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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Real-Time System Management Information Program

Fact Sheet for Highway Provisions in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)

Program Purpose

To provide the capability to monitor, in real-time, the traffic and travel conditions of the major highways of the United States and to share that information to improve surface transportation system security, address congestion, improve response to weather events and surface transportation incidents, and to facilitate national and regional highway traveler information.

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 1201


No separate funds are authorized for this program. States may use their National Highway System, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, and Surface Transportation program apportionments for activities related to the planning and deployment of real-time monitoring elements that advance the goals of the program to the extent that such activities are eligible for funding under the source program.

Program Features

The purposes of the program are to:

  • establish, in all States, a system of basic real-time information for managing and operation the surface transportation system
  • identify longer range real-time highway and transit monitoring needs and develop plans and strategies for meeting the needs
  • provide the capability and means to share the data with State and local governments and the traveling public.

Within 2 years of the date of enactment of SAFETEA-LU, the Secretary of Transportation is to establish data exchange formats to ensure that the data provided by highway and transit monitoring systems, including statewide incident reporting systems, can be readily exchanged to facilitate nationwide availability of information.

As States and local governments develop or update regional intelligent transportation system architectures as described in 23 CFR 940.9, they shall explicitly address real-time highway and transit information needs and the systems needed to meet those needs. States shall also incorporate the data exchange formats established by the Secretary.

The term "statewide incident reporting system" is defined as a statewide system for facilitating the real-time electronic reporting of surface transportation incidents to a central location for use in monitoring the event, providing accurate traveler information, and responding to the incident as appropriate.

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