66 hours a year spent in traffic just on the B’Kara Bypass

It takes five times longer than it should take at peak times

A study carried out by Project Aegle using real time data collected during January 2017 and October 2017 shows that people travelling in cars spent an average of 66 hours a year more than they should when using Triq Dun Karm (B’Kara bypass) on a daily basis.

The below chart shows the typical time, averaged over 30 minute intervals, that it takes to get from one end to the other of the B’Kara bypass which covers a stretch of approximately 3.0km. The normal time is of around four minutes, but this increases significantly to 14 minutes during the morning in January with almost similar delays of 12.5 minutes in the evening. In October, this increases further to 16 minutes during morning rush hour and 15 minutes in the evening.

People that use this road at this time every weekday, end up wasting an average of eight minutes in each direction every day, resulting in approximately 66 hours of delay, not taking into consideration delays that are experienced in weekends. That is almost three full days every year wasted just on this road.

Nicoletta Moss Project Coordinator of Project Aegle explained that this study was carried out to raise awareness of the real time that people are wasting in traffic based on facts and real data, and not just basing it on perceptions. “Project Aegle was set up to contribute towards a solution for Malta’s traffic congestion problem. We believe that this study is critical in helping us understand the magnitude of the problem of how much time we waste in traffic as this has an effect on our quality of life, and on our economy.”

The study was coordinated by Prof. Adrian Muscat, University of Malta, Faculty of Information and Communications Technology, and collaborator within Project Aegle. “This is part of an on-going project where we are looking at how ICT systems can help us in understanding mobility, driver behaviour and the effect of policy on the same. Concurrently this project is resulting in some useful tools and since we are engaging students, engineers and researchers in developing algorithms and software systems for the transport sector, we are contributing to a wider local transport engineering talent pool, which we need to mitigate some of our problems. ”

The study took place using on-board tracking devices in conjunction with HandsOn Systems. These devices recorded the movement of the vehicles over time travelling on this specific road between the 16th and 20th January 2017, and between the 16th and 20th October 2017. This enabled the researchers within Project Aegle to accurately measure the delays experienced at different times of the day and during different months of the year.

Project Aegle is a foundation set up by many of Malta’s leading thinkers to help us lay out the problem and inform the public about the causes for traffic congestion and parking problems its symptoms and possible solutions. The foundation is actively working on new solutions to improve mobility through the greater utilisation of vehicles, public transport, and an intelligent approach to work and travel. Project Aegle is also a platform where people are encouraged to share their ideas, collaborate, and receive support in implementing solutions to the mobility problem.