ITS Architecture Implementation Program
time lapse photo of traffic traveling down and exiting from a freeway at night
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Puget Sound Regional ITS Architecture

5 Agreements Between Organizations

The Regional ITS Architecture provides both a technical and institutional framework for the deployment of ITS in the Puget Sound region. Institutional integration involves coordination between various agencies and jurisdictions to achieve seamless operations and/or interoperability. The existing and recommended operational concepts defined in the previous section provide guidance for the functional requirements of inter-jurisdictional interactions. These interjurisdictional operational concepts in turn point directly to the types of agreements that may potentially be required between individual organizations. Either informal or formal agreements are required to define the roles and responsibilities for each of these interactions. This section of the report discusses the status of agreements in the region and a checklist for consideration in developing an agreement.

5.1 Existing, Planned and Potential Agreements

The operational concept section of the report identified the key market packages and ITS deployment activities that would require establishment of an electronic link between and among organizations. From an institutional integration perspective, these electronic links will require the establishment of some form of agreement to define roles and responsibilities of each party. Table 5-1 summarizes the status of the existing, planned and potential agreements that would be needed for the deployment of an integrated transportation management system in the region. Any considerations relating to the development of agreements are also listed. Key points to consider included

  • Regional Traffic Control: This may be the most complex area for the development of inter-agency agreements. Section 4 illustrated the extensive nature of existing and planned connections among traffic signal control systems in the region. The initial implementations will be for the sharing of highway system data and control system status. The complete implementation of this market package would result in the joint sharing and potential control of traffic signals, detectors, cameras, ramp meters, and dynamic message signs. Agreements that detail the limits of authority, operational discretion, and liability will be required before “joint control” would be implemented. A critical technical agreement required for interoperability will be the identification of the preferred center-to-center NTCIP standard to enable this market package.
  • Multi-Modal Coordination: The deployment of transit signal priority in the region is well under way with formal agreements defining roles and responsibilities.
  • Regional Parking Management: In the longer term, this market package may be deployed beyond Seattle event venue sites.
  • Transit: Fare management and transit information activities are also well on their way under a formal arrangement. These two activities may pave the way for the automated gathering of transit data.
  • ITS Backbone: The ITS Backbone is operational and open to any user. It is recommended that conditions for use for both suppliers and users of information be formalized. The conditions would set expectations for what the ITS Backbone is and is not. The Smart Trek Operations Plan24 defines these expectations.
  • Regional Multi-Modal Traveler Information Center: The Smart Trek website is providing this service now by acting as a regional portal to other organizations websites. In the longer term, Smart Trek may take on a more active role in incorporating information from multiple organizations into an integrated, multi-modal site.
  • Incident Management: The recommended development of corridor incident management strategies will result in the better definition of how technology can address incident management. Agreements between transportation and emergency management organizations will need to be developed at that time.
  • 511 Three-Digit Traveler Information Telephone Number: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated 511 as the new telephone number for traveler information across the country. This number is designed to be the single telephone number for obtaining traveler information for all modes. Jurisdictions within the Puget Sound region have begun a cooperative process to transition the multiple transportation information numbers in the region to this one number. The planning and deployment process will take several years.
  • Data Archiving: Movement toward an automated system of archiving data at the regional level will require the development of agreements on the format, access and use of the information.
  • Communications: There are multiple examples and opportunities for the sharing of communications infrastructure throughout the region. A regional plan and subsequent agreements that define responsibilities could result in the communications network required to link the various ITS applications together.
Status of the existing, planned and potential agreements that would be needed for the deployment of an integrated transportation management system in the region
Area Existing Planned Potential Issues
Regional Traffic Control King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, Bremerton, and Lynnwood have agreements for operations and maintenance with multiple jurisdictions. (See Section 4.2)WSDOT, Seattle, and Bellevue have agreements for data and video sharing. WSDOT is planning additional links to multiple jurisdictions for data and video sharing.(See Section 4.2) Section 4.2 identifies potential future links, which will require agreements Agreements on shared control will need to be developed for relevant jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction operations.An agreement pertaining to the specific NTCIP Center-to-Center Protocol to deploy will be needed.
Multi-modal Coordination Agreements are in place or under development for the deployment of transit signal priority in all regional counties.(See Section 4.3) Agreements are in place or under development for the deployment of transit signal priority in all regional counties.(See Section 4.3) Additional agreements will be required when the Light RailSystem is operational. Technology agreements may be required in the longer term to meet dedicated short-range communication standards for transit signal priority applications.
Regional Parking Management N/A Seattle is working with venue operators to provide information to the public. The sharing of parking condition information could develop around existing and planned park-and-ride and transit station parking facilities. (See Section 4.4) empty cell
Transit Fare Management Regional Fare Coordination Project provides the agreement structure. Regional Fare Coordination Project provides the agreement structure. N/A empty cell
Transit Fare Management Regional Fare Coordination Project provides the agreement structure. Regional Fare Coordination Project provides the agreement structure. N/A empty cell
Transit Traveler Information Current transit information system provides framework. Should be able to expand on current arrangement. Should be able to expand on current arrangement. empty cell
Transit Data Management N/A Agreements on format, access and use are needed for regional sharing of information. empty cell empty cell
ITS Backbone Working agreements exist forWSDOT and King County. Expectations for suppliers and users of the ITS Backbone should be established as a terms of use notification. Expectations for suppliers and users of the ITS Backbone should be established as a terms of use notification. Expectations for suppliers and users of the ITS Backbone should be established as a terms of use notification.
Regional Multi-Modal traveler Information Center Smart Trek website provides this function as portal to traveler information sites. N/A Expanded services will require the development of a more formal agreement. empty cell
Incident Management WSDOT and Washington State Patrol share incident data and video. Other agreements will be developed as part of recommended incident management strategies. Electronic sharing agreements will be required in the future. empty cell
Local Link to CVISN N/A Agreements on access to CVISN information will be needed with WSDOT, WSP, and Department of Licensing. Agreements on access to CVISN information will be needed with WSDOT, WSP, and Department of Licensing. empty cell
Data Archiving WSDOT and other jurisdictions provide information on websites without restrictions. Other jurisdictions are planning to provide information without restrictions. Agreements on format, access and use are needed for regional sharing of information. Regional approach is recommended but needs definition.
Communications WSDOT and other jurisdiction share communications links. Other jurisdictions are planning links withWSDOT and adjacent neighbors. The WSDOT Light Lanes project has the potential to provide an upgraded communications backbone within the region and across the state. Regional approach is recommended but a communications plan should be developed to provide a road map.

5.2 Elements of an Agreement

Agreements are established to clearly define responsibilities among the involved parties. The level of formality generally increases as risks escalate and when financial transactions take place. Formality will also increase when the performance or lack of performance on the part of one organization impacts the operations of another. For example, if an agency maintains and operates the traffic signals of another agency, failure to restore a failed traffic signal in a timely fashion could have a significant impact. As different systems are linked together, they will depend upon each other. The clear definition of responsibilities for all parties will help ensure smooth operations.

The following is an annotated checklist of elements to consider in the development of an agreement for ITS operations and maintenance. Not all elements are relevant to each exchange of information. The level of specificity will depend on the nature of the information link.

  • Operational Concept (A layman’s introduction to the nature and purpose of the agreement.)
  • Duties of Responsible Organizations (A summary of duties and responsibilities.)
  • Data Sharing (Aspects of sharing data to be considered.)
    • Provision of Data
    • Data Rights
    • Data Reuse
    • Data Identification
    • Data Availability
    • Data Accuracy
  • Control Sharing (Aspects of sharing control to be considered with rights and priorities being clearly understood.)
    • Provision of Control
    • Control Rights
    • Control Restrictions
    • Control Priority
    • Control Availability
  • Connections (Defines how the connection is made.)
    • Provision o f Equipment
    • Physical Access Point
    • Demarcation Point
    • Security
    • Configuration Management
    • Standards and Protocols
  • System Documentation
  • Operations
    • Contacts
    • Hours of Operations
    • Responsibilities
  • Maintenance
    • Contacts
    • Hours of Operations
    • Responsibilities
    • Response Time
  • Liability
    • Indemnity
    • Damage to Equipment
    • Liability
  • Ownership
    • Equipment
    • Software
    • Intellectual Property
  • Coordination
    • Notification
    • Periodic Reporting
    • Pre-Change Coordination Meeting
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Termination of Agreement
  • Compensation

In Washington State, there is a long history of formal and informal inter-agency agreements. The majority of formal agreements involves the transfer of funds from one organization to another and has generally involved transportation construction projects. However, there are still a wide number of existing agreements that address operations and maintenance, which can serve as models. Both King County and Community Transit have developed agreements for the installation, operation, and maintenance of transit signal priority equipment. Several jurisdictions (e.g., King County, Lynnwood, Snohomish County) operates and maintains signals for other jurisdictions. These agreements touch all of the issues listed above.

Office of Operations