Confirmed Leading Projects
- Sep. 2022 Preparatory Study Mission for the The Project for Establishing and Eco-Friendly Transportation System in Palau / JICA
- Sep. 2022 Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Comprehensive City Planning" / JICA
- Sep. 2022 Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Traffic Safety" / JICA
- Aug. 2022 The Survey for Supporting the Participation of Japanese Companies in Urban Development Projects in Vietnam / URA
- Jul. 2022 Preparatory Study on the Project for Capacity Enhancement for Transit Oriented Development in the Philippines / JICA
- May 2022 Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Comprehensive Urban Transportation Planning" / JICA
- Mar. 2022 Project for Capacity Building for Bus Operation Policy and Management in Nairobi Metropolitan Area / JICA
- Mar. 2022 Preparatory Survey Mission on the Project for Economic Development of Aquaculture Sector and Fish Supply Chain / JICA
- Feb. 2022 Project For Improvement of Road Traffic Safety on Trunk Roads in the Kingdom of Cambodia (2nd period) / JICA
- Dec. 2021 JICA Training on Urban Public Transport / JICA
- Dec. 2021 Preparatory Survey Mission on the Project for Capacity Enhancement for Transit Oriented Development in Tanzania / JICA
- Oct. 2021 Data Collection Survey on Impoving Road-Based Public Transport Sysytem in Metro Manila / JICA
- Sep. 2021 Data Collection Survey onAgricultural Sector in Sindh Province in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan / JICA
- Sep. 2021 Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Comprehensive Urban Transportation Planning" / JICA
- Sep. 2021 Preparatory Study Mission on the Project for Capacity Enhancement for Transit Oriented Development in the Philippines / JICA
The First High-speed Railway in Southeast Asia
During my business trip to Jakarta in January 2024, I took the Indonesian high-speed rail commenced in October 2023.
Halim Station, 10 km away from the city center of Jakarta, can be accessed by LRT and buses. The trains ran at as fast as 350km/h outside Jakarta, and it took only 30 minutes to reach Padalarang Station, about 120km away from Jakarta. I transferred to a local train exclusive for high-speed rail users that took us to Bandung Station in 20 minutes.
Even though both terminal stations are far from the city center of Jakarta and Bandung, feeder services are provided to make the journey more convenient and comfortable. It was impressive to see Indonesian passengers simply enjoying the first high-speed railway in Southeast Asia by taking selfies in front of the signboard reading "Current Speed: 350km/h".
The high-speed railway is planned to extend to Surabaya. I am excited to see how this new transport system will change people's lifestyles and regional connectivity in Indonesia. (Jan. 2024)
Traffic Manner in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia, is bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Since there is no appropriate system to manage and operate traffic accident information, it has difficulty to establish measures based on the analysis of the actual situation of traffic accident. To address this issue, the "JICA Uzbekistan National Traffic Safety Promotion Advisor Project" (a joint venture between ALMEC and CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd.) started in July 2023.
If you walk in Tashkent, a Capital City of Uzbekistan, you will be surprised to find that vehicles do not yield to pedestrians. When crossing pedestrian crosswalks, you need to wait for a kind driver to stop. Even at signalized crosswalks, pedestrian safety is not guaranteed and you will be with a feel of danger.
In such a society, driving or riding a passenger car becomes a 'wise' choice and it will lead an automobile-centric society.
Aiming to create a pedestrian-safety city, we will provide technical support in developing traffic safety measures. (Dec. 2023)
Japan Study Tour for the Project for Urban Mobility Improvement in Kigali (UMIK)
In collaboration with Nihon Koei Co., Ltd., ALMEC is actively involved in JICA's "Kigali Urban Transportation Improvement Project (UMIK)." From October 10th to 20th, we conducted a study tour primarily in Kyushu Region. We explored urban transportation case studies in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, and Nagasaki, aiming to gain a profound understanding and knowledge regarding transportation policies.
ALMEC, in charge of "Public Transportation Planning & Management" in UMIK, arranged visit to the following two institutions to learn about the current state of urban transportation and their operations:
Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd. (Nishitetsu)
It is the one of the largest bus companies in Japan, operating over 3,000 buses daily. We visited the Nishitetsu Bus Training Center and the Island City Office. We learned about cutting-edge initiatives such as the introduction of bus exclusive lanes, driver training, information services at bus stops, and the launch of new mobility services. Since some of their initiatives are currently being implemented in Kigali City, their firsthand experiences and challenges were quite useful for participants.
Kitakyushu Express Railway
It is a corporation 100% funded by Kitakyushu City, operating the urban monorail (Kokura Line: Kokura Station - Kikugaoka Station). Given that Kigali City also has a plan to develop a monorail system, participants from government sector showed a high interest on this visit.
We visited various departments and learned about the operation methods, central control system, and maintenance of tracks and vehicles. Participants requested detail explanation about the "grade separation method" used widely in monorail development, which was a new concept for Kigali City. (Oct. 2023)
Participated in the 15th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS)
The 15th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from September 4 to 7, 2023, where several our staffs participated.
EASTS is an international academic society established in 1994 with the participation of countries in the East Asia region. The conference is held every two years since 1995. Many professionals from academia, private sector, and government in the Asian region participate the conference to exchange technology, knowledge and information. This year, 750 people attended the conference and 574 research papers were presented in oral and poster sessions.
EASTS is closely related with ALMEC business field. I have attended every conference since 2015 and enjoyed reconnecting with people I have worked before. ALMEC will promote active involvement in EASTS as a good opportunity to deepen existing connections and expand new ones.
The following papers were presented from ALMEC members at the conference of this year. (Sep. 2023)
The Application of Mobile GPS Probe Data on Detection of Real-Time Traffic Congestion Length: the Case Study of the Project for Improving Traffic Congestions in Bangkok through the Establishment of ATC System
1st Joint Coordination Committee of the Project for Establishing an Eco-friendly Transportation System in Palau was Held
The 1st Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of the Environmentally Friendly Transportation System Development Project in Palau (JICA) was held in June 2023. At the JCC, major stakeholders from Palau and Japan gathered to discuss the following matters:
(1) the confirmation of need to address transport issues on the island,
(2) the trial operation of a route bus service with the aim of ensuring sustainable mobility, and
(3) the formulation of public transport master plan.
During the meeting, Minister Tmetuchl pointed out the traffic problems faced by Palauans who do not own cars, and stressed the importance of the government's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. He encouraged the use of buses as a form of public transport, and emphasized that Japan's technical cooperation is extremely important for the success of the project.
This project was started from May 2023, and plans to implement activities (1) to (3) above for three years.
Three local newspapers introduced the contents of this JCC as articles, indicating the high level of local interest. (Jul. 2023)
The Opening Ceremony of ATC System Operation (BATCP)
Under the Project for Improving Traffic Congestion in Bangkok through the Establishment of Model Area Traffic Control (ATC) System in the Kingdom of Thailand (BATCP) being implemented as Technical Cooperation Project of JICA, an opening ceremony for the Area Traffic Control (ATC) system in the model area was held on June 26, 2023. The ceremony was chaired by Bangkok Governor, Dr. Chadchart Sittipunt and attended by more than 120 participants from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Royal Thai Police (RTP), other transportation-related agencies, research institutes, and media. This event was covered by several media.
The ATC has attracted the attention of the Governor and other local officials as an initiative aimed at solving Bangkok's pressing problem of traffic congestion. As the pilot project, ATC has been installed in the area bounded by Rama VI Road, Ratchawithi Road, Pahonohothin Road, and Pradipat Road, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the system are being verified.
BMA Governor, Dr. Chartchart emphasized the significance of this project to transform Bangkok's traffic management and expreseed his gratitude to the Japan’s cooperation. He further emphasized his commitment to creating a more efficient and livable city for the benefit of all residents.
The Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen Jirasant KAEWSAENG-EK expressed the view that the ATC system will not only reduce the burden of traffic signal management, but also allow the traffic police more time to perform their important duties such as traffic enforcement.
Mr. Takuro Tasaka, Minister of the Embassy of Japan, emphasized the strong bilateral cooperation between Japan and Thailand, and expressed confidence in the positive impact of Japanese technology in alleviating traffic congestion and fostering sustainable urban development in Thailand.
Mr. Kazuya Suzuki, Chief Representative of JICA Thailand Office, highlighted the fruitful cooperation between JICA and its Thai partners in realizing this project and stressed the importance of the ATC system in improving traffic conditions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately improving the quality of life of Bangkok's citizens.
The ATC system is expected to help alleviate traffic congestion and shorten travel times by efficiently handling traffic, thus creating a more sustainable and livable city. Based on the results of the pilot project, the BMA and the Royal Thai Police will work together to further expand the ATC system. (Jul. 2023)
Pilot Project on Public Transport Improvement in Kigali City, Rwanda
In the capital city of Kigali, Rwanda, a reorganization of bus transportation has been underway since 2013. To avoid competition among the bus operators, the city area has been divided into four zones, with six operators responsible for bus operations. However, the declining number of passengers due to ageing vehicles and the emergence of motorcycle taxis has called for reforms in the bus industry.
The Kigali Urban Transport Improvement Project (JICA's Technical Cooperation Project conducted by JV between Nippon Koei Co., Ltd and ALMEC Corp..) aims to promote public transportation utilization and to improve urban transport by developing policies, measures, and plans for traffic flow management in public transport and the existing transport network. As experts of public transport planning and operations, we are providing support for the development of an action plan for public transport improvement. In addition, we are implementing the following pilot projects:
Open Data Management
We are working on reflecting the bus routes in Kigali city on Google Maps and other map applications. By organizing bus route information according to the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format defined by Google and submitting it for review, the information will be made publicly available and displayed in the transit directions on Google Maps. We have already developed the GTFS for the bus routes of Royal Express, and we plan to do it for all routes in the near future.
In Kigali, buses do not operate on a predetermined schedule, and drivers do not depart until the passenger load reaches a certain level. Drivers take a rest at their own discretion. As a result, overall operational management is challenging, leading to irregular intervals and variations in service. Moreover, lack of the concept of operational delays makes it difficult to improve the operational efficiency, quality of services, and profitability of the bus system. The Kigali City Government aims to introduce fixed-schedule operations to improve bus routes, which is difficult for implementation.
Therefore, we are engaged in activities towards the introduction of diagram-based operations. In this approach, drivers are instructed on departure times, turnaround points, and the number of operations in advance. Even if there is a delay, drivers are to take legal rest periods and to maintain the required pattern and frequency of bus operations. This allows to track duty hours and closing hour of the drivers and thus to improve overall operational efficiency and profitability.
Considering the difference of working environment between two countries, our method used in Japan should not be applied directly in Rwanda. Therefore, we are working closely with local operators and the government to find the bus operational management suitable in Rwanda. (Jul. 2023)
(source: Google Map)
Road Safety Seminar "Toward Zero Drunk Driving Society in Vietnam" Held in Hanoi
May 30, 2023—JICA Survey Team headed by Tokai Denshi Ltd. in association with ALMEC Corporation held Road Safety Seminar—Toward Zero Drunk Driving Society in Vietnam—in Hotel Du Parc in Hanoi, Vietnam. The seminar was a part of JICA's SDGs Business Model Formulation Survey with the Private Sector for Improvement of Prevention of Traffic Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving Using Alcohol Breathalyzer System and Education Support in Vietnam.
Building on the outcomes of the survey, the seminar aims to consider possible approaches through public-private partnerships to promote efforts to prevent traffic accidents caused by drunk driving that is currently a major social problem in Vietnam.
As panelists, representatives from Police Science Institute (PSI) of People’s Police Academy (PPA), National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), and the public transport operator TRANSERCO provided precious insights in each presentation. The participants of the seminar proactively exchanged their opinions on how to push forward the prevention of the traffic accidents caused by drunk-driving in Vietnam, having built on the preceeding presentations on outcomes of the JICA's Survey by Tokai Denshi and TRANSERCO as well as the Japan’s experience presented by Japan Breath Alcohol Testing Consortium (J-BAC).
The number of participants counted 68 from diversified backgrounds including the government agencies, Hanoi City , both Veitnamese and Japanese firms from different industries such as medical, logistics, trading, and finance.
After the seminar, the seminar hosts and organizer recieved various comments including “Vietnam requires to further develop its solid policy that serves as a backbone for various activities for prevention of drunk-driving” from a government officer, “the seimnar helped me understand how dangerous a drunk driving is” from a business person, and others. We hope this seminar serves as a first step for a new collaboration involving industry, government, and achademia from both Vietnam and Japan to eradicate traffic accidents by drunk driving. (Jun. 2023)
Dr. IWATA, Chairman of ALMEC Provides Keynote Speech at 35th Anniversary of the HCMC University of Transport
On May 16th, 2023 the HCMC University of Transport organized the 35th Anniversary and invited various authorities and experts. Dr. Iwata Shizuo, former Director General of ALMEC Corporation, who is well known among the academic societies and agencies in HCMC, was invited to deliver a presentation on new approach to high-speed railway development in Vietnam.
Dr. Iwata stresses on the feasibility of high-speed railway development concepts, and with that, delivers an approach that can develop a new high-speed line while maintain and improve the existing railway services and infrastructure, requiring the least changes to the existing institutional framework in Vietnam.
However, realizing that the current preferences of Vietnam (either the northern section or the southern section, about 400km long each) would still be too much a burden for Vietnam and it will take too long until they will be in operation, Dr. Iwata elaborates his 10-year-old concept, namely the 70km long section of HSR in the Central Region, from Danang to Hue. Dr. Iwata explains it would help reducing train travel time between Da Nang and Hue, two big tourism destinations, by three hours by removing the bottlenecks, and also will provide ample opportunities for TOD, especially in Da Nang. (Jun. 2023)