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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Organizing for TSMO
Case Study 2: Systems and Technology – Utilizing ITS Architecture to Advance TSMO

Chapter 3 - Summary

Each transportation agency has different approaches when addressing systems and technology. For some agencies, the emphasis is on optimizing departments and staff based on systems and technology needs. For other agencies, the emphasis is on the different types of technologies to be used. However, both of these areas must be emphasized to make the best use of systems and technology. Keeping up with the pace of technology is difficult but proper planning and efficient use of resources provides an environment that fosters advancement. All agencies interviewed for this case study had several key lessons learned that support the advancement of systems and technology in their TSMO programs:

  • Having the right mix of disciplines, especially in an ITS department, is critical to creating and managing a robust ITS network. This area involves multiple skill sets to succeed. Selecting staff that meet these needs will ensure that the required areas of expertise are available to advance systems and technology.
  • Combining appropriate departments or changing responsibilities can increase efficiencies for decision-making as well as align staff to contribute to a common goal. Modern systems and technology require planning and coordination among different areas of an agency.
  • Managing and using technology the right way is critical to achieving TSMO goals. From increasing efficiency to gaining new insights from data, technology affects how agencies operate and can help realize large-scale changes that promote better use of transportation systems.

The benefits of using systems and technology to enhance the operation and efficiencies of transportation networks are proven. Examples include: mitigating arterial transportation challenges using automated traffic signal timing and performance measures; improving system reliability by deploying traffic management centers to monitor traffic flow; and enhancing safety in work zones by deploying traveler information systems, among others. The best practices identified in this case study can inform agency administration and leadership on the value of implementing systems and technology in day-to-day operations.

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