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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 8, 2000
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 6-00

FHWA, State, Local Transportation Agencies
To Explore Ways to Improve ITS Deployment, Overall Traffic

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced a six-year pooled-fund study to examine and improve the way state and local Transportation Management Centers (TMCs) gather, synthesize and disseminate traffic information.

The safety and efficiency of automobile and truck traffic largely depend on how well TMCs perform these core functions.

"Transportation Management Centers are often the focal point for deploying new Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies to improve safety, which is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," FHWA Kenneth R. Wykle said. "Bringing these agencies together for a national, comprehensive study is another way to help improve safety and ensure that the centers manage roadway traffic as effectively as possible."

TMCs commonly monitor traffic to detect incidents and unexpected congestion; control traffic signals and ramp meters; manage traffic around incidents and special events; dispatch emergency and service vehicles; and exchange information with other agencies.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia will join in the study which will bring together state and local agencies to address common operational issues. The participants include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. The study will begin this spring. Wykle said that other interested states are welcome to participate.

The TMC pooled-fund study participants will identify their most pressing issues and may address those issues in a number ways. In some cases, study members can choose to initiate original research projects. In other cases, a locality may have already implemented a successful solution, so the study might sponsor an informational program to assist other locales in implementing that solution.

The study participants represent a diversity of states and experiences with transportation management centers. Members include states that have been operating TMCs for more than 30 years as well as states that are planning their first TMC.

Pooled-fund studies are funded by states "pooling" their federal planning and research funds. These research, development, or technology transfer studies address problems of national significance and are usually administered by the FHWA in cooperation with states.

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