infrastructure is not there? Instead of solving the problems for the users, the physical limitations can be a real turn off for the system to be fully utilized. With the cost of infrastructures running into billions of Ringgit, it is imperative that a comprehensive plan is needed before we embark on the construction journey. Otherwise the future generations would be paying a very high price to just move from point A to point B.

Road and rail networks have to be part of residential and commercial centres for them to contribute to a better way of life hence meeting the objectives of the networks themselves. Conversely, the system will have to be of a high standard in terms of reliability and trustworthiness. It is in this light that we, engineers, can play a better and more effective role. Planning a transportation system which allows for the integration of the various modes of transport as well as the diverging needs of a community is the ultimate challenge to ensure the perceived future benefits of mobility are realized and not limited to mere data and information transportation.

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