Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Impacts of Technology Advancements on Transportation Management Center Operations

Chapter 4 – Successful Practices and Strategies for Transportation Management Center Managers

For each of the eight top trends described in Chapter 3, there are many specific strategies and technologies that TMC managers can consider to position themselves to address the resulting operational changes. This chapter identifies 80 individual strategies and provides introductory information on each, including successful practices and key references where appropriate. In recognition of the underlying influence of diminishing funds, extra emphasis is placed on strategies that are especially low cost and/or cost effective. The strategies were derived from the literature review as well as the expertise of the consultant team and the TMC PFS members.

Figure 7: Relation of Chapter 3 to Chapter 4

Graphic - A graphic with the heading of Top Trends and Issues of Transportation Management Center Operations (Ch. 3) Successful Practices and Strategies for Transportation Management Center managers (Ch. 4). The figure has two sections within it. On the left is Trends Emerging from Within the Transportation Community covered in Section 4.2. On the right is Trends and Technologies that Transportation Management Centers Can Adapt and Take Advantage of from Outside the Transportation Community covered in Section 4.2.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff)

To facilitate organization of strategies to address trends, a single primary association was identified between each strategy and one of the top trends. That primary association is used to categorize the strategies by trend in sections 4.1 and 4.2 below. Therefore, both Chapters 3 and 4 are organized by trend. However, Chapter 3 describes the top trends themselves while Chapter 4 focuses on the strategies that the TMC manager can use to address those trends. Figure 7 above graphically reiterates this relation and provides the strategy numbers by trend for reference.

At the end of each strategy section, there is a list of secondary associations between the strategy and any of the other top trends.

Section 4.3 includes a table cross-referencing the 80 strategies with the 8 top trends by their primary and secondary associations. The table also highlights the associations with the highest potential to be feasible under a limited budget.

4.1 Trends Emerging from Within the Transportation Community

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1 A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

The strategies in the following subsections are specific steps that TMC managers can consider for developing a nimble service-oriented program mindset and organization structure that will help them to adapt to changing technologies, expectations, and resources over the next decade.

The nimble mindset can permeate throughout most aspects of TMC operations as demonstrated by the successful practices with specific strategies below. Another example is the TIME Task Force in Atlanta, which uses the nimble mindset to promote faster response to incidents and events.

Embracing social media is a key part of a service-oriented mindset; it is covered in the top trend on social media.

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.1 Strategy: Foster an Agency Culture of Embracing Technological Change

Managing any kind of change, especially technological change, can be painful. There can also be a tendency for past problems to serve more as deterrents than as lessons learned. Fostering a culture of embracing technological change builds on concrete steps such as:

  • Involving both operations and maintenance staff in evaluation of potential new technologies;
  • Implementing a technology testing and piloting program;
  • Supporting staff training and time to build familiarity with new technology;
  • Establishing relationships with related departments within the agency, such as information technology, for consultation;
  • Establishing relationships with peer agencies embracing technological change;
  • Maintaining on-call contracts for experts outside the organization to assist with integration and trouble-shooting when needed;
  • Highlighting the successes and efficiencies generated by technological change across the organization;
  • Recognizing that not every well-planned technological change will be successful;
  • Identifying staff enthusiastic about technology to serve as champions;
  • Developing flexible procurement processes, including those for test equipment;
  • Developing flexible performance-based specifications where applicable;
  • Including training and support with new technology purchases; and
  • Seeking feedback from TMC operators and field maintenance staff on existing deployed technology as well as areas they think could benefit from new technology.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.2 Strategy: Create a TMC Operator Training Program

While a regular TMC operator training program does require staff time, it has the potential to increase operator comfort and effectiveness, especially with new technology, and to serve as a forum for discussing the operator feedback on processes and technologies.

Recognizing the importance of “hands-on” training and the difficulty of getting emergency responders from disparate agencies and locations together for central training, the I-95 Corridor Coalition sponsored the development of an interactive simulation training that enables participants to role play from their home base via the Internet. The I-95 Corridor Coalition is an alliance of transportation agencies, toll authorities, and other organizations from the Maine to Florida, which provides a forum for key decisions and policy makers to address common transportation management and operational issues. More information on 3-D Incident Management Training is available at the I-95 Corridor Coalition web site.

The Arizona DOT (ADOT) is an example of a successful TMC certification program.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.3 Strategy: Enhance Operational Communication, Which Will Promote a Culture of Open Communications Among Staff

This strategy includes shift change briefing and event debriefing along with better communications on specific events, as well as bigger picture communications among agency operations staff and potentially staff from other partners.

Related Trend: Performance Monitoring and Management

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.4 Strategy: Develop Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Inter-Agency Agreements Facilitating Multi-Agency (sometimes Multi-State) Cooperation & Operations

Current operations activities usually require coordination and cooperation or even integration of operations with other government agencies or private vendors. Whenever agencies work together it is important that the roles, responsibilities, limitations, and liabilities are written down and agreed to by the participating parities. The creation of MOUs or agreements will help settle potential future disagreements, define agency roles, set up responsibilities for funding and staffing operations activities, and define the acceptable uses and procedures for sharing data or resources.

For additional successful strategies in MOUs and related agency agreements, including provisions for a common understanding of how to operate across modes and jurisdictions, consider consulting the Denver Regional Council of Governments/Colorado Department of Transportation or the Atlanta Regional Traffic Operations Program.

There are many operations activities that benefit from having MOUs or agreements in place as the activity is initiated, such as:

  • Data management/archiving;
  • Data sharing;
  • Incident management protocols and roles;
  • Private vendor data collection;
  • Traveler information dissemination;
  • Use of data/traveler information by media;
  • Roadway Incident management practices;
  • Emergency operations;
  • Ramp metering; and
  • Inter-jurisdictional signal timing.

Most recently, the focus of the I-95 Corridor Coalition in the incident management area has been on quick clearance practice, promoting state legislation and good practice. More information on Quick Clearance training is available on the I-95 Corridor Coalition web site.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.5 Strategy: Create New Technology Piloting and Testing Program

A program of testing and piloting new technologies can reduce the risk associated with implementing new technologies. TMC managers can start by creating a pilot plan that identifies objectives, participants, deployment schedule, and evaluation period and begin testing in a controlled environment in which operators perform their normal tasks using the new technology. This demonstrates that the technology works as expected and adds value to TMC functions. Evaluating the pilot and gathering feedback from the operators will allow TMC managers to fix any problems and issues that arise through testing and will allow for minimizing risk during full scale deployment. It often requires staff and capital investment but can generate good returns. Consult peer agencies with experience in new technology and visit them when possible. Check with agency policies before investigating opportunities to borrow equipment from manufactures for evaluation.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

TMC managers must understand privacy issues and be able to both manage data properly and develop contracts that protect the privacy of collected data, regardless of whether that data is collected through private vendors or by mobile communications.

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.6 Strategy: Develop Skill Sets of TMC Managers in Areas of Contracting, Privacy, Security, and Intellectual Property

Contracting for operations activities is quite different from traditional DOT design and construction contracting. In the operations world, contracting is often for services such as staffing, collecting data, or development of software. These activities often use new, different contracting methods and include issues not traditionally applicable to DOT contracting (for example, privacy, security, and intellectual property). Privacy issues are related to uses and dissemination of the public’s personal data. As the ITS industry was being developed over the past 20 years, privacy of collected data has been a deal-breaker issue. The public has indicated through several lawsuits and passing of state and national laws that the use of all personal information must be anonymous and undiscoverable. TMC managers must understand these issues and be able to both manage data properly and develop contracts that protect the privacy of collected data, regardless of whether that data is collected through private vendors or by mobile communications companies. Along with privacy, security of collected data is an important issue. All public entities are subject to security breaches and transportation data is also vulnerable to hacking. Transportation management systems can be targets for terrorist attacks designed to create public chaos. TMC managers must understand security issues and include security features when contracting for software, managing data systems, and interfacing with toll collection systems. In the software world, including transportation management software, intellectual property issues are also important to TMC managers. When software is being purchased (off-the-shelf or developed), the contractor will likely insist on maintaining intellectual property rights to the software code. Understanding those rights and what issues can be compromised are important in developing contracts with the software vendor.

Related Trends: Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.7 Strategy: Adopt Standards on TMC Related Equipment and Processes

For TMC equipment and ITS field equipment, standardization can be beneficial when managed thoughtfully in light of each agency’s needs and capabilities. Standardizing equipment can reduce the amount of inventory needed and the number of complex items that maintenance staff needs to learn and maintain skill supporting. Standardization can also improve interoperability. However, standardization can reduce innovation if the standards don’t evolve as technology evolves. ITS technology develops rapidly so even within a brand line models are often discontinued.

A few successful practices are available. One is requiring national ITS standards compliance to support interoperability. However, the standards are more fully developed for some equipment and functions than others. Also, manufacturers may offer additional capabilities when their equipment utilizes some communications elements beyond base ITS standards. When developing equipment requirements, it is important to understand what capabilities may be sacrificed to maintain complete interoperability.

Another potential way to deal with varying and rapidly changing technology is to use performance based requirements rather than more proscriptive material descriptions that are typically found in roadway specifications. This may require discussions with other parts of the agency that control procurement processes.

For TMC processes, an example of standardization is the Virginia DOT’s statewide TMC RFP that will establish a contract to develop and implement a standardized approach for common TMC functions and performance levels that will be applied to all TMCs throughout the state. The major service categories in the contract include dispatching safety service patrols, TMC floor operations, ITS infrastructure and field network maintenance, the design of a statewide ATMS and technology support, and program management and general support services.

Related Trends: Performance Monitoring and Management

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.8 Strategy: Use Open-Source or Non-Proprietary Software when Possible

Open-source or non-proprietary software may have the advantages of lower initial costs (if there is existing open-source or non-proprietary software available) and increased interoperability. However, depending on the software and its source, there may be less support available. (Developing new code will be more expensive and will carry more risk than using existing, proven software.) Careful consideration must be given by the agency, including weighing in-house and otherwise accessible support capabilities.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.9 Strategy: Require Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Document for Future Development

With the worldwide proliferation of Smartphones, tablet computers, and other mobile devices, it is critical that DOTs include requirements that allow and support the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) when contracting or developing traveler information software. APIs are a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications and they guarantee that all programs using the API will have similar interfaces and make it easier for operators to learn new programs. The use of open source APIs provides for innovation and continued technological relevance of traveler information dissemination by government agencies. In order to provide for these enhancements through APIs it is essential that documentation of the interfaces and developer access be required. With an increase in use of third-party data sources, it is important that TMCs be able to balance the public interest in making data available to developers with any restrictions on the use of data purchased from third parties.

One successful example of public agencies sharing data with developers through APIs is the City of San Francisco’s SFpark program. The API specification, source code, terms of service, and developer FAQs are all available through the SFpark web site. Although SFpark provides its own cell phone app, it also recognizes that providing the data to developers also supports its ultimate goal of making parking more readily available.

Related Trends: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Screen shot - Screen capture of SFpark App.
(Source: Screen capture of SFpark App)

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.10 Strategy: Require Documentation on All Systems and Software – Include Search Capabilities and Provide Remote Accessibility

Related Trends: Performance Monitoring and Management; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - A nimble service-oriented program mindset and organizational structure.4.1.1.11 Strategy: Follow the Systems Engineering Processes

The systems engineering process, and the corollary FHWA Rule 940, grew out of acknowledgement that ITS systems were more complicated, dynamic, and interconnected than many other roadway endeavors. The underlying systems engineering concepts were proven from other industries including software development.

At the core of systems engineering is using consensus-based requirements to drive system design, procurement, implementation, testing, operations, and maintenance. This process inherently supports a service-oriented mindset because the needs drive the process and the results are managed. The process can also facilitate a nimble mindset because requirements can develop as needed and then solutions sought to meet them rather than being driven by pre-existing known technologies.

A significant number of high-quality systems engineering reference materials are available. Two are listed below.

Systems Engineering Guidebook for Intelligent Transportation Systems, Version 3.0. Available as an interactive, on-line version through (FHWA CA division; CalTrans, 2009), includes document templates, case studies, and checklists.

Systems Engineering for Intelligent Transportation Systems, An Introduction for Transportation Professionals, Available through (National ITS Architecture Team, 2011) Provides information on systems engineering principles.

Related Trends: Performance Monitoring and Management

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2 Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

The following subsections contain individual ATDM tools as well as more general strategies for supporting the general ATDM concepts of being more proactive and integrated.

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.1 Strategy: Implement a Suite of Emerging Transportation Concepts, Coordinating as Necessary

This strategy reflects the potential of combining multiple technologies and procedures to meet unique needs and capabilities of individual TMCs. While there are complications in integrating systems and procedures, there is also the potential for transportation improvements that are greater than the sum of their individual parts.

One example of implementing a suite of concepts that support ATDM is the Washington State DOT’s success with using social media to reach travelers to explain and promote Active Traffic Management and other ATDM strategies.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.2 Strategy: Integrated Corridor Management (ICM)

Another example of implementing a suite of ITS tools is Integrated Corridor Management. In 2005, the USDOT, ITS JPO, FHWA, and FTA began an ICM program. ICM utilizes a coordinated and integrated set of systems and tools across modes along a corridor (which may include multiple parallel roadways and tracks) to underpin a multi-jurisdictional, multi-modal, and multi-technological approach to maximizing efficiency. It is rooted in systems engineering principles and relies heavily upon cooperation among agencies. It uses many ATDM and ITS tools that have been implemented separately, but in a more holistic way focused on a single corridor.

In early stages of the USDOT program, eight Pioneer Sites were selected to develop concepts of operations and requirements for ICM. Later, three of those sites were selected for modeling (Minneapolis, MN; Dallas, TX; and San Diego, CA) and the latter two are moving into the demonstration and evaluation phase. The results of this process are intended to support future ICM implementations.

ICM is more likely to be successful where there are preexisting working relationships among most of the involved agencies for a corridor, such as state DOT, toll authority, county/city/local DOTs, transit agencies, and freight operators.

Other examples of ICM initiatives outside the USDOT demonstration sites include the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) cross-border project near Buffalo, NY, and the Interstate 80 Smart Corridor in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Extensive information is available through the RITA ICM page (RITA USDOT).

Related Trends: Performance Monitoring and Management

Photo - Picture of interstate travels, cars traveling under a sign structure of variable speed limts.
(Source: WSDOT Flickr Photostream)

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.3 Strategy: Active Traffic Management (ATM) Which May Include Lane Use Control, Variable Speed Limits (VSL), and Hard Shoulder Running

According to FHWA’s Active Traffic Management Guidebook (FHWA, 2012), “Active Traffic Management is the ability to dynamically manage recurrent and non-recurrent congestion on the mainline based on prevailing traffic conditions. Focusing on trip reliability, it maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of the facility. It increases throughput and safety through the use of integrated systems with new technology, including the automation of dynamic deployment to optimize performance quickly and without delay that occurs when operators must deploy operational strategies manually.”

ATM includes many specific strategies such as:

  • Lane Use Control in which electronic signs above each lane (typically at half mile spacing) instruct drives on allowable lane use; such as instruction to merge ahead of a lane closed due to a crash, which can reduce congestion and increase safety by facilitating an early merge.
  • Variable Speed Limits or Advisories in which speeds are adjusted by lane or by roadway segment, primarily aimed at improving safety by adjusting speeds based on downstream traffic conditions to minimize the likelihood of crashes caused by unexpectedly encountering a queue or severe traffic congestion.
  • Hard Shoulder running in which shoulders of freeways designed to support full traffic loads are used on a part-time basis as a through traffic lane, such as during peak times and special events. Dynamic signing indicates the current shoulder state (open, closed, or open to only certain types of vehicles).

Until in-vehicle messaging is prevalent, which is expected to be beyond the 10-year horizon of this study, considerable field infrastructure will be needed to implement many of the ATM strategies. The costs can be significant, but less than some other options such as adding lanes.

The ATM Guidebook lists the indicators for potential ATM deployment shown in Figure 8.

The ATM Guidebook also describes factors influencing ATM feasibility, such as deployment area characteristics (collision patterns, speed profiles, major traffic flows, roadway geometry); existing and planned infrastructure/roadway facilities; construction activity and opportunity; data availability; cost/benefit estimates; transportation demand priorities, agenda and support; institutional policies and issues; legislative environment; and community support and acceptance.

Figure 8: Indicators of Potential ATM Deployment

Graphic - A chart showing Indicators of Potential ATM Deployment. There are ten indicators, including high traffic volumes, changes in prevailing conditions, high prevalence of crashes, capacity bottlenecks, adverse weather conditions, adverse environmental impacts, variability in trip reliability, construction impacts, financial constraints and priorities, and limitation on capacity expansion.
(Source: Adapted from FHWA, 2012)

Many of the ATM strategies were pioneered in Europe. Successful use in the United States includes WSDOT’s Smarter Highways system and MnDOT’s Smart Lanes system. Both systems include variable speed limits, dynamic lane control, and dynamic messaging. Other agencies, such as Virginia DOT, which uses hard shoulder running on I-66, are currently expanding their existing program or are implementing or planning future deployments. More detailed descriptions of each can be found in the ATM Guidebook.

Related Trend: Performance Monitoring and Management

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.4 Strategy: High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes

In high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, excess high occupancy vehicle (HOV) capacity is sold to vehicles that do not meet HOV requirements. HOT tolls should be set to keep overall usage of the lane(s) low enough to prevent degradation of the performance of the HOT lane(s). The threshold or target performance indicator is usually described as maintaining a minimum average speed, often 45 MPH. While the decision to implement HOT lanes is beyond the scope of TMC managers, they should be aware that HOT pricing is a complex process that could bring new stakeholders and new priorities into operational procedures. They may also introduce payment and enforcement complications. Finally, as with HOV and other managed lanes, TMC operators should work with stakeholders to define if there are circumstances, such as major multi-lane blockages, when lane restrictions should be relaxed to allow general purpose use of the lane(s).

Related Trend: Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.5 Strategy: Portable Work Zone ITS Systems

Leased wireless data plans, trailer mounted ITS equipment, and specialized software now makes a variety of temporary ITS systems in work zones possible. Some of the available features include:

  • Dynamic Lane Merge Systems (DLMS);
  • Queue detection and warning;
  • Speed warning;
  • Remote operation of CMS and CCTV; and
  • Travel time estimates.

TMC managers and operations staff should be familiar with options so they can advocate for including appropriate types in construction contracts where they could provide a worthwhile benefit. TMC managers and operations staff should also consider how such temporary systems could interact with permanent ITS equipment.

One key reference is the FHWA Work Zone Safety and Mobility Program. It includes a website with over 50 links to resource documents on various work zone ITS systems, including many case studies.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.6 Strategy: Regional or Multi-State Coordination of Detours and Traveler Information

Coordinating detours and traveler information across agencies increases their usefulness to travelers. Such coordination is built upon relationships among agencies that may benefit from interagency agreements that include roles, responsibilities, and policies. There are also technological challenges to be addressed.

Regions with long histories of such coordination can share valuable experience with other regions. The New York metropolitan region’s Transportation Operations Coordinating Committee (TRANSCOM) began in 1986 focusing on coordination of construction activities across state lines to minimize impacts on transportation. It now includes sixteen transportation and public safety agencies across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with a much wider role in regional transportation management. During major emergencies, it builds on these established core working relationships to effectively coordinate even more agencies. During Hurricane Irene in 2011, 28 agencies participated in regular TRANSCOM conference calls facilitating emergency operations. The focus of the calls included review of regional conditions by agency, vehicle restrictions and possible full closing of river crossings, and recovery. TRANSCOM stresses the importance of both accurate data and strong working relationships. (Edelman, 2011) and (TRANSCOM)

In and around Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program uses information sharing, planning, and coordination among transportation agencies in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to improve safety and mobility. (MATOC)

Related Trends: Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Photo - Picture of a light rail vehicle traveling along a vehicular roadway section.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff)

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.7 Strategy: Provide Real-time Travel Time Estimates on Full Range of Devices and Systems Available.

FHWA recommends that DMS display travel times as a default, even outside of incident and road-work periods (Chu, 2008). The information can be useful for travelers planning their routes and leverages the investment made in the DMS.

Travel time estimates are also useful to travelers through web sites and voice-activated 511 systems.

As agencies begin to achieve compliance with the FHWA-mandated Real-Time System Management Information Program, the amount of accurate and timely data will increase. The program is to be established on all Interstate routes within 4 years (November 8, 2014) and on other significant roadways as identified by the States and local agencies within 6 years (November 8, 2016).

The Real-Time System Management Information Program provides a foundation of basic traffic and travel conditions information that may be built upon and used by public agencies, other public and private parties who may deliver value-added information products, and the traveling public. Data exchange formats will allow the information to be more easily interchanged and used among agencies and other parties.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.8 Strategy: Display Transit Info on Parallel Route DMS (Possibly with Comparative Travel Time and/or Parking Availability)

This strategy is closely associated with ICM as it provides travelers with information which may encourage them to shift mode from one experiencing delays to one with excess capacity.

Related Trend: Involvement of 3rd Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.9 Strategy: Parking Management Including Dissemination of Real-time Garage Space on DMS and Through Mobile Apps

Effectively directing vehicles to available parking can reduce congestion by preventing excess circulation when garages, lots, or spaces are full.

Including privately-managed garages increases the value of information to customers. However, some garage operators may be reluctant to participate because they may not want to ever direct traffic away from their facilities, even if they are full.

Real-time parking information is also increasingly being provided through agency and third party applications.

Successful practices in implementing parking management techniques, such as displaying parking garage space availability on arterial DMS, are currently being done by several jurisdictions, including the Cities of Minneapolis and Seattle. The City of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also provides real-time parking availability at garages and in selected neighborhoods through a cell phone app. See the SFpark web site.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.10 Strategy: Arterial Management with ITS Devices such as Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), and Remote Access to Traffic Signal Controllers

Many successful ITS strategies and tools that are traditionally used on freeways can also provide benefits to arterials. The major complicating factor, and potential source of benefit, is coordination of arterial operations or integration of the traffic signal controllers across jurisdictional boundaries. There is a great variety of traffic signal equipment currently functioning, with many older systems not well suited for interoperability with other central software systems used by neighboring jurisdictions. However, traffic signal controller manufacturers have made great strides in recent years to provide more interoperable field equipment and central control software. While there are National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) standards governing traffic signal controllers, central software produced by controller manufacturers are often geared to provide optimal functionality using matched brand equipment. Having a single company responsible for controllers and software is less complicated for agencies, but may make integration with other equipment brands difficult in the long run.

DMS used on arterials need to be scaled appropriately and consideration given to the character of the arterial, especially if there are residences located adjacent to the arterial. CCTV’s privacy zones may also be more significant than on most freeways. Travel time estimation on arterials can be more complicated than on freeways because traffic signal timing has a significant effect, many drivers link trips and stop along the way (for purposes such as getting fuel, stopping for coffee, or picking up supplies), and travel speeds can vary greatly along a corridor. Probe-based travel times, such as through Bluetooth detection or toll tag readers, can be more effective than spot speed measurements. However, it is still important to try to identify and eliminate non-representative travel times caused by trip-linking behavior.

Examples of successful practices include Burlington County, New Jersey, and San Francisco, California.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Photo - Photograph of a traffic controller cabinet open along a roadway.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff)

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.11 Strategy: Integrate Ramp Metering Schemes with Adjacent Arterial Signal Timing to Minimize Conflicts with Ramp Queues

When adjacent ramp metering signals and arterial traffic signals are operated independently, especially by different agencies with different priorities, it can be difficult to develop coordinated operations. However, the impact to travelers can be significant.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.12 Strategy: Adaptive Signal Control Technologies (ASCT)

In recent years, ASCT implementations have risen dramatically as the software and detection costs have dropped and more commercial applications geared to arterials (rather than urban grids) have entered the marketplace. The core of ASCT is using near real-time detection to adapt signal timing at a series of traffic signals, often adjusting progression offsets between intersections as well as individual intersection split durations.

FHWA has recognized that ASCT, like traditional ITS systems, are complex systems with significant costs and risks as well as potential benefits. There is also variation in the available options on important points such as how involved operators and traffic engineers are with the system after initial configuration. Therefore, FHWA has made it clear that ASCT procurements are subject to the 29 CFR 940 requirements to follow the systems engineering process. To assist agencies, FHWA developed model systems engineering documents to help guide agencies (referenced below). An updated version was released in August 2012.

The following are key resources on ASCT:

NCHRP Synthesis 403: Adaptive Traffic Control Systems: Domestic and Foreign State of Practice. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. (Stevanovic, 2010)

Model Systems Engineering Documents for Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) (FHWA, 2012)

FHWA Everyday Counts Adaptive Signal Control web (USDOT - FHWA, 2012)

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.13 Strategy: Transit Signal Priority (TSP)

Transit Signal Priority (TSP) utilizes technology to give priority to transit vehicles at signalized intersections, such as adjusting green signal time to minimize transit delay or providing special phasing to bypass queues or make movements not available to other vehicles.

TSP can reduce transit travel time and increase reliability, but it needs to be evaluated for impacts on general traffic flow as well as on other transit vehicles in the system.

The following are key TSP resources:

  • Transit Signal Priority: A Planning and Implementation Handbook (Smith & Hemily, 2005); and
  • RITA TSP Web page (RITA, 2012).

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.14 Strategy: Road Weather Integration

Managing the roadway system for weather is a way to be proactive and get the most out of the network.

A successful practice of road-weather integration can be found in Wyoming DOT and their variable speed limit system on I-80 in response to wind and weather conditions. The I-80 system relies on a manual process to activate variable speeds from the TMC in response to high wind conditions.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Photo - Photograph of a road-weather station.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff)

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.15 Strategy: Weather-Responsive Signal and Ramp Meter Timing Plans

Some of the assumptions used in developing traffic signal and ramp metering timing plans include the speed and acceleration of vehicles. Severe weather can dramatically change these values reducing the effectiveness of normal timings. Increasing the number of stops can be detrimental when roads are ice or snow covered. Weather-responsive signal and ramp meter timing plans, as well as some adaptive signal timing schemes, can address these issues.

An example of this successful practice is in Utah DOT’s signal operations through implementing weather-responsive signal and ramp meter timing plans on major roadways.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.16 Strategy: Develop Protocols and Maintenance Program to Address Increased Number and Complexity of ITS Field Devices

This section has highlighted some of the many ATDM tools available and each one involves multiple pieces of field equipment and software. It is critical to provide at least the minimal recommended level of maintenance in terms of staffing levels, personnel skills, replacement parts, and proper tools. Ideally, these needs should be identified and provided for early in the systems engineering process for each new system. However, the cumulative effect of seemingly small additions coupled with budget restrictions mean that many agencies are having difficulty with the increasing number and complexity of ITS systems.

One key to establishing a maintenance program is initiating a basic asset management system that includes, at minimum, an inventory of devices along with approximate age, life expectancy, regular maintenance needs, and notes such as frequency and impact of failures. Such information is useful not only for managing equipment, but for making a business case for assigning resources for a more robust maintenance program.

While there are strategies to ease the maintenance burden through technology, they will not substitute for having sufficient qualified staff. ITS systems require many specialized skills including those of electricians and networking professionals.

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.17 Strategy: Co-locate Freeway & Arterial Transportation Management

While the decision to co-locate freeway and arterial transportation management is a complex one including practical, political, and institutional facets, it should at least be considered because of the inherent interdependence of freeway and arterial management, especially as arterial management capabilities are growing rapidly. Another benefit of freeway and arterial co-location is that it promotes understanding of freeway and arterial operations by partner agencies.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.18 Strategy: Promote Coordination with Arterial Management Agencies

In recognition of the importance of coordinating with arterial management, 2012 Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) statewide TMC RFP contains provisions requiring coordination across facilities citing the need for the Contractor to manage traffic on available parallel routes or on detour routes for optimal system performance. It includes special emphasis on major arterials that are on the National Highway System and those that support the Interstate System.

A key resource is the Coordinated Freeway and Arterial Operations Handbook (FHWA, 2006). Another is the Atlanta Regional Traffic Operations Program Concept of Operations Report (URS Corporation, 2011).

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Active transportation and demand management (ATDM) concept and toolkit.4.1.2.19 Strategy: Look for Opportunities to Share Resources with other Agencies (e.g., communication networks, cameras)

As more agencies implement ITS field devices, there is a greater potential to share resources. There are, however, institutional barriers, such as priority of image control, and technological barriers, such as communications protocols, that must be addressed.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3 Accommodating Toll and Other Pricing Operations in TMCs

The strategies associated with this trend focuses on ways that TMC managers can successfully prepare for integrating toll and other pricing schemes into their operations. While the decisions to implement pricing are beyond the purview of TMC managers, it is anticipated that tolling will spread to many agencies over the next decade so TMC managers should be aware of implications.

For all of these strategies it is strongly recommended that general protocols and agency roles and responsibilities be defined at a high level as the initial toll and pricing feasibility studies are being conducted. These definitions will be included in interagency discussions and plans as the toll and pricing concepts are developed.

With most pricing operations, there is the potential for competing priorities that influence not only demand responsive pricing, but how to treat tolled lanes when there are major disruptions to parallel un-tolled lanes. Protocols need to be worked out. While the decisions may be politically or financially motivated, it is important for TMCs to collect accurate information to help inform reexaminations of policies.

Successful practices of directly facilitating integration of tolling/pricing with traffic management are currently being carried out in the Miami SunGuide Center and the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). The New Jersey Statewide Transportation Management Center (STMC) houses traffic management functions on both the New Jersey DOT freeways and New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) tolled highways.

In Northern Virginia, the Beltway Express Lanes were opened to traffic on November 24, 2012. The Express Lanes were built under a public private partnership (PPP) and will be operated by the PPP. That necessitated an agreement between VDOT (who will continue to operate the general use lanes along the Beltway and I-95) and Transurban (the operator of the Express Lanes).

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3.1 Strategy: Develop Protocols for Operations (Such as Pricing and Operations for Diversions to HOT Lanes during Major Main Lane Incidents) During Early Feasibility Planning

Protocols, roles and responsibilities should be defined in early project feasibility studies that defines which agency manages operations for opening and closing lanes for use, management of traffic during incidents (in both the general lanes and tolled lanes) and maintenance activities should be defined early in project planning. TMCs have access to significant amount of communications and roadway infrastructure that can be used to implement various types of pricing systems. Traveler information systems and methods already in place can be used to educate the public on the pricing schemes rates, rules and regulations.

Related Trend: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

Photo - Photograph of a interstate highway with vehicles traveling under a sign that shows $1 to travel on managed lanes.
(Source: WSDOT Flickr Photostream)

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3.2 Strategy: Develop Protocols for Joint Operation of Freeways and Toll Roads during Early Feasibility Planning

Protocols, roles and responsibilities should be defined in early project feasibility studies that define which agency conducts operations of lane opening and closing, traveler information dissemination, incident management, and maintenance.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3.3 Strategy: Develop Protocols for Operations and Implementation of HOT Lanes with Variable Pricing During Early Feasibility Planning

Protocols, roles and responsibilities should be defined in early project feasibility studies that defines which agency collects money, how the money is handled, which agency administers systems users, which agency manages the financial transactions and what are the parameters of pricing (maximum and minimum tolls, the formula of pricing due to HOT lane congestion or any other pricing parameter, times and conditions that tolls are static or dynamic).

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3.4 Strategy: Develop Protocols for Operations for Cordon Pricing for Congested Areas during Early Feasibility Planning

TMCs should have a role in the definition of protocols, roles and responsibilities in early project feasibility studies that define which agency manages financial transactions, sets pricing parameters, administers systems users for cordon pricing projects. Also the cordon operations protocols should be set during early planning that define which agency is responsible for enforcement, what are the enforcement rules and how the users will participate (toll tags, GPS or Bluetooth readers, license plate readers, etc.). TMCs have access to significant amounts of communications and roadway infrastructure that can be used to implement cordon pricing systems. Traveler information systems and methods already in place can be used to educate the public on the cordon pricings rates, rules and regulations.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

Icon - Accommodating toll and other pricing operations in Transportation Management Centers.4.1.3.5 Strategy: Consider Increased Network Reliability and Data Security Needs

Pricing projects require a data intensive environment that is predicted on real time operations and financial management. This requires communications network reliability and data security beyond the normal DOT standards. These network and security needs must be considered as the pricing system is being developed.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4 Performance Monitoring and Management

The strategies discussed in this section highlight ways that TMC operators can fulfill requirements imposed by their agencies and also improve their effectiveness. Technology is sometimes a tool used to monitor performance and sometimes technology itself is the subject of the monitoring.

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.1 Strategy: Use Results of Performance Monitoring Related to Agency Goals to Support Funding Requests

Bridge and pavement ratings are commonly used to quantify needs and justify funding requests. While operations are inherently more difficult to measure, the results can be powerful tools to help support budget requests.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.2 Strategy: Proactively Develop Performance Metrics Based on Staff Priorities as well as Agency Goals

For example, the Rhode Island DOT (RIDOT)’s selection criteria for TMC performance measures:

  • Follow FHWA/AASHTO recommendations;
  • Support the TMCs mission statement;
  • Can be computed periodically;
  • Help improve safety and traffic operations;
  • Demonstrate the benefits derived from ITS; and
  • Are based on data which is reliable and readily available. (TrafInfo Communications, Inc., 2011)

RIDOT’s resulting performance measures are shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Initial and Future RIDOT TMC Performance Measures

Graphic - A figure showing Initial and Future Rhode Island Department of Transportation Transportation Management Center Performance Measures.
(Source: Adapted from TrafInfo Communications, Inc., 2011)

Reports of RIDOT TMC statistics including their performance measures are available.

Another key resource is the National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC) Performance Measurement Initiative Final Report (National Transportation Operations Coalition, 2005).

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.3 Strategy: Use Multiple Data Sources to Monitor System Congestion, Including to Support Travel Time Estimation

Legacy sensors, such as pavement loops on freeways, can be supplemented with many different technologies. As different options have different costs and strengths, having a data fusion engine can greatly increase the opportunities that agencies have to develop reliable monitoring of system congestion and estimation of travel times.

An example of a successful practice is the New Jersey DOT’s data fusion engine that combines data from multiple sources including toll tag readers through TRANSCOM and Bluetooth readers through the vendor. The Bluetooth system vendor provides an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) feed for the data fusion engine.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.4 Strategy: Consolidate Efforts to Develop Data Management Tools across Agencies

The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Transportation Technology (CATT) Lab developed a suite of data management tools, the Vehicle Probe Project (VPP) Suite that is used by multiple agencies (CATT Lab, 2011). The tools utilize the I-95 Corridor Coalition’s VPP data to display real-time operations as well as trend analyses over time. The data is presented in a variety of formats, including ones that are useful for performance monitoring. Maryland and North Carolina have been particularly active in this area, as well as the MPOs in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC. (CATT Lab At The University of Maryland, 2011)

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.5 Strategy: Frequently Process and Distribute Measures of Effectiveness (MOE’s), Including to Operators, to Improve Operational Effectiveness

There are some applications of performance measures that track trends over long periods of time, such as monthly, quarterly, and yearly that are well suited to reflective reports. However, there is also value in more frequent analysis and distribution of some factors, including those that can be used by operators to help them evaluate the effectiveness of strategies.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.6 Strategy: Utilize Features in Software to Track and Report Performance

Central system software is often the main generator and repository of system data that a TMC manager has access to. The data produced can be overwhelming, though. Identifying desired performance data and then setting up a customized report that can run automatically can be of great value. If current software does not have such capabilities, it should be considered a requirement in future procurements and upgrades.

The Georgia DOT has an excellent maintenance management reporting tool that shows equipment status and performance measures on a daily basis.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.7 Strategy: Utilize On-Board Device data from Agency Vehicles to Monitor Pavement Condition

As the cost of sensors drop, it becomes feasible to collect data by outfitting agency vehicles engaged in their normal activities to collect basic information.

For example, Michigan DOT vehicles utilize on-board devices to monitor weather-related pavement conditions.

Taking this principle one step further, the City of Boston has been able to successfully identify pothole locations by having residents track road surface anomalies detected with iPhone accelerometers as the sensors. See the Street Bump web site.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Performance monitoring and management.4.1.4.8 Strategy: Train TMC Operators How to Use Performance Monitoring and How to Populate the Data Needed for Performance Monitoring.

While some data used in performance monitoring can be logged automatically, other information, such as incident detection and clearance times, need to be entered by TMC operators, often in close collaboration with on-site emergency service personnel. It is important that the TMC operators are properly trained to record this information using as much consistency as possible. TMC operators should be involved in developing the procedures and they should be informed of the uses of the data. This should improve data quality.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

4.2 Trends and Technology that TMCs can Adapt and Take Advantage of from Outside the Transportation Community

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1 Automation Tools

The strategies discussed in this section suggest ways that TMC managers can make use of automation tools in the areas of ITS devices, control software, and Smartphone applications to improve TMC operator functions and roadway operations. A periodic assessment of operator performance will help identify where processes are working well or where new approaches may be needed to improve efficiency.

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.1 Strategy: Use Advanced Graphical User Interfaces to Increase Operator Efficiency

Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are customized interfaces that accept input from the operator through a series of mouse-clicks or touch-screen commands and provide intuitive graphical output illustrating the effect of the operator’s command. This type of streamlined delivery of all relevant data needed prior to the operator making a decision, allows for more control to specific information and a quicker response-time. One software application can be designed to handle all TMC processes, including direct control of field devices, and with an intuitive interface, operator training time is reduced or operators can even self or peer-train. Agency-wide deployment of the same traffic management GUI software promotes communication and information sharing.

One successful example is the WSDOT NG_TMS (abbreviation for Next Generation _Traffic Management Software), an in-house created traffic management control software that displays dynamic color-coded updates of freeway flow conditions with active control of the operation of ramp meters, DMS displays, HARs, and CCTVs. The operator can also click on individual freeway sections on the map to get traffic volume, speed, and occupancy data.

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.2 Strategy: Develop Decision Support Systems

Decision Support Systems (DSSs) are computer applications that enhance the operator’s ability to make informed decisions. DSSs are a collection of integrated software applications that create the foundation of an agency’s decision-making process. They are designed to process, format, and analyze data and knowledge in database-format based on the individual needs of the operator, and allow the operator to analyze the data and make a decision. A benefit to using a DSS is that it assists the operator in synthesizing various types of data in less time than required by using manual processes, and provides consistency in the way decisions are made. DSSs are interactive and user-friendly, but the iterative development process takes time to reach a final product.

The use of decision support systems to guide real-time winter maintenance activities is currently being done by multiple states through their Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS). This decision support tool integrates roadway observations, relevant road weather forecasts, coded maintenance rules of practice, and maintenance resource data to provide managers with recommended road weather treatment strategies and a measure of effectiveness. Results are displayed in both graphical and narrative form.

One example of this successful practice of integrating road conditions with weather data to develop automated winter operations plans is with Minnesota DOT and their MDSS.

Another successful example of a decision support system is the I-95 Corridor Coalition Traveler Information DSS (TIDSS) that processes data and provides travel time information across state lines.

TMCs should also consider the use of decision support systems to help manage evacuations or special events egress in real-time, or in developing dynamic pricing systems (such as in Miami, San Diego and Atlanta).

Related Trend: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.3 Strategy: Install Remote Power Cycling of Field Devices

In instances where field devices have crashed or are unresponsive, remotely powering off/on through a wireless communication link between the device and the TMC allow for instant recovery in surveillance and data collection and less downtime for the device to come back online if a crew member needed to go out in the field and hit the reset button. The operator still has the responsibility to be aware that the device isn’t responding, manually verify and confirm the device before manually sending the remote command to power off.

Devices will need to have wireless capability and an internet connection back at the TMC. The cost to upgrade some or all ITS equipment should be weighed against total benefit to the system, including that operators would become more familiar with the technical aspect of operating and maintaining the device and not need a specialized technical staff member to keep the device operational. Another option is to add the requirement into specifications for new equipment installations and route upgrades.

One example application is for wireless CCTV cameras.

Related Trend: Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.4 Strategy: Install Automatic Power Cycling of Field Devices

Automatic power cycling is another benefit of having IP-addressable devices. When the assigned server determines that the device is unreachable through a series of unresponsive contact attempts, the device can be automatically re-booted after a set number of failed attempts. Operators aren’t consumed with equipment diagnostic tests while the automatic power cycling takes place in the background, either from an internal time-control setting on the device or through network software back at the TMC. This strategy has same benefits as 4.2.1.3, Install Remote Power Cycling of Field Devices.

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.5 Strategy: Specify Automation Features in Software Contracts

Software agreements that specify automation features for current or future expansion of network management and control give TMCs the capability to further enhance traffic management responsiveness and efficiency. Specified features could include remote management of devices, and automation such as active VMS travel time display, activating ramp metering rates, and implementing responsive signal timing plans. Benefits to these provisions include reduced system maintenance costs as software retains its functionality as more devices come online, control algorithms become integrated into the software, and devices are able to be under automatic operation.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs

Software agreements that specify automation features for current or future expansion of network management and control give TMCs the capability to further enhance traffic management responsiveness and efficiency.

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.6 Strategy: Consolidate Interfaces to or Consolidate Alert Systems across Agencies

Consolidating software user interfaces across agencies promotes information and data sharing along with software or traffic problem-solving discussions through a unified interface. Agency operators can rely on interface settings that automatically notify other users of traffic network events and software bugs. Automating alert systems requires agreed upon notification policies and procedures defined across agencies, allowing TMC managers and emergency responders to oversee the joint response to alerts and traffic incidents. Consolidation requires a designated agency or external IT group to make software interfaces and network systems compatible and for wide deployment and trouble-shooting. Cost to upgrade and train operators could be shared across agencies for maximum benefit to all users.

In Utah and New York there are successful practices of developing Smartphone applications that generate alerts across multiple agencies. New York’s 511NY app provides statewide region-based real-time traffic and transit information that encompasses construction and weather alerts, a travel planner, and screen for related transportation links like Amtrak, INRIX, and MTA Trip Planner. The app even includes surrounding regions in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Graphic - Picture of a screen capture on a mobile device, a map of an urban area showing transit conditions.
(Source: Screen Capture of New York’s 511 Smartphone app)

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.7 Strategy: Develop Default Sets of Traveler Information Messages across Devices (such as DMS) and Media for Quick Implementation during Recurrent Special Events or Incident Types/Sites

Many traffic management software programs have the functionality of creating default message sets for VMS display allowing operators to quickly select from a list of pre-written messages addressing most commonly encountered roadway events like traffic collisions or blocking disabled vehicles, for instant display and immediate driver notification. VMSs can be grouped by region or route for multi-display and maximum driver advanced warning. Standard pre-determined messages may only need slight modification and in the time it takes to create a message from scratch, the operator can attend to higher priority response tasks. Media sites can be linked to one messaging center, so when a traveler information message is sent out, it reaches all roadside devices along with all other forms of social media outlets.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.8 Strategy: Utilize Low-Cost Low-Infrastructure Devices, such as Solar-Powered Pole-Mounted Traffic Sensors with Wireless Communications

Some advantages of purchasing affordable ITS devices include the flexibility for wide-deployment of updated, sustainable technologies that operate via a rechargeable battery or via remote control from the TMC. Solar powered devices have a long lifespan and require little maintenance, which makes them favorable for installation in rural areas, or in areas where a wireline power connection isn’t feasible. These low-infrastructure devices can also be used in urban areas to enhance driver safety systems.

A successful practice is the solar powered wrong-way signs and motion sensors at freeway ramps in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.9 Strategy: Utilize Predictive Analysis and Forecasting for Anticipating Congestion

With the recent advancements in computer processing speed, data collection technologies and data storage capabilities, TMCs should consider the development of predictive analysis and forecasting of congestion. There are a number of prerequisites to developing a predictive analysis and forecasting program, including:

  • Collection of real time data – data that includes gap filling by historical data is not valid for predictive analysis.
  • Rigid data quality – detector and probe data must be of the highest possible quality, which, in turn, requires a stringent maintenance program as well as tight data quality and validation procedures.
  • Data fusion – greater accuracy is needed for the available data, one way to achieve this accuracy is to fuse data from different sources to ensure that the best information is being provided. Likely data sources may include incident data from service patrol or law enforcement, travel times from private data providers, work zone information, toll or HOT lane pricing information and weather information.
  • Development of predictive algorithms – congestion prediction is a new activity in TMC operations. Predictive algorithms needs to be conceptualized and tested prior to use in the field.
  • Real time traveler information dissemination – users must be able to receive predictive traveler information in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Research is needed on how drivers will respond to predictive traveler information, in particular how likely they are to change routes and under what circumstances. There will be opportunities to test these concepts as tools come on line.

Related Trend: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs; Performance Monitoring and Management; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.10 Strategy: Because the Private Sector Often Develops the Automation Tools, Support Strong Participation to Provide Better Tailored Tools.

Creating strong, respectful relationships and partnerships between agencies and private developers add value when requesting customized software applications that support automated functions. Developers are more apt to have a better understanding of agencies needs and can offer insight on new technologies and trends focusing on automated traffic management tools.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Involvement of Third Parties in Data and Traveler Information

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.11 Strategy: Include Options for Manual Verification and Override to be used as Operators Fine Tune and Gain Confidence in New Applications

Automated software features and device control maximizes operator efficiency and reduces response time for commonly occurring traffic management scenarios. Giving operators the ability to override automatic settings based upon visual condition identification and evaluation leads to more accountability and a tailored response.

Related Trend: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

Icon - Automation tools and related tools to increase efficiency.4.2.1.12 Strategy: Develop a Data Fusion Engine to Merge Data from Multiple Sources, such as Travel Time Information Coming from Toll Tag Readers, Bluetooth Sensors, and/or Third Party

An automated data fusion engine is designed to integrate multiple forms of raw data from different types of sensors, process and arrange the data into subsets, and present them in a way that provides a clear, more accurate picture for the operator to draw conclusions from, creating situational awareness. Algorithms can be written to perform complex functions that result in practical and timely information in different formats, more so than if the operator was analyzing data from single sources.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Performance Monitoring and Management; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2 Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

The strategies discussed in this section suggest ways that TMC managers can involve third parties and private vendors in TMC operations and enable inter-agency data sharing.

TMC managers’ approach to integrating new data types should first be an assessment of current and future data management and storage needs and ways that private vendors, possibly through virtual data archiving, can help manage the demand for larger capacity storage. Included is a look at how current TMC functions accommodate travelers’ needs and ways that the traveler experience can be improved through collaborative development with third party mobile applications that will manage the agency’s social media efforts.

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.1 Strategy: Develop Prequalifications or Standards Regarding Data Accuracy and Validation (Potentially Both for Data Received and Data Provided)

As the demand for traveler information increases, it becomes ever more important that the information is accurate and timely. It is imperative that TMC managers establish data quality standards that travel time data need to meet. It is also recommended that when the agency purchases data, they consider requiring the private vendors provide raw data to the TMC as well as processed travel time estimates. TMC owner agencies should establish similar data quality standards for their own operations as well.

Standards for private data providers should include the following items:

  • Data format – the format(s) in which data shall be delivered;
  • Data elements – what data elements shall be included i.e. speed, travel time, status flags;
  • Definition of roadway segments – including how to attach to a known geo-database;
  • Route coverage – which highway routes are covered;
  • Update interval – or refresh rate;
  • Data access and archive – definition of methods to access and store the data;
  • Accuracy – usually reported in speed error;
  • Completeness – indication of missing data;
  • Availability – indication of system down time; and
  • Latency – indication of how long between data collection and reporting of that data.

Standards for data quality procedures by government agencies are described in Quality Control Procedures for Archived Operations Traffic Data: Synthesis of Practice and Recommendations – Final Report, (Texas Transportation Institute, 2007).

For an example of the quality control procedures used by Florida DOT for reporting statewide performance measures refer to Appendix A: ITS Program Performance Measures Review in FDOT’s Statewide ITS Performance Measures Final Report (FDOT, 2008).

Related Trend: Performance Monitoring and Management

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.2 Strategy: Provide Real-Time Data to Third Party App Developers

TMCs can offer a valuable service to motorists by providing real-time data to third party application developers. Developers take this data and use it to calculate speed and travel times, both pre-trip and en-route, covering wider geographic areas, which are then disseminated to travelers through their smart phones or in-vehicle navigation. Because it is almost expected that agencies will make data available to the public, a challenge would be for agencies to have set agreements on data ownership, sharing, and usage once it is handed over. Many agencies currently have third party data agreements including WSDOT and VDOT. TMC managers should note that if they receive data through third parties, they may not be allowed to provide that data to others. It is important to check with data agreements or with the owner of the data before including it in the TMC datafeed.

INRIX is currently making real-time data available to all third party application developers for the development of mobile applications and websites.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowd sourcing

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.3 Strategy: Share Data among Agencies

Reductions in agency budgets are causing TMC managers to look at other ways of meeting their data needs. Interagency data sharing increases the efficiency in which these agencies work together by creating mutually beneficial, positive relationships. This leads to obtaining data from outside their area of coverage and enables them to provide a comprehensive traveler information plan. Sharing data also leads to standardization of data formats and equipment. If third-party data is part of the data to be shared, it is important to make sure the data agreements with the third party vendors allow sharing data covered by the agreement with other agencies.

One specific area of data exchange that can be helpful is between law enforcement computer aided dispatch (CAD) and Advanced Transportation Management Systems (ATMS) software.

An example of a successful practice in multi-agency data sharing is AZTech and their ability to provide a consolidated data feed and a centralized, efficient mechanism to distribute private sector data to agencies.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowd sourcing

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.4 Strategy: Develop Protocols for Data Privacy and Confidentiality, including for Media and other Agencies Co-located in the TMC Observing otherwise Restricted Material

Data collected, used, and archived in the TMC can be thought of in three categories: general user-profile data, service and payment related data, and location-based data.

General user-profile data is the more prevalent data set and includes toll tag information and related account information, camera images capturing license plate numbers, and, eventually connected vehicle data accounts. From a connected vehicle environment, drivers can opt into certain types of data agreements with the data being transferred between the vehicle and infrastructure and potentially stored or accessed by the TMC. These data sets will need to be safeguarded.

Service and payment related data that may be accessible from a TMC is more specifically related to tolling systems and the personal information stored in a toll tag account. Data and payment records collected from toll tag readers could contain confidential information such as home addresses and credit card numbers. Safeguards will need to be in place that will restrict access to these records if this data is stored and archived at the TMC.

Location-based probe data could be assigned back to a vehicle or even a person and be used for position tracking.

It is advised that all TMC personnel be restricted from accessing personal data records unless there is a compelling reason. TMC established privacy protocols would require a legal agreement to be drafted between the agency and necessary personnel.

As third party and interagency coordination grows, agreements will need to be in place to balance privacy and access. It is recommended that privacy audits be performed by a third party knowledgeable in privacy law, privacy issues, and how they relate to technology to promote a culture of transparency between the agency and the public.

Related Trend: Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowd sourcing

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.5 Strategy: Utilize Private Sector Meteorological Services or In-House Meteorological Resources

The integration of weather into traffic operations enhances the ability of operators to be more proactive and responsive to roadway incidents and congestion, and is part of a national weather integration planning effort. Weather information from private providers can be tailored to TMCs, including information on road conditions such as pavement wetness, interpretations and predictions of traveling weather systems and regional impacts. Meteorologists present in the TMC can provide continuous forecasting and interpretations and can coordinate directly with a designated TMC operator on providing travel advisories during weather events. Policies and procedures for handling weather events can be created.

Utah DOT contracts with private meteorological services to work in the TMC and provide real-time updates for operations. TMCs have access to a myriad of weather data options, including private sector forecasting services. The challenge is finding ways to integrate weather information and use it to support TMC operations, such as is seen with the San Francisco Bay Area’s 511 system, and maintenance weather data needs. TMCs will also need to be able to validate real-time weather conditions with forecasted weather data.

Related Trend: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit

Graphic - Picture of a screen capture on a mobile device, a map showing traffic and road condition information.
(Source: Screen Capture of Utah DOT Traffic Smartphone app)

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.6 Strategy: Research Solutions that others have used to Solve Similar Problems

Various problem solving styles can help spur new thoughts and ideas that deviate from an otherwise expected approach to reaching a solution. TMC managers draw from their past experiences when determining a response plan but reaching out to other TMCs for lessons learned on the challenges, benefits, and operational issues they’ve experienced on new system implementation makes for a more knowledgeable approach to creating a customizable solution.

There is a vast store of information available from other agencies, but it requires a time investment. It is often time and money well spent, though.

Related Trends: applies to all

In multi-agency procurements, agencies gain access to a wide array of experts, expertise, research, and secondary products developed by one agency and shared with the rest in the agreement.

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.7 Strategy: Use Multi-Agency Procurement for Economies of Scale

The benefits of multi-agency procurement include:

  • Gaining the experience and lessons learned from multiple states when crafting the RFP;
  • Leveraging more competitive pricing through the scale;
  • Providing more incentive for the winning vendor to be responsive to issues and problems as they arise (because everyone talks to each other);
  • Minimizing procurement costs through sharing them across agencies; and
  • Establishing common data standards.

Also, the cooperation among agencies forged during the procurement can lead to stronger interagency cooperation.

As the project progresses, agencies gain access to a wide array of experts and expertise, research, and secondary products developed by one state and shared with multiple states in the agreement. Expansions, extensions and other upgrades financed by one of the participating states may roll out to all states and agencies. Finally, agencies experience consolidated project overhead and administration costs.

An example of a successful practice is the I-95 Corridor Coalition agreement between the University of Maryland (acting on behalf of the Coalition) and INRIX. It enables Coalition members to acquire INRIX vehicle probe data using rates and contract terms negotiated as a multi-state procurement, rather than individual state-by-state negotiations. INRIX’s multi-state agreement provides states with a more complete view of traffic conditions on their major roads. INRIX’s real-time traffic information has helped states more effectively allocate limited traffic operations resources.

According to the North Carolina DOT, where previous approaches to gathering traffic data had a life cycle cost of nearly $50,000 per mile, INRIX vehicle probe data has been proven to deliver more coverage at about 25 percent of the per mile life cycle cost. Similarly, South Carolina DOT claimed that maintaining coverage to gain speed data for over 300 miles of South Carolina roads using traditional methods is equal to the total cost of the INRIX speed and travel time data for 1,200 miles of roads. (I-95 Corridor Coalition - Vehicle Probe Project, 2010)

Another successful practice example is Michigan which has a statewide contract for real-time data from NAVTEQ.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Mobile Communications for Wireless Networks

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.8 Strategy: Train TMC Operators on How to Interpret Alternate Data Sources to Support Operations Decision Making

Informed decision making takes into account all available data and weighted factors to come up with a final recommendation. With technology advances in traffic sensors, data collection and aggregation, operators are no longer just using agency collected data, but are turning to other sources such as third-party data providers and other public agencies. Incoming data is often not in the agency’s standard format so will need some manipulation to become recognizable and usable to the operator. In order to get the most benefit from using varied data sources, operators will need to be trained on interpreting the different data types and outputs from decision support tools so they can integrate them into actionable decisions.

Related Trends: Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit; Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs

Icon - Involvement of third parties in data collection, data analysis, and provision of traveler information.4.2.2.9 Strategy: Consider Use of Applicable Standards to Simplify Data Exchange, such as XML

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a standard common to data integration in IT systems and is becoming the default standard for complex data exchange over IP networks. The XML protocol is one of a handful of data-transfer standards that allow a computer to encode data so that another computer receiving the encoded data will be able to understand its contents and process and display the information to an operator. Communication exchange between agencies requires a common set of parameters and a structured format that will enable sharing of real-time traffic data and traveler information between agencies that have differing requirements and policies. Developing a set of standards for importing and exporting data sets can be done through customizing the XML encoding rules and allows for seamless communication between agencies.

FHWA published an Interim Guidance on Information Sharing Specifications and Data Exchange Formats for the Real-Time System Management Information Program in October 2007 (FHWA, 2007) p. 58347 - 58379.]. The real-time information program recognized under Section 1201 of SAFETEA-LU was intended to institute a standard data format for the exchange of travel- and traffic-related data between State and local government agencies and the traveling public.

Related Trend: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3 Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

This section includes ways to successfully utilize mobile communications over widely used wireless networks such as 4G, both within agencies for their own staff and equipment as well as personal mobile devices used by the public.

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3.1 Strategy: Coordinate with Information Technology (IT) Staff to Develop Firewalls and Other Security Protocols that are Effective without Limiting Functionality

The nature of a multi-source data environment in a TMC requires that appropriate security firewalls and access protocols be in place to be able to leverage and benefit from multi-agency data sources, as well as provide access to remote users (DOT as well as other partners) so that TMC information can be maximized to support transportation system functions. This concept applies not only to data, but also to accessing, viewing, and control functions of network infrastructure.

Many DOTs and TMCs have successfully implemented access privileges to non-TMC and non-DOT partners for access to systems like CCTV cameras. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, and has been streamlined with the transition to a more network-based environment. Hard connections to the TMC are no longer needed in many instances to support this functionality; web-based access is a more cost-effective option. However, security protocols should be in place to:

  • Provide “control” functions only to those authorized (i.e., PTZ is allowed for TMC, DOT and law enforcement, but not other partners); and
  • Provide view-only access to those authorized (no control, but view images or data).

TMCs could consider establishing a neutral platform outside of the central system where multiple partners (including agencies as well as third parties) could be authorized to access without impacting IT security policies or security issues. In this example, data could be fed from multiple sources to a neutral server platform and be made available via web-based access to authorized users. Examples include:

RIMIS – developed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. It provides multi-state and multi-agency access to real-time information about incidents, network conditions, facilitates alerts among agencies, and uses a secure web-based format.

AZTech Regional Archived Data Server – This is a publish-and-subscribe system that includes freeway detector data, incident data feeds, and a video distribution capability. Primary contributing agencies are the Arizona DOT and Maricopa County DOT, and incident data from local fire dispatch and the state police. Agencies and third parties are able to view and receive information via established protocols.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Photo - Photograph of transmitter mounted on a pole high above ground level.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.)

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3.2 Strategy: Efficiently Expand Field Device Coverage and Reduce Operations Cost Using Wireless Networks

Agencies that want to fill in the gaps in their data or video coverage can deploy wireless devices, such as CCTV cameras, in specific, remote areas to expand their communication network without the added cost of installing new fiber optic infrastructure.

Wireless networks can either be leased data services or agency-owned wireless microwave Ethernet systems. Modern Ethernet systems provide greatly advanced capabilities over older 900 MHz systems. In general, as data rates and distances increase, the beam narrows requiring greater stiffness of the mounting structure to hold the radios and antennas in alignment. For millimeter range systems, such as the licensed 80 GHz band, deflections may need to be less than ½ inch at the top of the pole under design wind loading.

When considering using CCTV poles for microwave radio equipment, even in the more tolerant unlicensed 2.4 GHz-5.8 GHz ranges, designs should be reviewed structurally to be incompliance with radio/antenna manufacture’s requirements and Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)/Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)-222 Revision G Structural Standard for Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas.

Another consideration for agency owned wireless infrastructure is interoperability. Some manufactures offer enhanced data rates and securities when using proprietary protocols.

It is recommended that a network capacity analysis be conducted as part of evaluating communications media options.

Also, during design, it is recommended that link loss analysis and a line-of-sight study be conducted to minimize most costly changes during construction.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3.3 Strategy: Allow Appropriate Remote Access into TMC Software or Devices (primarily for Maintenance Staff and Appropriate Coordinating Staff from Partner Agencies)

The ability to remotely access or log in to central TMC software is an integral part of many current systems. Web-based capabilities can allow for secure log-in without the user having to access systems through a dedicated workstation (as was the typical model in the past). Although a significant amount of operational functions are housed within the TMC, the ability to allow staff not located in the TMC with access to monitor, update and access information in real-time supports both operations and maintenance.

Remote access can be accomplished through:

  • Web-based applications that link to a central system;
  • May provide full or limited functionality via the web-based application; and
  • Can establish permission levels linked to user log-ins.

Benefits:

  • Information can be viewed and updated in real-time. An example is maintenance technicians in the field being able to update repair status once complete, or be able to view other open work requests that are in close proximity.
  • Supports remote corridor monitoring or in-the field monitoring of strategies such as during incidents and special events.
  • Can support joint operations by allowing remote access by partner agencies (such as law enforcement or partner jurisdiction).
  • May allow TMC staff to support emergency operations from a remote location. If staffing does not allow for TMC presence during non-business hours, critical TMC functions can still be performed remotely by someone with authorized access and an enabled device (such as laptop, tablet or Smartphone).

Enabling this capability would require TMC managers to consider:

  • Potential access requirements, such as in-house staff from remote locations (laptop, tablet or Smartphone).
  • Functionality requirements, which will dictate bandwidth needs. For example, the ability to monitor and control devices will be more bandwidth intensive than the ability to view and update a simple data base.
  • Establish permissions for remote users (in house vs. partner agencies) and link permissions to log-ins. This will allow the TMC to be able to track activity, but also will help to automate security functions and access protocols.
  • Establish network security features to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Ongoing staff/technical support needs. New applications will require ongoing support and maintenance. TMC managers will need to identify funding or staff technical resources that would be responsible for ongoing technical oversight and periodic updates.

Remote access by partners will likely require some sort of formal agreement or protocols be put in place. Operating procedures can be documented and agreed to by partners, but a formal agreement will help to ensure that security and other protocols are understood.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3.4 Strategy: Utilize Commercial Mobile Devices and Apps to Support Collaboration between Freeway Service Patrol and Other Emergency Responders, TMC Operations Staff, and Field Maintenance Staff for Improved Communication and Enhanced Field Collaboration

The information exchange between TMC operators and emergency responders needs to be accurately and efficiently communicated for successful incident response. For example, application sharing between the operator’s machine and the responder’s mobile device can be used. Detailed information on the location, type, and severity of the roadway incident communicated directly from the emergency responder to the operator will result in implementing a response plan, quicker than if the operator had to rely on fixed locations of ITS devices to provide information or for information to be relayed through the emergency response dispatch center. The use of devices by emergency response and transportation personnel to send pictures/video of crash scenes to hospitals is also being done.

The same method of exchanging pictures and video can be helpful for field trouble-shooting of equipment. For example, an on-scene maintenance staff member may be able to better coordinate with maintenance staff at other sites or in the shop for certain problems, especially if the on-site staff member is not as familiar with one of the pieces of equipment. Some on-site field staff may also benefit from being able to access network diagnostics or ATMS software logs from a mobile device rather than speaking with a staff member off-site. All of these strategies can yield enhanced personnel efficiency and shorter downtimes.

A successful practice of integrating road-weather applications into mobile communications is seen in the Integrated Mobile Observation activities through FHWA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Field tests are currently taking place in Minnesota and Nevada in which DOT maintenance vehicles are outfitted with detectors for road weather conditions and transmit data back to NCAR (and eventually TMCs if tests are successful).

For successful examples of multi-state cooperation among responders, look to the I-95 Corridor Coalition, GDOT HERO and TDOT HELP.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Mobile communications and wireless networks.4.2.3.5 Strategy: Operate Mobile Command Centers or Satellite Centers with TMC Software Access

Satellite TMCs are equipped with identical hardware and software providing them with all the same controls and access to roadside devices and data they would have in the main facility, necessary integration tools for traffic response, with a network-based system that allows full real-time information and data sharing. These centers can be activated for special events or emergency situations, to offer extra staff to help accommodate the resulting increase in congestion and traveler delays. A TMC manager with network access to control software on their personal PC allows them to seamlessly connect to the main TMC and make effective decisions from virtually anywhere.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4 Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowdsourcing

The strategies discussed in this section highlight ways that TMCs can navigate the potential overwhelming trend of the rise of social media tools with suggested strategies that will enable them to balance demands of driver expectations while enhancing operational performance.

Graphic - Picture of a screen capture on a mobile device showing tweets from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
(Source: Screen Capture of WSDOT Twitter Feed)

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.1 Strategy: Develop Procedures and Protocols for Use of Social Media

This strategy emphasizes a uniform policy for DOT use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and video distribution platforms such as YouTube, among others. Social media can provide an important connection to users to disseminate travel warnings and alerts, as well as promote projects or public interest campaigns.

Many transportation agencies are actively using one or more social media applications for communicating with citizens and travelers. A recent AASHTO report on DOT use of social media indicated 88 percent are using Twitter and just under 80 percent are using some sort of video platform (such as YouTube or Vimeo). Social media impact can vary; tools such as Facebook are utilized more for information purposes (project information, safety campaigns, and public interest messages), whereas the more dynamic nature of Twitter lends itself to alerts and incident warnings.

Policies on DOT usage of social media continue to evolve. The 2012 AASHTO Social Media survey indicated 66.7 percent of respondents had a social media policy, while 28.6 percent indicated there was not a policy. Some transportation agencies manage social media through their Public Information Officers (PIO) or Communications office, so that content and messages on social media are treated the same way as a press release. Others allow TMC operations staff to distribute alerts via Twitter for specific incidents and events.

TMCs will need to work within broader institutional policies (and in some cases State level policies) regarding social media and authorized users to disseminate information via social media. In some cases, IT policies might restrict social media usage to only communications, PIO, or media staff at the agency.

Procedures should be developed for the individual social media formats, although these procedures should be inclusive of a broader social media policy. At a minimum, a social media policy should include:

  • Who is authorized to disseminate information via social media channels;
  • What information is allowable using social media;
  • Message guidelines (composition and structure; example Twitter traffic alert message could be structured as event, location, impact, where to go for more information);
  • Linking guidelines (i.e., linking to video clips from a Facebook or Twitter post); and
  • Policies for retweeting or forwarding messages received from others (such as agency versus individual).

Social media policies should be reviewed on an annual basis; as tools evolve and emerge, new platforms may require new procedures or protocols.

The successful practice of providing traveler information in many forms such as Twitter, Facebook, and agency Smartphone applications is seen in Georgia DOT’s NaviGAtor 511 system.

A successful strategy for social networking is in using multiple sources of information, including both public and private sources, to monitor congestion on the system. This also allows for tracking alerts to subscribers, as in Florida DOT’s Statewide 511 system.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.2 Strategy: Foster Relationship among Agency Public Relations Groups

This strategy involved coordination and collaboration among multiple public relations groups from agencies within a region or neighboring states. Many agencies are often involved in responding to large-scale events or incidents, and a coordinated approach to lines of communication and points of contact for information is essential to consistent information being disseminated to the public.

This coordination can also be extended to include local or regional media, as these are valuable partners in communicating with the public, particularly during large-scale special events or major incidents or weather events.

Providing local media and partner agencies with PIO/public relations/communications contacts can foster improved working relationships among these partners.

An example is the media and PIO collaboration in Phoenix, Arizona through the AZTech consortium. AZTech hosts a Media Summit on a bi-annual basis that brings together transportation operations and management, public safety, agency transportation PIOs and local media. The objective is to collaborate and share information on how to better communicate transportation impacts to the public. These forums have resulted in several key initiatives and benefits, including:

  • An after-hours contact list for media for state and local transportation management centers;
  • Common naming conventions for highways and limited access roadways that are numbered but also have a local “name” (for example, SR101 in the east part of the metro area is also called the Pima Freeway);
  • Heightened awareness by media of where transportation agencies get their information and how information is verified and validated; and
  • Heightened awareness by transportation agencies of what kinds of information media needs and how frequently they seek updates.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.3 Strategy: Co-Locate Traveler Information Provider Staff with TMC Staff and Agency Public Relations Staff

This strategy involves co-locating key partners involved in disseminating information to travelers, and making real-time information available from the TMC more accessible to communications and traveler information provider staff.

Several TMCs make information available to local media (such as data feeds or access to CCTV cameras) and traffic reporting/data providers, and co-locating these information disseminators with the TMC provides a direct link to real-time information about incidents, impacts, and strategies being implemented. Co-locating provides the added benefit of TMC staff knowing what kinds of information is getting disseminated by these other partners.

Other key benefits:

  • Third party data and information validated using real-time TMC systems such as CCTV, detectors, field reports;
  • Improved working relationship between transportation management and private sector providers due to proximity;
  • Increased knowledge of PIO or communications staff and traveler information providers about available TMC tools and systems, as well as information about response actions; and
  • More consistent traveler information being disseminated through multiple channels, such as agency systems (511, DMS), press releases, social media updates and media reports.

There are several successful examples of this strategy, including:

  • Arizona DOT has maintained a work space in the Traffic Operations Center for a private sector traffic information service for many years. This third-party provider supplies several local radio stations in the Phoenix area with traffic updates during peak commute hours. ADOT also recently hired additional communications/PIO staff to be housed in the TOC which provides for extended coverage of communications/PIO beyond standard business hours.
  • Minnesota DOT’s TMC co-locates transportation management and MSP dispatch, and also includes a workstation for a radio/traffic reporter. The traffic information resource has access to video images, and can distribute real-time updates from both MnDOT and MSP during incidents or major weather events.
  • Houston TranStar’s multi-agency TMC has on-site media traffic reporters that have broadcast booths located on the main floor, behind the control room.

With the evolution of web-based data access and third-party data providers, the trend is to provide this information from the TMC to multiple media and third party outlets, rather than dedicating space within the TMC. However, there is tremendous benefit in supporting closer working relationships between these information disseminators as well as providing real-time verification of traveler information being disseminated through third party channels.

Related Trend: Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.4 Strategy: Support Two-Way Information Exchange Via Social Media

Social media can provide a valuable tool to reach out to travelers and residents, but also can provide an important source of data for the TMC.

Enabling a two-way information exchange would require:

  • Policy in place that would support access to social media platforms by TMC staff (many policies today restrict social media usage on agency networks, other than by PIO staff);
  • New processes and procedures for how to integrate social media information into TMC processes;
  • New processes for validating and verifying information received by the TMC via social media platforms; and
  • Ability to adapt to new social media tools and data as they evolve (every 1-3 years).

An important challenge with integrating social media data into TMC operations comes down to resources. Operators are tasked with monitoring and managing several systems, as well as coordinating with numerous agencies. Adding such a dynamic element, such as monitoring social media, may require dedicated staff, or allocating time for a portion of an existing operator or TMC staff to be able to monitor social media feeds affecting the TMC.

Agency-issued social media alerts have the potential to replace agency center-to-center or direct coordination for updates on major incidents or conditions on a regional basis. With so many agencies now using Twitter to alert travelers about impacts or hazards, and then providing updates via that same platform, several agencies already are “following” neighboring jurisdictions or partner agencies for up-to-date information. Many media outlets have indicated that Twitter has replaced e-mail for traffic alerts.

Agencies within a region can establish a “trusted partner” agreement that would either establish an agency-only social media feed, or establish operating guidelines that would ensure information received from transportation, law enforcement, or other related agency would be deemed verified and reliable.

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.5 Strategy: Designate a Larger or Statewide TMC to Take Responsibility for Social Media Alerts on Behalf of Multiple Agencies in a Region.

A regionally centralized TMC that has the capacity to handle dissemination of all traffic alerts to social media sites allows for consistent messaging across DMS, social media sites, and other traveler information outlets. The appointed TMC for social media alerts will have to develop polices for coordinating timely traveler information sharing across agencies and increase their communication efforts. The TMC operators will have a more complete picture of traffic conditions on connecting routes outside area of visual coverage, and more detailed and specific traveler information to communicate to the public. Other agencies that don’t have the staff to otherwise handle these alerts are now able to provide this service to travelers in their region.

Graphic - Picture of a screen capture on a mobile device showing Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic smartphone app – real time images of interstate travel conditions.
(Source: Screen Capture of VDOT Traffic Smartphone App)

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.6 Strategy: Provide Information through Social Media and Mobile Apps Focused on Pre-trip Planning to Minimize Driver Distraction (Near Term)

Many DOTs have already implemented mobile traveler information applications or versions of their traveler information websites optimized for mobile platforms in response to the growing mobile application marketplace. These mobile apps provide a more streamlined version of information, such as specific alerts (traffic and weather), corridor conditions, or planned work zone restrictions. Providing this information on a mobile platform supports pre-trip planning capabilities for users, which can help to minimize en-route driver distraction.

Utah DOT, Virginia DOT, and Washington DOT were among the early adopters of implementing stand-alone “apps” for traveler information. Response by users has been generally very positive. Enhancing information on the application platform also is much more cost effective than adding an additional menu to a 511 phone based system.

Implementing a mobile version of a website requires restructuring information so that it will be accessible via a mobile platform, and also requires some adjustments to functionality. It is not merely making the full website available for viewing on a mobile device.

Many agencies that have implemented this capability have streamlined the information available, which is similar to the approach taken by other industries. For example, an airline website accessed via a mobile device may provide only a limited menu of options, such as advisories, flight status, flight check in, a simplified reservations/change flight functionality, and perhaps a menu option to access the full site. Similarly, several of the available mobile versions of agency traveler information sites include streamlined information such as:

  • High level color-coded corridor speed map;
  • Alerts, incidents and advisories (including weather);
  • Limited number of corridor travel times;
  • Still-frame CCTV images;
  • Regional quick reports; and
  • Multi-modal links/alerts/advisories.

Agencies that have not yet implemented this capability should evaluate the benefits of doing so versus implementing a stand-alone application. Important considerations are:

  • The long-term investment in an agency website;
  • Available technical resources to develop and sustain a mobile version in parallel with a website (including server and bandwidth requirements); and
  • Current business model for information dissemination and whether or not the website functionality would adapt to a new business model/contract if the business model changes.

There are several excellent examples of agency sites that have been enabled for the mobile platform. A listing is provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Successful Practices in Mobile Platform Traveler Information
Organization
Arizona DOT
Houston TranStar
Kansas City Scout
Maryland CHART
San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Washington DOT
Wisconsin

Graphic - Picture of a screen capture on a mobile device showing Caltrans smartphone app showing travel congestion levels on a map.
(Source: Screen Capture of CalTrans Quickmap Smartphone App)

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.7 Strategy: Utilize En-route Social Media (including Crowdsourcing) as Voice Activation Becomes More Common (Longer Term)

This strategy is identified as a longer-term option due to the likelihood that en-route voice activated options may be better led by the private sector, mobile developers or auto manufacturers. This kind of “push” of information requires some alignment between current network impacts, available information about impacts, a process to integrate crowd-sourced data, and logic to determine who needs to receive what messages or alerts.

These kinds of automation tools may be best led by the private sector, which may be able to develop a sustainable business model to support such an activity. TMCs can play an important role in provision of data and impact information (verification). As DOT use of social media continues to evolve, there may be an opportunity to further refine the requirements for this strategy and how it fits with a future TMC.

It is also likely that emerging research within the Connected Vehicle program could address some of the data sharing, automation and crowdsourcing logic that would be required to support this strategy.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.8 Strategy: Utilize Crowdsourcing for traffic information, incident information, feedback on department performance, pavement roughness

This strategy would enable real-time feedback from users on a variety of transportation issues and impacts, with an emphasis on crowdsourced information. Today’s mobile environment has added thousands of potential data points to a regional transportation system; crowdsourced information can provide important context for TMC operations, as well as inform operational strategies, particularly if this information is received in real-time. For example, The Weather Channel uses a Twitter search to display weather tweets sorted by trending terms by location to infer weather conditions and share weather tweets amongst local twitter conversations, which TMCs can factor in to their operations.

To date, that has been the largest gap between mobile users and TMCs – the ability for the USER to inform the TMC with automated real-time information about location, situational context, user information needs and user information preferences. This strategy references previous discussions about the potential for TMCs and transportation management agencies pulling information from users, rather than focused solely on pushing it to them.

To effectively enable this strategy, a TMC would need to:

  • Implement processes to allow for diverse and disparate data points to be viewed or otherwise accessed;
  • Identify what kinds of crowdsourced information would be able to support TMC/DOT performance monitoring objectives;
  • Implement automated processes and analytics to be able to parse through disparate crowdsourced data to identify applicability of data; and
  • Establish an archive which could then be queried to support longer-term performance management activities, as well as information that could support non-real-time (and non-TMC) DOT functions.

Connected vehicles represent a future opportunity to be able to leverage real-time user context and align with real-time performance. Partnerships with third parties would be essential to delivering this service. A future strategy might also see a business model emerge where this kind of contextual crowdsourced information could be packaged and provided to TMCs to support system management and performance monitoring.

The TMC should confer with multiple groups to determine requirements for this strategy. These include:

  • Communications/Public Information Office;
  • Planning;
  • Maintenance; and
  • IT/Information Systems.

Related Trends: Performance Monitoring and Management; Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.9 Strategy: Provide Incentive for Drivers to Participate in Crowdsourcing

A successful strategy that utilizes crowdsourced information needs to provide some level of incentive for users to participate. Some models for obtaining this data (such as speed and location information being obtained from Bluetooth devices) do not require formal “opt in” for data to be provided. In many instances, a smart phone or Smartphone application may transmit user location data without the user realizing it is being used. Privacy is a big concern among many users, in spite of the growing proliferation of personal information being exchanged with social media sites. A very recent news article (McCullagh, 2012) highlighted that a major wireless provider was selling information about user locations, app usage and web browsing activities. While users are able to “opt out” of this activity, many users are likely unaware that they are opted in by default. This raises important concerns in a mobile and connected environment, where more and more potential information about users can be extracted from mobile devices.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, as many freeway management programs were emerging, DOTs and TMCs were faced with educating the public about the true purpose of CCTV, which was to monitor traffic conditions, detect incidents, and that policies were in place to safeguard privacy of the public.

For a crowdsourced strategy to be successful and be viewed as a positive program for users to participate in, the TMC will need to:

  • Demonstrate how information will be obtained and be used;
  • Clearly allow for an opt- in or opt-out;
  • Define and share a strict privacy policy and operating principles that emphasize privacy; and
  • Show how this kind of real-time information will contribute to more effective transportation system operations, more reliable travel times.

One very successful private sector traveler information system that relies on crowdsourced information is Waze. As of July 2012, the company reported 20 million downloads of its app (iOs, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile). Waze gathers information about users’ locations, geographic landmarks, amenities, and also allows users to contribute specific information about congestion, incidents, as well as updates to road names, numbers, etc. Waze also uses anonymous information about users’ speed and location, which is then used to improve the information and navigation features. Waze also builds in an entertainment component, essentially combining video game and navigation support. Waze clearly articulates as part of its terms of use that location-based services are dependent on obtaining user location data; if users do not want to transmit that information, they will not have access to the real-time features.

This model is not likely suited for DOT or TMC operations, but there are elements of this successful model that TMCs can consider, including:

  • Showing value of information quid-pro-quo (by obtaining this anonymous user information we are able to provide more accurate and route-specific traveler information); and
  • Utilizing information about users to improve information provided by the TMC.

Successful strategies in crowd sourcing and providing an incentive for drivers to participate in crowd-sourcing is highly beneficial in road-weather integrated Smartphone applications, such as Utah DOT’s traffic application, which is fundamentally based on weather warnings and alerts. Agencies can have other built in capabilities, but weather is most commonly a driving force.

Related Trend: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.10 Strategy: Partner with the Private Sector to Facilitate Social Media Outlets and Realize Cost Efficiencies.

TMCs that don’t have the means to create and manage their own social media accounts can team up with the private sector as a way to provide traveler information. The third party will take the data and traffic information supplied by the TMC and disperse it to the social media accounts. Third parties can customize an application that will take a message input from the TMC operator and send it out to multiple social media sites, thus consolidating the amount of time spent on updating multiple accounts.

Related Trends: Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

Icon - Social media for traveler information and crowdsourcing.4.2.4.11 Strategy: As More Traveler Information Content is Available to Travelers through Third-Party Apps, TMCs Can Focus on Providing Content that Third Parties Would Not Have, Such as Construction and Estimated Time to Reopen Lanes

TMC operators have the local knowledge that can enhance traveler information and supplement the data provided by third party apps. Instead of TMCs spending resources on designing a user-friendly interface for construction closures and other local events that could impact traffic patterns, TMCs in some markets can rely on third party Smartphone apps to disseminate that information. Drivers receive a more complete picture of current and on-going roadway incidents on freeways and adjacent arterial routes that would directly impact their travel patterns.

Related Trends: A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure; Involvement of Third Parties in Data Collection, Data Analysis, and Provision of Traveler Information

4.3 Cross-Reference between Trends and Strategies

As previously noted, each strategy has a primary association to one of the eight top trends. That association was used to organize the strategies in sections 4.1 and 4.2 above. The description of each strategy also listed additional related trends. Those relations are secondary associations between strategies and trends.

To illustrate the primary and secondary associations, Figure 10 below shows sample strategies with sample trends. For example, the green arrow between Strategy #4 and Trend C indicates that Strategy #4 has a stronger association with Trend C than with any other trend. The orange arrow between Strategy #4 and Trend A indicates that Strategy #4 can also help address Trend B, but it is secondary association rather than a primary association. There can be multiple secondary associations between strategies and trends.

Figure 10: Illustration of Primary and Secondary Associations among Trends and Strategies

Graphic - A graphic showing the primary and secondary associations among trends and strategies. Trend A, B, C, and D are listed along the top, and Strategy 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 down the left side. Strategy 1 and Trend A are shown to have a primary connection. Strategy 4 and Trend C also have a primary connection. Strategy 2 and Trend A have a secondary connection. Strategy 2 and Trend C also have a secondary connection. Strategy 4 and Trend A have a secondary connection, as do Strategy 5 and Trend C.
(Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff)

To help TMC operators quickly see which strategies can be used to address a particular trend as well as which trends a particular strategy will be useful for, a version of Figure 10 was created with all 80 strategies and 8 trends. However, it is a table and instead of arrows between trends and strategies, when there is an association between a trend (in columns) and a strategy (in rows), the intersecting cell is shaded. When the cell is shaded green with a green 1, it denotes a primary association and when the cell is orange with an orange 2, it denotes a secondary association.

Thus, to see all of the strategies that address a specific trend, find the trend’s column and read down. For each row that is shaded, the strategy in the row is applicable. To find all of the trends that a strategy is applicable to, find the row of the strategy and read across. For each column that is shaded, the corresponding trend is related.

The table of trends and strategies is Table 2 below. It also includes the section number of each strategy for quick reference.

Awareness of changing and limited TMC-related budgets has led to the identification of the strategies within each trend that could be used with limited budgets or even save TMC-budgeted expenditures. Such strategies are identified with the “$.”

Table 2: Top Trends with Applicable Strategies to be Considered by TMC Operators
Empty cell A Nimble Service-Oriented Program Mindset and Organizational Structure Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Concept and Toolkit Accommodating Toll and other Pricing Operations in TMCs Performance Monitoring and Management Automation Tools and Related Tools to Increase Efficiency Involvement of Third Parties in Data and Traveler Information Mobile Communications and Wireless Networks Social Media for Traveler Information and Crowd sourcing
4.1.1.1 Foster an Agency Culture of Embracing Technological Change Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.1.1.2 Create a TMC Operator Training Program Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.1.3 Enhance Operational Communication, Which Will Promote a Culture of Open Communications Among Staff. Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.1.4 Develop Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Inter-Agency Agreements Facilitating Multi-Agency (sometimes Multi-State) Cooperation & Operations Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.1.5 Create New Technology Piloting and Testing Program Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell
4.1.1.6 Develop Skill sets of TMC Managers in Areas of Contracting, Privacy, Security, and Intellectual Property Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.1.1.7 Adopt Standards on TMC Related Equipment and Processes Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.1.8 Use Open-Source or Non-Proprietary Software when Possible Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.1.9 Require Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Document for Future Development Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.1.1.10 Require Documentation on All Systems and Software - Include Search Capabilities and Provide Remote Accessibility Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.1.1.11 Follow the Systems Engineering Processes Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.1 Implement a Suite of Emerging Transportation Concepts, Coordinating as Necessary Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.2 Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.3 Active Traffic Management (ATM) Which May Include Lane Use Control, Variable Speed Limits (VSL), and Hard Shoulder Running Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.4 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.5 Portable Work Zone ITS Systems Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.1.2.6 Regional or Multi-State Coordination of Detours and Traveler Information Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.1.2.7 Provide Real-Time Travel Time Estimates on Full Range of Devices and Systems Available Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

 Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.1.2.7 Display Transit Info on Parallel Route DMS (Possibly with Comparative Travel Time and/or Parking Availability) Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.9 Parking Management Including Dissemination of Real-time Garage Space on DMS and through Apps Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.1.2.10 Arterial Management with ITS Devices such as Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), and Remote Access to Traffic Signal Controllers Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.11 Integrate Ramp Metering Schemes with Adjacent Arterial Signal Timing to Minimize Conflicts with Ramp Queues Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.12 Adaptive Signal Control Technologies (ASCT) Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.13 Transit Signal Priority (TSP) Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.14 Road Weather Integration Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.15 Weather-Responsive Signal and Ramp Meter Timing Plans Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.16 Develop Protocols and Maintenance Program to Address Increased Number and Complexity of ITS Field Devices Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.17 Co-locate Freeway & Arterial Transportation Management Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.18 Promote Coordination with Arterial Management Agencies Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.2.19 Look for Opportunities to Share Resources with other Agencies (e.g., communication networks, cameras) Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.3.1 Develop Protocols for Operations (Such as Pricing and Ops for Diversions to HOT Lanes During Major Main Lane Incidents) during Early Feasibility Planning Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.3.2 Develop Protocols for Joint Operation of Freeways & Toll Roads during Early Feasibility Planning Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.3.3 Develop Protocols for Operations and Implementation of HOT Lanes with Variable Pricing During Early Feasibility Planning Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.3.4 Develop Protocols for Operations for Cordon Pricing for Congested Areas during Early Feasibility Planning Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.3.5 Consider Increased Network Reliability and Data Security Needs Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.1.4.1 Use Results of Performance Monitoring Related to Agency Goals to Support Funding Requests Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.4.2 Proactively Develop Performance Metrics Based on Staff Priorities as well as Agency Goals Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.4.3 Use Multiple Data Sources to Monitor System Congestion, Including to Support Travel Time Estimation Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.1.4.4 Consolidate Efforts to Develop Data Management Tools Across Agencies Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.4.5 Frequently Process and Distribute Measures of Effectiveness (MOE’s), Including to Operators, to Improve Operational Effectiveness Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.4.6 Utilize Features in Software to Track and Report Performance Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.1.4.7 Utilize On-Board Device data from Agency Vehicles to Monitor Pavement Condition Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.1.4.8 Train TMC Operators How to Use Performance Monitoring and How to Populate the Data Needed for Performance Monitoring Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.1 Use Advanced Graphical User Interfaces to Increase Operator Efficiency Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.2 Develop Decision Support Systems Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.3 Install Remote Power Cycling of Field Devices Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.1.4 Install Automatic Power Cycling of Field Devices Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.5 Specify Automation Features in Software Contracts Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.6 Consolidate Interfaces to or Consolidate Alert Systems across Agencies Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.7 Develop Default Sets of Traveler Information Messages across Devices (such as DMS) and Media for Quick Implementation during Recurrent Special Events or Incident Types/Sites Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.1.8 Utilize Low-Cost Low-Infrastructure Devices, such as Solar-Powered Pole-Mounted Traffic Sensors with Wireless Communications Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.1.9 Utilize Predictive Analysis and Forecasting for Anticipating Congestion Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.10 Because the Private Sector Often Develops the Automation Tools, Support Strong Participation to Provide Better Tailored Tools Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.11 Include Options for Manual Verification and Override to be used as Operators Fine Tune and Gain Confidence in New Applications Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.1.12 Develop a Data Fusion Engine to Merge Data from Multiple Sources, such as Travel Time Information Coming from Toll Tag Readers, Bluetooth Sensors, and/or Third-Party Providers Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.2.1 Develop Pre-qualifications or Standards Regarding Data Accuracy and Validation (Potentially Both for Data Received and Data Provided) Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.2.2 Provide Real-Time Data to Third Party App Developers Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.2.3 Share Data Among Agencies Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.2.4 Develop Protocols for Data Privacy and Confidentiality, including for Media and other Agencies Co-located in the TMC Observing otherwise Restricted Material Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.2.5 Utilize Private Sector Meteorological Services or In-House Meteorological Resources Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.2.6 Research Solutions that Others have used to Solve Similar Problems Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.2.7 Use Multi-Agency Procurement for Economies of Scale Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.2.8 Train TMC Operators on How to Interpret Alternate Data Sources to Support Operations Decision Making Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.2.9 Consider Use of Applicable Standards to Simplify Data Exchange, such as XML Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell
4.2.3.1 Coordinate with Information Technology (IT) Staff to Develop Firewalls and Other Security Protocols that are Effective without Limiting Functionality Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.3.2 Efficiently Expand Field Device Coverage and Operations Cost Using Wireless Networks Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell
4.2.3.3 Allow Appropriate Remote Access into TMC Software or Devices (primarily for Maintenance Staff and Appropriate Coordinating Staff from Partner Agencies) Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell
4.2.3.4 Utilize Commercial Mobile Devices and Apps to Support Collaboration between Freeway Service Patrol and Other Emergency Responders, TMC Operations Staff, and Field Maintenance Staff for Improved Communication and Enhanced Field Collaboration Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.3.5 Operate Mobile Command Centers or Satellite Centers with TMC Software Access Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell
4.2.4.1 Develop Procedures and Protocols for Use of Social Media Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.2 Foster Relationship among Agency Public Relations Groups Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.3 Co-Locate Traveler Information Provider Staff with TMC Staff and Agency Public Relations Staff Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.4.4 Support Two-Way Information Exchange Via Social Media Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.5 Designate a Larger or Statewide TMC to Take Responsibility for Social Media Alerts on Behalf of Multiple Agencies in a Region. Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.4.6 Provide Information through Social Media and Mobile Apps Focused on Pre-trip Planning to Minimize Driver Distraction (Near Term) Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.7 Utilize En-route Social Media (including Crowd sourcing) as Voice Activation Becomes More Common (Longer Term) Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.8 Utilize Crowd sourcing for traffic information, incident information, feedback on department performance, pavement roughness Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.4.9 Provide Incentive for Drivers to Participate in Crowd sourcing Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses
4.2.4.10 Partner with the Private Sector to Facilitate Social Media Outlets and Realize Cost Efficiencies. Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

Potentially feasible on limited budgets or may reduce budget expenditures
4.2.4.11 As More Traveler Information Content is Available to Travelers through Third-Party Apps, TMCs Can Focus on Providing Content on Core Mission (Such as Upcoming Construction and Estimated Time to Reopen Lanes) Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Empty cell Secondary trend that strategy addresses Empty cell Primary trend that strategy addresses

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