Following is the full text of the introductory speech (English only) delivered by the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Robert Footman, at the Transport Information System Forum today (June 2):
Honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to organise this forum on the Provision of Transport Information - Public/Private Collaboration Experience & Opportunities. Some of you may remember that we have organised an Intelligent Transport System forum four months ago. As I mentioned at the last forum, this is not an one-off exercise and regular seminars on ITS will be held to facilitate the exchange and upkeep of information in the field. Therefore, I try to maintain the momentum by organising this forum.
The public demands reliable, accurate and timely transport information. The industry also demands data infrastructure and real time transport information for intelligent transport systems (ITS) applications such as in-vehicle navigation and fleet management systems, in which transport information and traffic conditions are made accessible within moving vehicles. As you know, Hong Kong currently lacks standardised transport data infrastructure and real time data. Dissemination of such information is also affected by the slow transmission rate of wireless communication.
You may perhaps read about the debate on the third generation (3G) mobile phone services from the newspaper. 3G mobile phones services are expected to be available in the market within the next two years. They will provide the bandwidth for multi-media communication on the move. Mobile phones and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) function will allow vehicles as well as pedestrians to locate their whereabouts and search for directions to desired destinations such as car parks, petrol filling stations, restaurants and cinemas.
To take full advantage of new technological developments, we would like to have the data infrastructure in place in time to support the processing and dissemination of transport information so that the public can have reliable, accurate and timely transport information and the industry can develop their ITS applications.
Transport Information System (TIS)
We have completed a feasibility study on the Transport Information System. The study provided an in-depth evaluation of transport information technologies and how they may be integrated to form a modern information system in Hong Kong.
The proposed TIS will employ advanced Geographic Information System and internet technology to enhance the collection, processing and dissemination of transport information among Government Departments, transport operators and the public. For example, the provision of integrated public transport information such as bus routes and schedules will assist the passengers in their trip planning needs. Our aim is to commission the system in 2002. Dr. John Sutton will brief us on the key findings of the study in the afternoon.
Traffic Management and Information Centre
We are about to start a preliminary project feasibility study on the state-of-the-art Traffic Management and Information Centre that will put traffic surveillance and management, incident management and provision of traveller information under one umbrella. The centre will also form a hub that enables seamless communication among different traffic control centres. Our aim is to commission the centre in 2006. By that time, the centre will make use of the infrastructure developed in the TIS for the collection, processing and disseminating of real-time information to the motorists.
ITS Strategy Review
In order to formulate the strategy and action plans for the future development and implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems in Hong Kong to enhance transport operation and traffic management, we have just started an ITS strategy review. The review will -
* consolidate the technology findings of the previous studies including the SRN study, CTS-3, TIS study etc;
* review the current and potential development of ITS both in Hong Kong and overseas;
* conduct technical evaluation and cost-benefit analysis, accord priorities and formulate an implementation programme for the potential applications; and
* review technical standards, legislative amendments, funding sources, re-engineering processes and other institutional issues relating to collaboration between Government and the private sector.
The study will help us to set out the future direction of ITS development in Hong Kong. We aim to complete the study by end of the year. By that time, we will be able to draw up a programme on ITS development in Hong Kong.
Public and private collaboration
The main purpose of this forum is to learn from overseas experience on the development of Transport Information System and to identify opportunities on the Public/Private collaboration in the provision of transport information. We are honoured to have speakers from the United States, Britain, Japan and Singapore to share with us their experience and lessons learnt from development of TIS. There are good examples in ITBB and Lands Department on public and private collaboration in the dissemination of information to the public. It is my pleasure to have their presence here to share their experience with us.
In conclusion, I am sure that this TIS Forum will generate more ideas on the way forward on the development of TIS in Hong Kong and how public and private collaboration can be achieved to provide the transport information that the public wants.
End/Friday, June 2, 2000