Management, Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems
Getting the most out of the existing transportation system is an important goal of the TPB, notably by means of actively managing the system. Nationally, efficient system "management and operations" (M&O) has been promoted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
M&O encompasses the day-to-day actions and agency responses to the region's transportation system. Examples include routine activities such as reconstruction and maintenance, snow plowing and salting, providing real-time traveler information, and traffic signalization. Management of the transportation system in special circumstances is also important, such as traffic plans for special events, and also falls under the umbrella of M&O.
By focusing on the evolving technology of ITS and the day-to-day activities of M&O, TPB and the region's transportation operators and planners have a greater opportunity of providing more efficient and effective solutions to the region's transportation problems. TPB's Management, Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems (MOITS) Policy Task Force and MOITS Technical Subcommittee meet regularly to discuss coordination and ways in which transportation technology can improve congestion, safety, maintenance, and system efficiency. MOITS brings short-term operational needs into consideration as important input to the regional long-range transportation plan.
In 2010 a Strategic Plan for the MOITS Planning Program was developed. The strategic plan identifies projects and actions that will support effective M&O in the region, and advises member agencies on management, operations, and technology deployments for meeting common regional goals and objectives. The full plan as well as an Executive Summary are available on the MOITS Strategic Plan web page.
Advanced technologies are also key to M&O. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are defined in the transportation field as the application of current and evolving technology (particularly computer and communications technology) to transportation systems. Examples include up-to-the-minute traffic and transit information, traffic detection systems, and advanced technology traffic signals. Such technologies often show a particularly strong benefit-cost relationship and are good investments for the region.
Key focuses in the MOITS program include:
The Regional ITS Architecture provides a technical communications blueprint for systems engineering of transportation-related information systems.
Traveler information, especially real-time information, is growing in importance for its role in managing transportation system demand.
When events reach the level of a regional public safety emergency, such as severe weather, major disasters, terrorism, or other catastrophes, transportation becomes a support function to emergency management agencies and leadership. TPB coordinates with COG's emergency preparedness programs, where these major issues are addressed.