Integrating Operations into Planning and Programming

Analysis and Performance Measurement

Regional Collaboration and Coordination

Organizing for Operations

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO)

How Does Planning for Operations Relate To ...

All Resources

Resource Type

Resources Helpful to ...

Current Research

Policy and Regulations

Performance-Based Planning

Designing for Operations

Regional ITS Architecture and ITS Strategic Plans

Systems Engineering and ITS Project Development

Livability and Sustainability

Traffic Signal Programs

Corridor Management

Active Transportation and Demand Management

Transportation Demand Management

Traffic Incident Management



Regional ITS Architecture and ITS Strategic Plans

A regional intelligent transportation systems (ITS) architecture is defined as "A specific, tailored framework for ensuring institutional agreement and technical integration for the implementation of ITS projects or groups of projects in a particular region. It functionally defines what pieces of the system are linked to others and what information is exchanged between them."[1]

Most of the regional ITS architecture is devoted to showing all of the existing and planned operational transportation systems in a region and how they will fit together. From a planning perspective, the regional ITS architecture should support the region's objectives and also support the specific needs of transportation planning agencies. It should show how data is collected, archived, and processed to support transportation planning and performance monitoring. The strength of the regional ITS architecture process is its development of an integrated view of the regional transportation system based on a set of identified services or strategies. This complements the planning for operations approach, where the focus is on defining the most effective strategies for a region based on high-level goals and operational objectives. By connecting the two processes, one combines the strong basis for selecting strategies in planning for operations with the strength of the architecture development process in defining an integrated framework based on selected services.

Many regions have developed an ITS strategic plan (sometimes called an ITS deployment plan) as a companion to the regional ITS architecture. These plans include the detailed strategies that directly support the statewide or metropolitan transportation plan. They provide a bridge between the integration-oriented architecture and the planning-oriented metropolitan transportation plan or statewide long-range transportation plan.


[1] U.S. Department of Transportation, FHWA, Regional ITS Architecture Guidance Document, FHWA-HOP-06-112, 2006. Available at:, last accessed June 9, 2013.