The Step2Smart Project will provide an accurate picture of the impact of traffic in the immediate vicinity of the transit corridors in Nicosia, Chania, and Kos, due to today's lack of information. Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and is experiencing high traffic congestion during the peak hours, with significant environmental impacts, almost throughout the year. Chania during the summer season often encounters congestion problems affecting the city's environment, the citizens and the tourists. Kos in the summer season has increased traffic on the roads due to high tourist traffic and does not currently have the means to promote public transport, which is more environmentally friendly, as an alternative to the use of private cars.
A common goal for the three cities is to improve the transport system in cities in a sustainable way that will bring about a significant reduction in environmental pollutants, using Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to be studied and implemented in the course of the operation. The innovative pilot SKP pilot actions for sustainable urban mobility in practice are based on or include small to medium-scale interventions contributing to 3 axes: (1) Promoting public transport to shift to environment-friendly transport; (2) and traffic control taking into account environmental criteria, and (3) Sustainable mobility in smart cities. Today, through previous actions of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program Greece-Cyprus (DIAVLOS), EET has acquired considerable experience and know-how in the study, design, and implementation of ITS in Cyprus. Also, the Municipality of Chania has significant experience in the implementation and management of the ITS in the road network and public transport. Kos has not developed any ITS actions in the past and through its operation, it is possible to implement an integrated system for buses by exploiting the possibility of cooperation and exchange of know-how by the other two partners of the act. It is noted that the Hellenic Co-operative Society is currently developing corresponding BSS systems for buses covering the whole of Cyprus. In addition, the results of the action will be used as guidelines for assessing the impact of traffic on urban pollution in the future development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) - the supervised partner implements in 2017-2019 SUMP studies for Limassol and Larnaca cities funded by the Structural Funds. The know-how will also be given to the municipalities of Chania and Kos.
The implementation of the TECs envisaged in the project will contribute to the promotion of public transport and to the reduction of vehicle tailpipes and light traffic signals, with a direct impact on the reduction of pollutants. In addition, the results of the actions will be quantified in environmental terms in order to measure the benefit, while providing real-time information through existing and new channels of communication on the level of pollution in cities, which will also help to raise public awareness. Successful implementation of the results of the act is a challenge for partners that can in future lay the foundations for further actions in their own cities and other island regions, especially in the cities that are developing SUMP. Directly benefiting from the implementation of the action are the 3 city-citizen / tourists as well as the participating partners who will have tools for the management of the road and public transport and the monitoring of the transport system. Finally, the implementation of the instrument enables the exchange of know-how and experience between the partners so as to achieve optimization of the results in both countries.
The main objective of the project is the Creation of an Interoperable Open Architecture System for Urban Transport Management and Environmental Impact Assessment. The above objective is fully in line with the general objective of Sustainable Development where the link between environmental protection and the transport sector is required, since transport is the largest pollutant producer. In 2001, the White Paper "European Transport Policy with Horizon 2010: Time of Choice" highlighted the need to link transport policy to the environment by placing particular emphasis on the need to develop transport in a more sustainable way encourages the balanced use of all transport modes. This trend is reinforced through the Transport White Paper 2011, which promotes actions for a competitive low-emission and energy-efficient economy by 2050.
The specific objective of implementing the act is directly related to the Thematic Objective of promoting low-carbon strategies in urban areas including sustainable multimodal urban mobility. Step2Smart's actions help reduce urban environmental footprint and promote public / multimodal transport through interventions with pilot projects / real-time traffic and real-time information on traffic conditions and pollutant emissions, prioritize buses in nodes, the development of bus fleet management systems and public information to attract passengers, the adaptation of light accordance with the current traffic etc.
The STEP2SMART action will be implemented in 6 Work Packages (WP). In the majority of cases, in the above IP, all partners are involved in them so as to ensure the cooperation of the two countries for joint action. The Head of the Act is the Department of Public Works of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works of Cyprus, which is responsible for managing the operation.
The expected results from the implementation of the action are summarized below:
- Reduction of emissions at traffic junctions and road arteries due to the implementation of advanced light signaling systems
- Reduction of road journeys due to reduction of delays in traffic light signaling nodes and more efficient management of urban road transport
- Reduction of pollutant emissions due to reduction of pollutants and delays through more efficient management of urban road transport and better management of Light Traffic Signals
- Building passengers for more environmentally friendly modes of transport, buses, by installing a bus fleet management system, providing common passenger information and prioritizing light-signaling nodes
- Better management of the city transport network by developing management tools for monitoring and taking measures for urban transport by the competent authorities
- To improve the level of service for transport users
- Public awareness on environmental issues through publicity and development of new communication channels
- Creation of cross-border framework of Greece-Cyprus for the implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in Cities
The results of the operation will contribute to the achievement of the program's objective of improving the average annual level of air pollutants in urban areas. In particular, in the city of Nicosia, with a population of 230,000 inhabitants, the area of implementation of the pilot actions is estimated to be of the order of 5% to be achieved by reducing delays in light-signaling nodes. The implementation of the projected ITS and their extending for covering the entire city is expected to result in a 10% -15% reduction in pollutants (which is considered particularly important for the harmonization of cities with the EC / 2008 / SB - Air Quality Directive).