ASTANA – Kazakh national rail company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) President Kanat Alpysbayev reported on the implementation of the country’s Digital Railways strategy during the May 2 government meeting on export, consumer and transport digitisation policies.
Transport makes up 8 percent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product and has been increasing by at least 4.5 percent each year. Kazakhstan’s population of 18 million owns 5.3 million automobiles, suggesting 29 out of 100 people in the country possess a vehicle, compared to 14 out of 100 in the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States and 48 out of 100 in Europe. In 2017, 2.5 million traffic violations were registered in Kazakhstan.
The 2018-2022 Digital Railway strategy sketches the implementation of 21 projects, two of which are being implemented under the Digital Kazakhstan state programme. The Digital Railway project aims to reduce traffic violations up to 85 percent, increase the average speed of travel around the city, improve passenger transport safety and reduce the environmental footprint of KTZ’s transport options.
An eight-component process has been laid out to meet these goals. The first component is the further application of modern information systems in KTZ’s critical operating segments – cargo transportation, passenger transportation, railway infrastructure and transport logistics.
Other components involve controlling cost optimisation, launching digital road diagnostics and implementing Traffic Management and Digital Services Centres at 17 railway stations. Internet ticketing options and another 17,000 ticket terminals are to be available in the near future, and waiting list and train rating programmes have already been launched. E-ticket sales currently make up 64 percent of all sales; by 2020, it is hoped that they will make 90 percent.
“It is planned to realise a 24/7 system of centralised management of customer appeals for prompt feedback to customers through timely response to complaints and suggestions,” added Alpysbayev.
Likewise, a single electronic exchange platform is being created for multimodal transport, particularly transit container movements with the account of more than 1,700 customers-participants. Automated processes are underway at Khorgos-Eastern Gate on the border with China that can potentially reduce traffic checkpoint time from 10 minutes to 30 seconds, and diminish registration costs from $2,395 to $239.50 per every registration, which in turn cuts the risk of corruption offences.
Information systems are also being introduced in freight rail transport to increase the efficiency of the organisation of transportation processes, ensure the timely delivery and safety of goods and simplify procedures for crossing the borders of other railway administrations.
“The company completed a service for the online tracking of goods, including a system of electronic lock devices that ensures the safety of cargo and a prompt response to any unauthorised attempt to access cargo. An automated system of contractual and commercial work was presented during the report. An e-freight paperless workflow system for air cargo is going to be implemented this year, and the project costs are estimated to be around 5.4 billion tenge (US$16.2 million). “We have implemented 100 percent paperless transportation of goods, as well as integration with the Astana-1 information system,” said Alpysbayev.
According to preliminary estimates, the total economic effect from the implementation of the strategy will be 110 billion tenge (US $331.3 million) by 2025.
The overall long-term effects of the programme are hoped to be a 20 percent reduction in travel time, availability of information up to 70 percent, an 8 to 10 percent reduction in traffic accidents and a drop of harmful emissions by 24 percent. The positive economic impact of all of this is expected to be 380 billion tenge (US $1.14 billion).
“Successful implementation of Digital Kazakhstan projects will ensure the advancement of the country’s logistics environment,” Alpysbayev emphasised.