City wants SMS traffic jam updates

The City Council, which has long battled the problem, believes communication through SMS about traffic jams and street repairs will help drivers avoid problems.

The system is expected to be simple.
Just one SMS will be enough to obtain information about whichever district a driver is interested in (first to 18th). Typing “0” will permit a driver to obtain a return message in minutes.
The computer system for improving car traffic was invented by a 25-year-old student of computer science.
“One can use a cell phone and get information about the traffic situation in the city,” said system originator Michal Markiewicz.
“We get this and other information from road camera systems which are owned by Road and Transport Management. They will be the source of information,” Malcharek said.

What is the opinion of drivers about this idea? Michal Kajtoch, political science student at Jagiellonian University, is skeptical about the idea.

“I drive the same roads every day and I know which places are jammed,” he said. He added that such a system could be useful in the event of car accidents.
“On the other hand it is better then a GPS which costs from 800 to 3000 zloty and does not inform about jammed streets,” he added.
GPS systems do not have any information about current road construction such as the new Mogilskie roundabout.
The chairman of Radio Taxi Barbakan is excited about the idea.
“I will certainly use it,” said Andrzej Bobusia. He explained that drivers get the information about the jams from local CB radios that are connected to taxi centers.
How do taxi drivers know about traffic jams?
“By practice,” he said, laughing.

The City Council computer science department assigned 300,000 zloty for this project in the new budget. The rest of the cost is to be provided by cell phone users and operators. The bidding is to be announced in March.

If everything goes according to plan, information about traffic jams should be available as early as July.
Once the system is up and running, drivers should not send SMSs because that would be more dangerous than even the largest traffic jam.

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