Towards a smart city

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 05 Oct 2019

Cars parked illegally along Jalan Trus in Johor Baru. The lack of parking bays is one of several issues MBJB hopes to tackle in its Smart City initiative. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Visitors and residents in the city can look forward to spending less time searching for parking spaces and waiting at traffic lights come 2020.

Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) has laid out future plans for its Smart City concept that was first mooted earlier this year.

Mayor Datuk Amran A Rahman said the council was in the implementation phase for two initiatives to ease congestion and parking problems.

“The Smart Parking or E-board Parking and Multi-layered Smart Parking are currently being implemented in Johor Baru, ” he said during the MBJB full council meeting.

The city had earlier implemented payment for parking via smart phones through its parking app, MBJB Spot, which was launched in 2016.

The Smart Parking plan helps to identify available parking spaces in the city area, and hopefully prevent motorists from parking in unauthorised areas while guiding them directly to their destination.

Amran said the implementation of this plan would involve smart cooperation with owners of shopping complexes, hotels and offices.

 Amran says the council is moving into phase two of its plan to ease congestion and parking.Amran says the council is moving into phase two of its plan to ease congestion and parking.

Another project the city council is currently requesting allocation for is the Smart Traffic Light initiative.

The mayor said these traffic lights would use information on traffic to determine the optimum operation duration to reduce congestion.

During his speech at the council meeting, Amran also touched on licensing for business establishments in the Johor Baru area.

“After investigation of vendors operating in our area, we found 97 of them have set up stalls without permit, ” he said, adding that the city council had served notices to these vendors that their stalls would be demolished.

“The most number of unlicensed stalls is in the Desa Cemerlang industrial area, with a total of 51 stalls.

“Out of this number, seven have already been demolished by MBJB as they were not in operation or have not yet begun operations yet, ” he said.

Amran warned that these unlicensed stalls were a risk to the public as their cleanliness and safety were not monitored by the city council.

He also said high-risk business establishments such as massage parlours were required to undergo an inspection by MBJB before they could apply for renewal of their business licence.

“Foot massage, traditional massage and reflexology centres will need to apply to the MBJB Licensing Department for inspection of their outlets, ” he said.

For other business owners, Amran urged them to renew their licences for 2020 before December to avoid a 10% late penalty charge.

“As for those who fail to renew their business licences by year end, they can expect to have their licence terminated immediately, ” he said, adding that business owners should also ensure they did not have any overdue assessment payments.

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