Intelligent Transportation SystemsIntelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, is the usage of sensor, computer, electronics and communication technologies and management strategies in a cohesive way. The goal is to improve the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation system. ITS applications in urban areas consist of roadside devices (such as electronic message boards, cameras, ramp meters, vehicle detectors, etc.). They are joined by a communications network and are linked to traffic management centers. There ITS professionals operate the system using real-time information and traffic management plans.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) established an ITS Joint Programs Office under the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) (http://www.its.dot.gov/) to coordinate the national ITS program activities. A national ITS architecture that provides a common framework for planning, defining and integrating ITS has been established (http://www.iteris.com/itsarch/). The MAG region is nationally known for innovations in planning and implementing ITS solutions. Many ITS applications are already at work in the MAG region on area freeways, arterials, and the transit system. The ITS Strategic Plan adopted by MAG is serving as the "regional roadmap for deploying ITS" projects and programs in the MAG region.

The ITS Committee consists of representatives from Federal Highway Administration, Arizona DOT, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Valley Metro, Arizona State University and sixteen MAG member agencies. The committee oversees the development of regional plans. These include the ITS Strategic Plan, Regional ITS Architecture operations planning necessary for integrated corridor management, and studies to support ITS infrastructure planning. These plans serve as the guide for investments in regional ITS infrastructure and in the use of technology-based solutions that manage and operate the region’s multimodal transportation system. The committee also suggests ITS applications on the arterial and freeway systems through projects in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The main focus of the committee is on publicly owned transportation facilities in the region. However a number of regional ITS applications provide real-time traffic information that support products and services from private sector ITS partners such as radio, TV and internet based traffic information services.

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Status of Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations

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Senior Program Manager - ITS and Safety
Sarath Joshua