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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 25, 2000
Contact: Susan Slye
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 37-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces Proposals To Help Speed Use of Intelligent Transportation Systems

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced proposed rules that would lead to faster incorporation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) on U.S. streets and highways.

Two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and a request for comment are intended to speed ITS deployment locally by requiring planners to consider integration and interoperability during the planning and project development process. Such consideration would help stakeholders incorporate ITS integration and interoperability strategies early in the planning process, and thus reduce the possibility of costly, incompatible systems in the future.

"By helping to reduce traffic congestion and speed motorists to their destinations, these proposals for ITS would benefit all," Secretary Slater said. "Our actions today represent another step forward in advancing President Clinton and Vice President Gore's initiative to make our communities more livable."

The proposed rules culminate a multi-year U.S. Department of Transportation initiative that included listening sessions around the country. The proposals emphasize the need to develop an ITS integration strategy as part of the transportation planning process. They further require development of an ITS regional architecture, based on the national ITS architecture, to which subsequent ITS projects will adhere. They also encourage the use of applicable ITS standards and interoperability tests and require the use of those standards that USDOT will adopt in the future.

USDOT plans to hold seven public briefings within the 90-day comment period associated with these proposals to explain the content of the ITS architecture and standards provisions and to encourage public input into the final rulemaking.

The NPRMs are titled "Statewide Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation Planning" and "Intelligent Transportation System Architecture and Standards." The request for comment is titled "Request for Comment on the FTA National ITS Architecture Consistency Policy for Project Development."

The proposed rulemakings respond to provisions in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) requiring ITS projects funded from the highway trust fund (including the mass transit account) to conform with the national ITS architecture and comply with applicable or provisional standards and protocols.

The proposals and request for comment were posted May 19 on the Federal Register's web site, http://www.nara.gov/fedreg/. Further information also is available at USDOT's ITS web site, http://www.its.dot.gov.

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