Lesson

In deploying a comprehensive transit ITS program, develop strategies and requirements for planning, procurement, implementation, and ongoing operations.

Washoe County’s experience implementing a comprehensive transit ITS program.


May 2010
Reno; Nevada; United States


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

During the planning, procurement, implementation, and operations phases of its transit ITS program, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County, Nevada gathered considerable knowledge and lessons learned, a summary of which is presented below.

Planning
  • Select an agency project manager with the right skill set.
  • Identify champions to represent each user group in the agency.
  • Know the limitations of your agency’s labor contracts.
  • Conduct a review of your existing technologies.
Procurement
  • Designate the agency project manager as a single point of contact for the contractor.
  • Demand consistent support from the contractor.
  • Review your requirements one last time before requesting proposals.
  • Independently procure computer and network hardware when feasible.
  • Procure the right-sized systems.
  • Plan for operations and maintenance costs.

Implementation
  • Require the contractor to remain on-site after installation.
  • Prepare agency staff for the implementation process.
  • Involve maintenance and information technology (IT) staff in the installation process.
  • Seek a contractor who supports an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) process for equipping new vehicles.
  • Maintain an asset management list that details new IT inventory.
  • Implementation can be simplified by procuring all new hardware and software.
Ongoing Operations
  • Do not expect to see staff reductions after ITS technology implementation.
  • Have or obtain the ability to customize reports.
  • Have an independent dialog with other agencies that use same contractor.
  • Encourage creative uses of transit ITS.
  • Allow supervisors to use the automatic vehicle location (AVL) system.
  • Continue learning and training.
  • Ensure your system’s critical components can be maintained locally.
  • Reduce overall vehicular emissions from the increased use of transit and, as a result, potentially lesser use of cars.
RTC’s strategic focus on major priorities encompassing planning, procurement, implementation, and ongoing operations led to successful deployment and operations of its comprehensive transit ITS program. Independent project evaluators reported that RTC benefited significantly from implementing the ITS program in many ways, including better schedule adherence, increased ridership, reduced emissions, and increased customer satisfaction.


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Source

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study

Author: Tina Wu, Matt Weatherford, Ancila Kaiparambil, Linna Zhang

Published By: Federal Transit Administration U.S. Department of Transportation

Source Date: May 2010

Other Reference Number: FTA Report FTA- NV-26-7005-2010.1

URL: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/RTC_ITS_Eval_Study_section508.pdf

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Benefits From This Source

Automatic vehicle location (AVL) on Reno buses leads to nearly four percent increase in on-time performance for paratransit services and more comprehensive schedule adherence data to create more accurate schedules.

Estimated reduction of 9.37 million personal vehicle miles traveled and 4,252 metric tons of CO2 from increased transit ridership in Reno, Nevada.

Forty-five percent reduction in complaints by paratransit riders, 50 percent less missed trips due to mechanical problems, and a new trip planning tool for fixed-route riders introduced as part of ITS deployment in Reno.

Overtime hours for drivers reduced and no staff increase necessary to handle over 10 percent increase in transit ridership over six years.

Lessons From This Source

Be prepared to use local resources to service mission critical system components, and provide ongoing O&M training to maximize system benefits.

Consider procuring computer and network hardware independently when feasible and procure right-sized systems.

Define clear goals for a comprehensive transit ITS deployment program and track the achievement of those goals to evaluate program's success.

Designate the agency project manager as the single point of contact with the contractor and evaluate track record of contractor’s project management.

Develop requirements using widely accepted standards, preferably the open source compatible ones if available, and review those requirements immediately before requesting proposals from contractors.

Do not expect to see significant operations staff reductions due to implementing ITS technologies, but do expect service improvements using the same staff levels.

Encourage staff to find creative and efficient uses of ITS to improve operations through better communications.

Ensure that the management responsible for transit ITS planning is knowledgeable on agency’s labor contracts and how labor contracts affect effective utilization of ITS tools.

Expect agency's information technology (IT) operations and maintenance budget to increase in order to train qualified IT staff to maintain a new suite of hardware and software.

For a comprehensive transit ITS deployment program, select an agency project manager with skills in planning, information technology, and communications.

Identify champions early to facilitate communications, project management, and staff ownership for successful deployment of a comprehensive transit ITS program.

In deploying a comprehensive transit ITS program, develop strategies and requirements for planning, procurement, implementation, and ongoing operations.

Prepare agency staff for implementation of new ITS technologies and involve maintenance and information technology (IT) staff in the installation process.

To avoid project implementation delays and unanticipated costs, perform a thorough review of the existing technologies during the planning phase of a comprehensive transit ITS deployment.

To avoid surprises after implementation of a comprehensive transit ITS program, perform a detailed analysis of costs for operations and maintenance during the project planning phase.

Understand that the contractor’s availability to remain on site after the deployment of a comprehensive transit ITS is important, so is the contractor’s ability to work with the original equipment manufacturer.

Weigh in the advantages of procuring new information technology (IT) assets, and maintain an asset management system that details new IT inventory.

Lesson ID: 2011-00600