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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
Contact: Bill Outlaw
Tel: 202-366-0660
FHWA 8-03

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces $10 Million in Funding for ITS Partnership with Florida

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced a partnership to conduct an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) model deployment with the Florida State Department of Transportation (Florida DOT). The U.S. Transportation Department's (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide Florida $10 million dollars in federal ITS funds for the project and Florida DOT will contribute more than $8 million in matching funds from state, local and private sector sources.

"Safety is the Bush Administration's highest transportation priority," Secretary Mineta said. "This partnership will create a model for states and jurisdictions across the country - a model that can be used to improve safety, security and mobility on America's roadways and public transportation networks."

The project will show how security, reliability, safety, incident response and the overall operational performance of the surface transportation system can be improved by making information, collected and disseminated by ITS, widely available in real time.

"We've made a major commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in Florida to improve our transportation network," said Governor Bush. "This advanced use of technology will produce real-time results in moving people and goods quicker, safer and more efficiently across our state."

The project, which is officially known as the "Surface Transportation Security and Reliability Information System Model Deployment," will be carried out under a cooperative agreement between USDOT and Florida DOT. The schedule calls for a two-year deployment.

Afterwards, a two-year operational evaluation will follow in which USDOT will work with Florida DOT to assess benefits so that lessons learned can be shared with other states and jurisdictions.

The project will demonstrate innovative techniques for collecting, integrating and using surface transportation data. While the project is statewide, specific components will be focused in Orlando, on the Florida intrastate highway system of freeways and major arterials, in the Cape Canaveral coastal area, and in Jacksonville.

In Orlando, vehicles equipped with toll tags will serve as probes, collecting data and providing travel-time information on the entire freeway and arterial network. Orlando's fleet of transit vehicles (including paratransit vehicles that assist special-needs travelers) will be equipped with automatic vehicle location technology to improve transit fleet management and provide riders with information on transit schedules and arrival times.

A new statewide reporting system will provide information on events, incidents, construction and other capacity restrictions on the entire Florida Intrastate Highway System. Road weather sensors will provide weather conditions information and forecasts and detect fog, high winds or flooding conditions. This information will help transportation officials control traffic, deploy maintenance crews and give travelers the information they need to plan trips. Statewide 511 telephone service will provide travelers with easy access to current travel times and weather conditions by roadway segment.

The Florida project will also provide for complete monitoring of the two major highway corridors, SR 528 and SR 520, that support hurricane evacuations from the Cape Canaveral coastal area. Travel time data will be collected on parallel arterials, giving transportation officials a complete picture of traffic flow, thus helping them direct traffic and manage an evacuation. The model deployment will also demonstrate and evaluate strategies for monitoring critical surface transportation infrastructure.

The FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) evaluated 17 proposals before selecting Florida for this partnership.

ITS improves transportation safety and relieves congestion through the application of traffic management, communication and information technologies. For additional information on ITS applications, go to USDOT's ITS website at http://www.its.dot.gov.

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