Develop partnerships with state and local agencies to help successfully implement intelligent transportation systems (ITS) in rural transit.
The experience of several states in the implementation of ITS to rural transit.
California,United States; Nebraska,United States; Iowa,United States; Kansas,United States; Oregon,United States
The five agencies interviewed for this Transportation Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) report provided insight on how partnerships can be an effective tool in achieving the deployment of ITS in rural areas. Lessons learned, along with specific examples, are described below.
- Consider partnering with neighboring agencies and non-traditional stakeholders. These non-traditional stakeholders, such as universities and law enforcement, can provide additional resources and insight into solutions that may not have been considered.
- To examine low-cost ITS potential in rural California, the California Department of Transportation (DOT), in conjunction with the California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University at San Luis Obispo and the City of San Luis Obispo Transit (SLO Transit), performed a study and field test called Efficient Deployment of Advanced Public Transportation Systems (EDAPTS). While EDAPTS was limited to the San Luis Obispo area, the results and findings were intended to benefit transit agencies of similar size and disposition throughout the state.
- The Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska has two partners in its implementation of ITS in rural transit.
- The first partner is the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department. The partnership with the Sheriff’s Department occurs because the Sheriff has in-depth knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS). Because the Community Action Partnership has limited resources, subject matter experts are found in the local community wherever possible. The Sheriff’s Department provides the expertise for the system and receives benefits because it can control the bus dispatch. This feature is important when emergencies occur because the Sheriff’s Department can take control of the buses in times of natural disaster or for security reasons. Also, the Sheriff’s Department provided $71,000 of the $150,000 necessary for this implementation.
- The second partnership is with Metro Area Transit (MAT) in Omaha. During the procurement, the Community Action Partnership’s mobile data terminal (MDT) vendor went bankrupt, forcing the Community Action Partnership to look for other options. MAT was looking for partners for a statewide Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)/MDT system. A joint procurement, along with technology sharing, was agreed upon, though these projects have yet to come to fruition.
- The price of equipment will drop and will become more affordable to rural agencies. If a state DOT becomes involved with the procurement and offers that procurement to all the rural agencies in the state, the procurement grows to a size that will then interest vendors.
- If the state DOT evaluates the offerings of ITS solutions, that information can be communicated to smaller agencies, eliminating the need for each agency to perform its own investigation.
Developing partnerships with state and neighboring agencies assists rural transit providers in procuring and successfully implementing ITS technologies. State agencies and DOTs have the financial resources and subject matter experts that may not be available to rural and non-urban transit agencies, so it is best to consolidate efforts to eliminate redundancy and reduce funding expenditures. Partnering with neighboring agencies and non-traditional stakeholders allows rural transit agencies to expand their knowledge base and develop unique approaches to solving complex issues related to transit ITS implementation at the rural level.
Author: Robert J. Reilly, et al
Published By: Transportation Research Board
Source Date: 2/1/2005URL: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_84v6.pdf
Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc
Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
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