Sinyar – the newly integrated identity of Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat) and National Ferries Company (NFC) – says it is gearing up to unveil its much-heralded Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), an initiative designed to enhance safety, efficiency and comfort levels across the Sultanate’s public transportation network.
The Intelligent Transportation System — an integrated platform comprising, among other features, a passenger information system, vehicle information system, app for passengers, e-ticketing services, and live tracking and monitoring of buses and coaches — is proposed to be launched in stages as part of Mwasalat’s plan for the “reactivation” of services following the current suspension that came into effect at the start of the pandemic in March.
Details about Mwasalat’s reactivation plan and the imminent rollout of the Intelligent Transportation System were shared by a senior company executive during a webinar organised recently by Muscat University College.
Presenting on the theme, ‘Future Plan for the Transportation Sector in Oman’, Mohammed Said al Yousefi, Head of Intercity Routes Planning at Sinyar, said the reactivation plan envisions a significant reduction in the passenger capacity of buses, trip frequencies and route performance when services eventually resume. The timing of the relaunch of operations, he noted, however, is essentially a “management decision”.
But in conjunction with the reactivation of Mwasalat bus services, the keenly awaited Intelligent Transportation System will be launched in stages as well, said the official. “We are currently – as part of the reactivation plan – working on implementing the Intelligent Transportation System. We can track our buses live, so we can get the whole data and give a proper trip timing to improve the efficiency of trips for our services,” said Al Yousefi.
“We will also do the soft launch of the e-ticketing system and monitor it for the first three months, following which we will analyze the system to see how it’s working. Once we see how it is performing and (evaluate) its efficiency – and (after assessing) the need for a system update – we will have a relaunch.”
The Intelligent Transportation System has been an integral part of Sinyar’s vision to operate a world-class urban passenger transportation network in the Sultanate. In addition to augmenting the safety and efficiency of bus travel, the new platform promises to unleash an array of benefits to commuters as well. Travelers will be able to access Mwasalat services via a mobile app, apply for seasonal passes, and pay for services online.
Last year, Japanese-based multinational IT giant NEC Corporation announced that it had been awarded the contract to install an Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) as well as an Automated Vehicle Location System (AVLS) on Mwasalat’s fleet. The AFCS features contactless electronic payments through the use of a mobile application which will enable cashless, accurate and reliable fare collection.
As many as 200 buses will be equipped with NEC’s high-tech Intelligent Transportation System, benefitting an estimated 20,000 passengers daily.