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Secretary Foxx Announces $474 Million for 52 TIGER 2013 Projects in 37 States
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that 52 projects in 37 states will receive approximately $474 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants this year from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Among these, 25 projects funded at $123.4 million are designated for projects in rural areas of the country, including $1,451,450 for the Minnesota DOT to install intersection conflict warning systems at 15 rural, stop-controlled intersections across the state. The warning system will inform vehicles of intersection conflicts so drivers can better judge gaps in traffic, significantly reducing the potential for collisions at intersections with the warning system. ITS America recognized the project with our Smart Solution Spotlight award for its innovative use of technology to improve rural highway safety.
The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority was awarded $10 million to enhance Bus Rapid Transit services by installing equipment to give buses signal priority at intersections along high traffic corridors. The city will also install new bus shelters, pedestrian improvements and other ITS devices (such as real-time bus arrival and departure signs) throughout the transit system.
Florida International University (FIU) will receive $11,397,120 to support an innovative package of technology, streetscaping and transit improvements to connect the FIU campus with the town of Sweetwater with the goal of increasing access to jobs and linking two portions of campus that are currently disconnected. TIGER funds will be used to construct a new pedestrian bridge over a busy arterial road, and to utilize ITS technology to help students, university staff and community members move efficiently to and through the FIU campus via an advanced electronic way finding system. This unique combination of computing technology, transit station improvements and pedestrian-oriented infrastructure is expected to increase transit ridership and reduce congestion.
Several other projects also utilize ITS, including the I-20/Vicksburg Mississippi River Bridge rehabilitation project, which will use advanced technologies to monitor bridge conditions and incidents for more effective traveler and freight movement.
"These transformational TIGER projects are the best argument for investment in our transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Together, they support President Obama's call to ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing infrastructure, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation's economic growth."
The highly competitive TIGER program offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large, multi-modal projects that often are not suitable for other funding sources. These federal dollars leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled more than $9 billion, far exceeding the $474 million set aside for the program.
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ITS America MOU with AASHTO and ITE initiates a National Center of Excellence for Operations
This past Friday, Scott Belcher, President and CEO of ITS America joined Bud Wright, the Executive Director of AASHTO and Tom Brahms, President of ITE, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding among the three organizations to work together to create a National Center of Excellence for Operations to support effective transportation system management and operations throughout the country.
The Center will help provide leadership in support of the operations community, promote knowledge development and transfer, identify research needs and best practices and guidance, organize workshops and training, and facilitate peer to peer relationships and community forums.
This is a great opportunity for the transportation community, comprised as it is of public agencies, research institutions, and private companies, to come together in support of smart transportation solutions for highway operations. ITS America appreciates the Federal Highway Administration for spearheading this initiative and look forward to partnering with our colleague associations to offer a cross-cutting perspective that will further the deployment of technologies to address highway system congestion, safety and reliability.
Highlights from the National Rural ITS Conference
The National Rural ITS Conference was held over Aug. 25-28 in St. Cloud, Minn. It was attended by more than 250 public and private ITS professionals, along with 30 exhibitors, showcasing the latest innovations in ITS for rural communities. The conference was attended by many of the nation's leading experts that have worked with the rural community and continue to help implement ITS projects in our communities.
The technical sessions featured in depth discussions between presenters, panelists and participants providing a multitude of collaboration and learning opportunities. The rural community also provided valuable comments to James Pol, Team Leader, Program Management and Evaluation at U.S. DOT and the U.S. DOT team working on the next update to the ITS strategic plan. Many thanks to the NRITS Conference Planning and Local Arrangements Committees as well as ITS Minnesota, the Rural Special Interest Group of ITS America and to Meetings Northwest, the meetings manager.
The Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) also hosted a series of sessions at the National Rural ITS Conference where they highlighted some of the newest ways in which transportation professionals and emergency responders are working together to respond to incidents, special events and disasters.
The TSAG also met in Minneapolis to discuss furthering the outreach and education efforts to Federal, State and Local DOTs on how the transportation and first responder community can promote increased efficiencies and safety all around the nation. All of the members of TSAG are volunteers from modal-specific associations and organizations such as police, fire, emergency medical services as well was the DOTs committed to driving the next response between emergency responders and transportation professionals.
ITS America Welcomes New Members in August
Please join ITS America in officially welcoming two new member organizations, Miovison and Green Driver, Inc. to the association.
Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Miovision's goal is to provide their customers the solutions and tools they need to effectively manage their transportation projects, from data collection to adaptive signal control. Founded in 2005, Miovision has over 450 customers across five continents with hundreds of deployments in the field.
Based in Eugene, Ore., Green Driver's exclusive real-time traffic signal monitoring and prediction offers the only technology that can connect vehicles and traffic signal infrastructure today. And it does it with short time horizons and negligible infrastructure costs. This data helps drivers, automakers, municipalities and Location Based Services solution providers improve the driving experience and reduce fuel consumption.
Not yet an ITS America member? For information on how to join ITS America, our mission, and how membership could benefit your organization, contact Jennifer Harrison, Membership Coordinator, at (202) 721-4203.
Meeting of the Minds 2013
Meeting of the Minds
From Sept. 9-11, 2013, Meeting of the Minds will convene an international summit of 350 invited urban sustainability and connected technology leaders in Toronto, Ontario. The summit will explore a rich variety of strategic investments, smart policies and breakthrough technological innovations — all designed to enable cities and regions to better respond to increasingly complex urban planning, design, technology and development challenges.
Click here, for more information and to register. Join the conversation online using @MeetingoftheMinds and #motm2013.
Leadership in Transportation: New Perspectives on Safe and Sustainable Transportation
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
The U-M Transportation Research Institute and Toyota invite you to attend Leadership in Transportation: New Perspectives on Safe and Sustainable Transportation, a series of informative and engaging conversations with leaders in transportation.
Next in the series will be Soren Hess, general manager of the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium
The consortium's mission is to develop and deploy Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) all over Europe. Hess is also chairman of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute on Intelligent Transport Systems, developing standards on application and facility layer, transport and access layer, management and security.
The event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at 3 p.m., in the North Campus Research Complex, Building 10, Research Auditorium with a reception to follow. To RSVP for the event please send an email to: UMTRI-ToyotaRSVP@umich.edu.
ITS Georgia Annual Meeting and Expositions — September 15-17
Join transportation professionals from around the country and Southeast for the 2013 Intelligent Transportation Society of Georgia Annual Meeting and Expositions, Sept. 15–17, at beautiful Callaway Gardens, Ga.
Scheduled speakers include Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden and ITS America President and CEO Scott Belcher. Topics include: Rural ITS Solutions, Successful ITS Project Delivery, ITS Improvements for Arterials and Improvements in Signals. Come see and try out the latest in ITS products from a wide variety of manufacturers and vendors.
EDM INC. a Manufacturer of Technically Advanced Printed Products. Including Magnetic Stripe, RFID Cards and Tickets. EDM, supplying the Transit Industry for over 25 years.
Upcoming Webinar: National Freight Strategic Plan Overview — Sponsored by Commercial Vehicle and Freight Mobility Forum
U.S. DOT is in the process of developing a comprehensive National Freight Strategic Plan. In order to inform this process, a National Freight Advisory Committee has been established. This presentation will give a brief overview of the National Freight Strategic Plan, including its goals and an update on its implementation status.
When: Friday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. Eastern
Speaker: Randell Iwasaki, Executive Director, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
If you are interested in participating, please email Sean Murphy, Transportation Program Specialist at ITS America.
7th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium
Transportation Research Board
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is hosting their 7th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium on Oct. 23-25, 2013, in Irvine, Cali. The theme of this year's conference is Visualization for Big Data. As big data has exploded onto the scene in the last few years, the need for transportation agencies and companies to visualize this data is more critical than ever.
Some of the featured speakers include: Research and Innovative Technology Administration Deputy Administrator Greg Winfree (invited); FHWA Chief Scientist, Office of Research, Development, and Technology, Jonathan Porter; U.S. DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics Director, Patricia Hu; Walt Disney Imagineer for Environmental Design and Engineering, Eddie Moreno; and MIT Media Lab Alum, Author of "Visualizing Data" and principal of Fathom, Ben Fry.
Join TRB in California where industry leaders will exchange ideas on best practices and new techniques in visualization.
Inrix Traffic Demos Google Glass as a HUD in the Car
Lately there's been a lot of hubbub about the use of head-up displays (HUDs) to increase safety by helping drivers to keep their eyes on the road while driving and navigating. Inrix, provider of traffic data and services, is also working on getting into the HUD business, but instead of projecting relevant information onto the vehicle's windshield, it's demonstrating a concept that makes use of Google Glass to float traffic data before the driver's very eyes.
HELP Elects New Leadership
HELP Incorporated, the public-private partnership that provides PrePass and other truck safety services throughout North America, elected new officers and executive committee members during its 20th Annual Meeting in Park City, Utah.
HERE Connects the Car to the Cloud — Introducing the Most Complete Connected Driving Offer on the Market
HERE, a Nokia business, announced a complete Connected Driving offer, the only end-to-end driving solution on the market, which will help car makers and in-vehicle technology suppliers connect the car and the driver to the cloud.
The offering includes HERE Auto, HERE Auto Cloud and HERE Auto Companion. In addition, HERE has radically improved its Traffic product, HERE Traffic, by building a new system to process data even faster and more accurately than before. The HERE Connected Driving offering will be demonstrated at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, starting on Sept. 10.
The Intersection of Transportation and Social Media
According to Brian Bushner: I have always had a fascination with transportation systems. I clearly love social media too.
When I can find a situation where both paths cross, count me in!
New York state actually is a pioneer when it comes to mixing social media with traffic data. The New York State Department of Transportation has been using social media since June of 2009.
Honda Thinks Smartphones Can Save Pedestrians From Bad Drivers
Smartphones are too often a colossal distraction to motorists, but Honda sees a way of using them to protect pedestrians from inattentive drivers.
The automaker hopes to tap into pedestrians' phones to alert passing drivers to their presence. The technology — dubbed Vehicle-to-Pedestrian — uses a smartphone's GPS and dedicated short range communications to warn drivers when a pedestrian steps out from behind a parked car or other obstruction. A light flashes on the dashboard to tell the driver of an approaching pedestrian, while the hapless walker gets an alert on their smartphone.
Los Angeles Replaces Parking Pay Stations with State-of-the-Art Meters
Los Angeles Times
Drivers lucky enough to find a parking space along a popular commercial stretch of Los Angeles' Larchmont Boulevard will no longer have to search for a pay station and remember their space number.
City officials removed 16 pay stations between 1st Street and Beverly Boulevard that drew complaints from unhappy motorists who struggled with the machines and said they were ticketed while waiting in line to pay. In place of the pay stations, street parking spots now have individual meters that officials say will simplify parking and eliminate accidental tickets.
First, Smart Cars. Next, Smart Transport Grids
Haunted by the nightmare of global traffic paralysis, Ford Motor executive chairman William Ford Jr. has a global dream.
Given current growth trends, the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion people by mid-century. That also means a quadrupling in the number of cars to 4 billion by 2050 — and that, said Ford, is a recipe for global gridlock that he argues will become "a human rights issue, not just an inconvenience."
Keeping a Connection, Even on the Open Road
The New York Times
While distracted driving is a problem in any vehicle, the consequences are potentially greater on a motorcycle. So the designers of communication headsets for riders face a decision in striving to make systems safe to use. Is it better to have several buttons, each assigned to a separate function, or fewer buttons that require riders to learn a code for different features? (Perhaps one tap for intercom, two taps for music.)
With a Few Clicks, Boston Parents Can Locate School Buses on Computers or Smartphones
It is a never-ending question each morning from John St. Amand's 10-year-old daughter: Where is the school bus? Now St. Amand, of West Roxbury, can pull out his smartphone and call up a Boston public school website where he can find the exact location of the bus, allowing him to estimate its arrival time.
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