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Summary and Conclusions

This report documents how information and information services help transportation agencies to operate more efficiently and effectively. As determined from an extensive search of the literature and interviews with public- and private-sector experts, the value of information can be measured in terms of the following:

Although information services are valuable to transportation agencies, there are a number of areas where existing information programs and secondary sources should be improved. Specific areas for immediate improvement include:

Information is an investment. Transportation agencies that value information must be prepared to invest adequately in information services. Griffiths and King concluded that information programs cost between $400 and $1,000 per professional a year (in 1993 dollars). They proposed a guideline of one full-time information specialist for every 50 to 75 profession als in an organization. As new information products become available, an effective information program will require targeted funding in key areas. For example, on-line services put tremen dous amounts of information within reach of transportation professionals. If transportation agencies wish to make the most of these valuable services, they must invest not only in the services themselves, but also in adequate training for information specialists and other staff.

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Electronic version of Publication No. FHWA-SA-99-038
This page last updated August 18, 1999

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