Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, is the application of advanced sensor, computer, electronics and communication technologies and management strategies in an integrated manner to improve the overall 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.) integrated by a communications network, and linked to central Traffic Management Centers where ITS professionals operate the system using real-time information and traffic management strategies.

At the national level, USDOT has established an ITS Joint Programs Office under the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) ( 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 ( 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 in December 2012 is currently serving as the "regional roadmap for deploying ITS" projects and programs in the MAG region.

The MAG ITS Committee is a technical committee that 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 provides oversight to the development of regional plans, such as the ITS Strategic Plan, the Regional ITS Architecture operations planning necessary for Integrated Corridor Management, and studies to support ITS infrastructure planning. These plans serve as the overall roadmap for investments in regional ITS infrastructure and in the application of technology-based solutions for managing and operating the regional multimodal transportation system. The committee also recommends ITS applications on the arterial and freeway systems through projects that are programmed in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The primary 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 value added 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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