Smart Transportation for Smart Oman: An Enquiry into its Potentials and Implications
The concept of smart city has recently gained popularity both among policy makers and academic researchers. Despite the importance of smart city, there is still confusion regarding its meaning as many terms associated with it is often used interchangeably. Many countries around the globe have developed various smart city initiatives to help solve the problems associated with traffic congestion. This paper explores smart city initiatives that are currently being implemented in Muscat. The paper provides the need for the development of smart city initiative in Muscat. Muscat city has been experiencing heavy traffic congestion especially during the morning and evening hours when people are travelling to and from their workplaces. The increase in traffic congestion in Muscat is occasioned by an increase in population in the city and poor traffic management to cope with increase in population and number of vehicles in the town. The study provides analysis of the current situation of public transport in the Sultanate, particularly in Muscat. There is a need to find suitable mechanisms for solving the city’s traffic problems. Every problem has various solutions, and enhancing public transport will be explored as part of a comprehensive solution for Muscat city traffic problem. Thus, the study presents the solutions for growing traffic congestions in a smart city and public transportation perspectives. While addressing the traffic problems and extent of public transportation in Oman, the researchers used primary data collected form 80 respondents to know their perception of traffic issues and user acceptability of public transportation initiatives in Oman. The study, while exploring available smart city initiatives in Oman provides further recommendations that can be implemented in order to solve the problems related to traffic congestion, and further recommendations are placed for enhancing the public transportation systems in Oman.
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