Lesson

Involve the private sector in the implementation of multiple advanced traveler information technologies.

Institutional lessons from a partnership to implement emerging ITS technologies in the Seattle metropolitan area.


30 May 2000
Seattle,Washington,United States


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

SmartTrek was a partnership of twenty public and private organizations that implemented emerging technologies to help improve the performance of the Seattle region’s existing transportation system. This project involved applying a range of different traveler information technologies. The project’s evaluation team determined that the success of the project was due, in part, to involvement of the private sector:
  • Encourage private sector involvement. Private sector involvement helps to reduce program risk and support on-time deployment of ITS projects. Benefits of private sector participation in ITS projects include the ability of the project team to take advantage of the unique strengths of the private sector.

The methods used to involve the private sector in SmartTrek were noteworthy. Private sector representatives were included from the project’s inception, were involved in developing the project proposal, and had a role in every aspect of the project’s development. The SmartTrek decision-making structure also included managers from the private sector. The resulting trusting relationships that were developed among the participants during some operational tests and enhanced within the project offered a significant benefit: some decisions about the direction of the project were based on faith in the parties involved.

As an example of the benefits of private sector involvement, a private sector organization was responsible for SmartTrek’s public relations and outreach program. This firm had unique experience and expertise in information dissemination and was able to distribute to a broad and varied audience compelling information about the benefits of ITS to the region. This breadth of experience in marketing and public relations has not been traditionally available to the public sector. Benefits to public sector interests, however, come with the development of opportunities for private sector involvement in ITS.

Although the diverse participants in SmartTrek faced several obstacles, none of them proved to be insurmountable or drastically affected the ITS deployments. The was due in part to the fact that the project team demonstrated flexibility and encouraged private sector involvement in almost all aspects of the project.


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Source

Seattle Metropolitan Model Deployment Evaluation Report

Author: Jensen, M., et al. (SAIC, Battelle, Mitretek, and Volpe)

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by SAIC for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: 30 May 2000

EDL Number: 13071

Other Reference Number: Report No. FHWA-OP-00-019

URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/jpodocs/repts_te/13071.pdf

Other Lessons From this Source

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center
206-543-3348
edm@u.washington.edu


Agency Contact(s):

Peter Briglia
Washington State Department of Transportation
206-543-3331
Briglia@u.washington.edu

Lesson Analyst:

Firoz Kabir
Noblis
202-863-2987
firoz.kabir@noblis.org


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Benefits From This Source

A model determined that incorporating arterial traffic flow data into the traveler information system in Seattle, Washington could decrease the number of stops by 5.6 percent.

A model found that coordinating fixed signal timing plans along congested arterial corridors leading into Seattle, Washington would help reduce the number of expected crashes by 2.5 percent and the frequency of fatal crashes by 1.1 percent.

Modeling indicated that coordinating fixed signal timing plans along congested arterial corridors leading into Seattle, Washington, and incorporating arterial traffic flow data into the traveler information system would reduce vehicle delay by 7 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

Simulation results indicated that vehicle emissions could be reduced by two percent if arterial traffic flow data were included in the traveler information system in Seattle, Washington.

Users of the Advanced Traveler Information System in Seattle, Washington were satisfied with the information on freeway and transit conditions provided via Web sites and a Traffic TV service.

Costs From This Source

An advanced parking information system was deployed as part of the Seattle Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative for $925,000; maintenance costs of the system hardware were estimated at 7% of the hardware capital costs.

Bus tracking capability was added to the Metro Online Web site as part of the Seattle Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative at a cost of $333,000.

Nineteen metropolitan North Seattle, Washington city signal systems were integrated at a cost of $1,755,000.

Software development was the key cost driver for the bus arrival and departure information system deployed as part of the Seattle Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative.

The total capital cost of the Seattle MMDI emergency operations centers project including equipment and planning/development costs were $151,700; O&M costs were approximately 5% of the equipment costs.

Lessons From This Source

Develop long-range plans to ensure the success and continuity of advanced traveler information systems.

Involve the private sector in the implementation of multiple advanced traveler information technologies.

Use an appropriate procurement mechanism to support the implementation of multiple advanced traveler information technologies.

Lesson ID: 2005-00118