Office of Operations Real Time Traveler Information Program
Photo collage: dynamic message sign with congestion message, in-vehicle navigation device, transportation operations center control room, roadside sign for 511 traveler information, traffic information via the internet, and a freeway at night.
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Publications & Studies

Amber, Emergency, and Travel Time Messaging Guidance for Transportation Agencies - A report compiling dynamic message sign (DMS) messaging practices from across the country, specifically involving messages related to America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alerts, emergency/security, and travel times. The appendices are also very useful with results from interviews and a literature database of references for DMS.

Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) Implementation and Integration (PDF, 118KB) - This evaluation report presents key findings and effectiveness of the processes in eight categories used in the ATIS project.

Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) Implementation and Integration: Final Report (PDF, 80KB) - This final report includes an introduction, the research methods, the findings and conclusions, and a statement on implementation.

ATIS U.S. Business Models Review - November 2001 update to the collective understanding on Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) business models.

Best Practices for Road Condition Reporting Systems - This report compiles information received through a survey and interviews with transportation agencies throughout North America to understand the uses of Road Condition Reporting Systems (RCRSs) and to identify industry practices that have delivered benefits to the agencies operating RCRSs. A total of 49 Current RCRS Industry Practices, 7 Best Practices, and 3 Emerging Best Practices are described in this report.

Changeable Message Sign Operation & Messaging - The report documents the available empirical and analytical evidence that can be used by agencies to support policies, procedures, practices, and messages associated with the operation of changeable message signs.

Communicating With the Public Using ATIS During Disasters: A Guide for Practitioners - This document provides advice on use of Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) during disasters and is intended not only for state and local transportation agencies but for their partners in public safety and emergency management agencies. It offers practical guidance to managers of transportation management centers and emergency operations and to public information officers who may be called on to staff joint information centers during disasters.

Considerations of Current and Emerging Transportation Management Center Data - This report examines some of the fundamental aspects of using emerging data from third parties—understanding what is becoming available at the time of this publication, how it is collected, the business models used by the companies that sell it, and possible data use cases. Contract considerations for working with private sector data providers are discussed. The document also highlights business questions an agency can explore to determine the potential value of internal data assets, and summarizes the private sector's desire for agency-owned data.

Developing Traveler Information Systems Using the National ITS Architecture (PDF 2.74MB) - August 1998, PDF file requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Disseminating Traveler Information on Travel Time Reliability - Travel time variability is that characteristic of the transportation system that means a traveler's trip will vary from what is normally expected and will potentially take longer than planned. This transportation system characteristic is important for travelers and shippers. It also is a component of the congestion problem for which transportation agencies can make significant and measurable gains, even as travel demand grows. By providing the means to help travelers make travel choices that take into account travel time variability, agencies have the potential to reduce roadway congestion. This reduced congestion has the added benefit of reducing primary and secondary crashes, vehicle emissions, and fuel use, as well as yielding other benefits.

FHWA’s Public Roads article on "Gearing Up for SafeTrip-21" which seeks to spur deployment of the latest and best technologies to help reduce congestion.

Effectiveness of Disseminating Traveler Information on Travel Time Reliability: Implement Plan and Survey Results Report - The report presents lexicon phrases for disseminating Travel Time Reliability information and how to implement Travel Time Reliability into a traveler information program.

Effectiveness of Safety and Public Service Announcement Messages on Dynamic Message Signs - The report assesses the usefulness and effectiveness of safety and public service announcement (PSA) messages through surveys conducted in four urban areas in the United States: Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Orlando, FL; and Philadelphia, PA. The surveys were designed to specifically address the types of safety and PSA messages for each respective city. A total of 2,088 survey responses were received and analyzed. The report further captures findings and recommendations based on the analysis of the survey responses.

Greater Yellowstone Regional Traveler and Weather Information System (GYRTWIS) December 2003 - This Final Evaluation Report builds upon the ongoing GYRTWIS evaluation being conducted by the Western Transportation Institute / Montana State University (WTI/MSU). This evaluation complements WTI/MSU's GYRTWIS evaluation by investigating the following three areas: System impacts of 511 on usage and customer satisfaction; pavement thermal model accuracy; and case studies of the business model, institutional challenges & 511 implementation issues.

iFlorida Model Deployment Final Evaluation Report (FHWA-HOP-08-050) - This document is the final report for the evaluation of the USDOT-sponsored Surface Transportation Security and Reliability Information System Model Deployment, or iFlorida Model Deployment.

Intelligent Transportation Systems for Traveler Information: Deployment Benefits and Lessons Learned (EDL #14319) - This leaflet discusses how Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies can be used in traveler information to curb congestion and smooth traffic flow by advancing low-cost operational and technological improvements.

Model Deployment of a Regional, Multi-Modal 511 Traveler Information System (Electronic Document Library Number 14248 ) - This document presents the findings of the national evaluation of the 511 telephone traveler information system "Model Deployment" in Arizona. The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National 511 Model Deployment supported a wide range of enhancements to the existing statewide Arizona 511 system, including the addition of several new types of information and significant redesign of the user interface.

NCHRP Synthesis 383: Changeable Message Sign Messages During Non-Incident, Non-Roadwork Periods - This synthesis is to provide the state-of-practice concerning the display of messages during non-incident/non roadwork period.

NCHRP Synthesis 399: Real-Time Traveler Information Systems (PDF 4.72MB) - This TRB synthesis of highway practice explores the needs and expectations of travelers, the current status of a variety of traveler information systems in the United States, available and emerging data sources, and business models for sustaining traveler information. Adobe PDF file requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Portable Changeable Message Sign Handbook November 2003 - The purpose of this handbook is to present basic guidelines for the use of portable changeable message signs (PCMS). This handbook presents information on the PCMS and is intended to illustrate the principles of proper PCMS use.

Providing a Highway System with Reliable Travel Times - Transportation Research Board's (TRB) Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP) Web Document 3: Providing a Highway System with Reliable Travel Times details the research necessary to relieve highway congestion and improve the ability of commuters, shippers, and travelers to predict their trip time and reduce the amount of variation in their expected travel time.

Public Perception of Safety Messages and Public Service Announcements on Dynamic Message Signs in Rural Areas - The objective of this project was to assess the effectiveness and potential benefits of posting public service announcements (PSAs) in rural areas by surveying a variety of travelers in those areas, including local residents, tourists, and long-haul truck drivers. This project addressed a number of questions related to safety awareness and PSA messages on dynamic message signs (DMS), including: driver awareness, driver understanding, changes in driver behavior, and drivers' opinions.

Real-Time Traveler Information Market Assessment White Paper (PDF 7.2MB) - This report takes a multi-modal look at the "lay of the land" of the real-time traveler information market in the United States.

Real-time Traveler Information Services Business Models: State of the Practice Review - This State of the Practice Review documents a range of business models for real-time traveler information services, and provides 'real world' examples of how States and regions are developing partnerships and business plans within the business model frameworks.

The Roadway INFOstructure: What? Why? How? - This TRB Transportation Research Circular (EC057) summarizes an August 21-23, 2002, workshop in Irvine, California, which examined the Federal Highway Administration's vision for a Roadway INFOstructure.

Sharing Data for Traveler Information: Practices and Policies of Public Agencies - This report documents the current state of the practice, describing how the public and private sectors deal with data ownership and sharing, and examines policies aimed at facilitating data sharing and ultimately improving the quality and quantity of information that reaches travelers.

Synthesis of Variable Speed Limit Signs - Variable speed limit (VSL) systems utilize information on traffic speed, occupancy, and volume detection, weather, and road surface conditions to determine the appropriate speeds at which drivers should be traveling, given current roadway and traffic conditions. Based on a comprehensive literature review along with agency interviews to gather information on existing, deactivated and planned VSL systems, this synthesis provides a comprehensive review of current practices on VSL operations, particularly experiences from deployments in the U.S., and to identify successful and best practices from the following perspectives: planning and policy, design, deployment, and standards, operations and maintenance, and outcomes.

Travel Time Messaging on Dynamic Message Signs - Houston, TX (FHWA-HOP-05-051) - Read about how Houston developed travel time messaging.

Travel Time Messaging on Dynamic Message Signs - Nashville, TN (FHWA-HOP-05-050) - Read about how Nashville developed travel time messaging.

Travel Time Messaging on Dynamic Message Signs - Portland, OR (FHWA-HOP-05-048) - Read about how Portland developed travel time messaging.

Traveler Information Systems in Europe - This report presents the findings of the study team that participated in an International Technology Scanning Program tour to the countries of Spain, Germany, Sweden, Scotland, and England to learn about multimode traveler information systems and the business practices surrounding them.

Understanding and Predicting Traveler Response to Information - A review of the literature published as of mid-2001 on the topic of traveler response to real-time information at the individual and network levels.

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