Montreal unveils real-time traffic management centre

As part of Mayor Denis Coderre’s administration’s plans to turn Montreal into a “digital smart city,” the city of Montreal has unveiled its new traffic management centre. Called the Urban Mobility Management Centre, it will be able to manage traffic in real-time thanks to a network of specialized equipment — including 700 cameras.

Starting this autumn, the centre will be operating 16 hours a day, five days out of seven, with a goal to eventually have it run 24/7. Aref Salem, the executive committee responsible for transport, calls it “the heart and the brains” of the smart transport systems in Montreal.

The centre is equipped with servers, software and video screens, all designed to allow real-time decisions that will help people make their way around the city more easily. There are currently 200 cameras across the city connected to the centre, and by 2017, there will be 500.

Special traffic lights that give priority to buses, as well as message boards for motorists can be controlled remotely from the centre. The city said this will allow for a quick response if there’s an accident or a problem in a construction zone, for example.

Opposition transport critic Craig Sauve said he applauds the move, and believes it will improve traffic management in Montreal, but he says if the administration really wants to cut down on congestion, it should be investing more in public transportation.

Story & Video: CTV Montreal News