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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

Executive Summary

Transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) provides tools for transportation managers to address safety, system performance, and reliability. TSMO is "an integrated set of strategies to optimize the performance of existing infrastructure through the implementation of multimodal and intermodal, cross-jurisdictional systems, services, and projects designed to preserve capacity and improve security, safety, and reliability of the transportation system." 1 Through participation in the second Strategic Highway Research Program workshops, transportation agencies are working to better support TSMO programs. Deploying intelligent transportation systems (ITS), hiring internal information technology staff, and using performance measures for data-driven decisions are just a few examples of the many opportunities that a TSMO program can support.

Given the varying stages of TSMO adoption and advancement, the Federal Highway Administration identified the need for case studies to provide examples of common challenges and best practices for transportation agencies to learn from each other. This is one of 12 case studies developed to support organizing for TSMO. This case study focuses on how applying the systems and technology component of TSMO can improve operations and help reduce challenges faced by agencies, including:

  • Standardizing systems engineering into the agency processes.
  • Managing ITS and technology systems.
  • Interoperability between differing systems.
  • Implementing regional architectures.

Four agencies with mature systems and technology programs within their TSMO programs were interviewed: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Ohio Department of Transportation (OhioDOT), and Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). Each agency provided information on how they managed systems and technology challenges, their lessons learned, and the next steps to continually improve these efforts. Some of the best practices identified include:

  • ODOT's staff management and planning efforts to implement a statewide ITS architecture.
  • GDOT's development and implementation of a Qualified Product List.
  • OhioDOT's alignment of information technology and ITS departments to streamline managing technology.
  • UDOT's development of a statewide traffic signal system.
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