Integrate with the state and National Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture and develop systems using open standards and established guidelines.

The experience of several states in the implementation of ITS to rural transit.

California,United States; Iowa,United States

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Lesson Learned

Communications and interoperability between agencies becomes much easier if all the agencies in one state have the same system or equipment. This permits information to flow between those agencies in a seamless fashion and allows agencies to blend services if and when the agencies feel it is in the customer’s best interests. For example, there may be a "route planning" program for the entire state that combines information from all the agencies, or there may be a smart card that can be used throughout a state. Efforts to achieve interoperability also may receive additional funding from the federal government, as such efforts support current federal initiatives for regional solutions and standards.
  • Create a system that allows the state to manage the implementations as a whole and to tie in each individual transit agency. In Iowa, interoperability between all local transit operators in the state is the basis of the statewide intelligent transportation system (ITS) architecture. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed a template for agreements and contracts for ITS, and if the transit agencies would like to participate in the statewide programs, they must sign on and agree to its terms. At this time, each agency has a system that can only be accessed by that agency, and there is no sharing of information.
  • Develop standards that can be easily understood by the agencies that will adhere to them as part of the ITS Architecture Guidelines. The California DOT, in conjunction with the California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University developed a conceptual framework for ITS solutions based on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National ITS Architecture Guidelines and the National Transit Coordinate Interface Protocol (TCIP) to ensure uniformity and compatibility with other systems. Open standard transit management software was developed by Cal Poly to govern the system. It was developed using open source code so that others can understand and adapt the program as necessary. The technology solutions also included:
    • AVL/GPS.
    • dynamic messaging signs for real-time information run on solar power.
    • central dispatch software and real-time web maps on bus locations.
    • silent alarms for emergency situations.
    • radio frequency modems for transmission of digital data over voice radio links.
    • MDTs.
    • card reader inputs for magnetic or electronic fare media.
In most cases, integration with state and National ITS Architecture is imminent, making it wise for rural transit agencies to develop systems using open standards and established guidelines. This way, integration is more easily achieved. In the development of standards and guidelines it is important for state DOTs to ensure they will be easily understood by the agencies developing systems under such guidelines.

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Strategies to Expand and Improve Deployment of ITS in Rural Transit Systems

Author: Robert J. Reilly, et al

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 2/1/2005

URL: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_84v6.pdf

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Lesson Contact(s):

Jeff Nazareno
Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc

Agency Contact(s):

Jeffrey Rumrey
Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska
(308) 865-5677

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2007-00371