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News: 2009 Archived News Items

Transportation, Technology and Academic Leaders Urge Congress to Advance Innovation and Technology Solutions in Transportation Bill

Public and Private Sector Leaders Call for Deployment of Intelligent Systems and Technologies that will Create a Safer, Cleaner, more Efficient, and more Financially Sustainable Transportation System

From the ITS America Letter:

Washington - A coalition of transportation and technology leaders - including state and local officials, industry and academic leaders, and prominent stakeholder organizations - is calling on Congress to focus federal funding in the surface transportation authorization bill on the deployment of smart technologies and innovative solutions in order to create a performance-driven, intermodal transportation system that is safer, cleaner, more efficient, and more financially sustainable for communities, businesses and the traveling public.

“As a result of successful research initiatives and private sector innovation, technologies are here today which can help increase safety, reduce congestion and emissions, boost competitiveness, improve system performance, and create more livable and sustainable communities,” the coalition wrote today to House transportation leaders. “While a continued and strengthened research role is still needed, it is critical that state and local agencies and private sector partners make better use of technology to modernize today's infrastructure and optimize existing capacity, while building smart and efficient roads, bridges, transit systems, and multimodal transportation options for tomorrow's transportation users.”

Highlights of the coalition's proposal include recommendations that Congress:

  • Incentivize Performance Improvements by linking transportation funding to specific, aggressive performance goals in areas such as traffic-related fatalities, traffic congestion, and travel times. The U.S. DOT should incentivize state and local agencies to achieve or exceed national goals, and should create a National Scorecard to publish data on performance results and improvements. In addition, a cost-benefit analysis of ITS solutions and operational strategies should be performed by agencies as part of their annual and long-range statewide and regional plans.
  • Put Smart Technologies to Work by providing public agencies and private sector partners with the tools to manage and improve the performance of their intermodal transportation systems. The coalition is supporting a proposal by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to allocate $3 billion per year for an Operations and Management program, and is urging Congress to dedicate at least $1 billion of this amount for deployment and intermodal integration of ITS to improve safety, reduce congestion, minimize emissions and facilitate mode choice, improve productivity, and optimize multimodal capacity, efficiency, and system performance. In addition, ITS and systems operations and management solutions should be encouraged as part of any congestion reduction, metropolitan mobility, air quality and climate change, safety, freight, transit, or other targeted initiatives.
  • Create Smart Towns and City Streets in which cars help prevent crashes, where rush hour is a thing of the past, and where vehicles have wireless connectivity to an infinite range of traveler services from real-time traffic, transit and parking information to collision avoidance systems and even the ability to reschedule a bus, train or plane ticket from a cell phone or navigational device. As a first step in reaching this goal, the transportation bill should create a competitive selection process to designate several “smart” cities, towns, and communities to serve as model deployment sites for wireless safety, mobility and environmental solutions. Selected sites could also provide venues for real-world demonstrations of a mileage-based user fee system and other innovative financing strategies.
  • Advance Next Generation Innovations by providing $250 million annually for the Federal ITS research program in order to advance next generation innovations in areas such as vehicle and intersection collision avoidance, congestion management, environmental solutions, emergency response, innovative financing, and other ITS-enabled solutions.

A copy of today's letter to House T&I Committee leaders is attached, and the signatories on the letter are listed below. ITS America's complete authorization recommendations are available here (file in PDF format).

Scott F. Belcher President and CEO ITS America

Randell H. Iwasaki Chief Deputy Director California Department of Transportation Chairman, ITS America Board of Directors

Michael P. Huerta President MPH Consulting, LLC Vice Chairman, ITS America Board of Directors

Kirk Steudle Director Michigan Department of Transportation Board Member, ITS America

Janette Sadik-Khan Commissioner New York City Department of Transportation Board Member-elect, ITS America

Ann Flemer Deputy Executive Director, Operations Metropolitan Transportation Commission Board Member, ITS America

David St. Amant President and Chief Operating Officer Econolite, Inc. Board Member, ITS America

Jill Ingrassia Managing Director, Government Relations and Traffic Safety AAA Board Member, ITS America

Robert Yakushi Director, Product Safety and Environment Nissan North America, Inc. Board Member, ITS America

Dana C. Christensen, Ph.D. Associate Laboratory Director Oak Ridge National Laboratory Board Member, ITS America

Dr. Peter F. Sweatman Director University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Board Member, ITS America

Dick Landis President and CEO HELP, Inc. Board Member, ITS America

David Sparks Executive Vice President TransCore Board Member, ITS America

Abbas Mohaddes President and CEO Iteris, Inc. Board Member, ITS America

Ken Philmus Senior Vice President and Managing Director ACS Transportation Solutions Group Board Member, ITS America

Patrick McGowan, P.E. Vice President, Business Development & Marketing Telvent Board Member, ITS America

William L. “Bill” Russell President and CEO Eberle Design Inc. Board Member, ITS America

Ray Pethtel Director, Transportation Policy Group Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Board Member, ITS America James Corless Executive Director Transportation for America (T4 America)

Michael J. Stanton President and CEO Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.

Thomas W. Brahms Executive Director and CEO Insitute of Transportation Engineers

Brent O. Bair Managing Director Road Commission for Oakland County

Gerard M. Mooney General Manager, Fiscal Stimulus and Economic Recovery, Global Government and Education IBM Corporation

Paul Brubaker Internet Business Solutions Group Cisco Systems Inc.

William H. Osborne President and CEO Federal Signal Corporation

Richard T. Sachse President Global Traffic Technologies, LLC T.

Russell Shields Chair Ygomi LLC

Robert L. Bertini, Ph.D., P.E. Director Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium

Dr. John Collura Transportation Graduate Program Director Transportation Group Coordinator Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jack Selter Director Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation University of Central Florida

C. Michael Walton Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering The University of Texas at Austin

Steven E. Underwood, Ph.D University of Michigan - Dearborn Director, Connected Vehicle Proving Center Chelsea

C. White III, Ph.D. H. Milton & Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair Schneider National Chair of Transportation and Logistics

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology

Alexander Skabardonis Director California PATH University of California-Berkeley

Todd Szymkowski Deputy Director Traffic Operations and Safety Lab University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gabriel Roth Research Fellow Independent Institute

James A. Misener Chair ITS California

Leslie A. Griffin President ITS Florida Kelly Langer President ITS Wisconsin

John L. Benda President ITS Midwest

Brian D. Burk President ITS Texas

Bryan Mistele President and CEO INRIX William A. Malkes Founder Aldis Corporation

Bruce Reimer President and Chief Executive Officer Quixote Corporation

G. Mark Holland President Quixote Transportation Technologies, Inc.

Steve Sharkey Senior Director, Spectrum and Regulatory Policy Motorola

Lawrence Yermack President Telvent Farradyne, Inc.

Timothy M. O'Leary President Peek Traffic Corporation

Anna Schneider Director, Industry and Government Relations Volkswagen Group of America

Todd M. Allen Director, Business Development and Community Relations RouteMatch Software

David A. Barber Business Unit Director, State and Local Transportation Solutions CSC

Amine Haoui CEO Sensys Networks Inc.

R. Marshall Elizer, Jr., P.E., PTOE Executive Vice President for Infrastructure Gresham, Smith and Partners

Ravi Puvvala CEO Savari Network, Inc.

Robert S. Jaffe, Ph.D. President Consensus Systems Technologies

Tuvia Barlev President, CEO and Co-Founder Actelis Networks

Bern Grush Founder and Chief Scientist Skymeter Corporation

Alexis Mousadi, P.E. Senior ITS Engineer URS Corporation

Larry Johnson Founder and Director The Light Brigade, Inc.

Roy Sumner President FreeAhead, Inc.

Dr. Yuko J. Nakanishi Principal Nakanishi Research and Consulting, LLC

Warren Havens President Skybridge Spectrum Foundation & Telesaurus Holdings GB LLC

Justin McNew Chief Technical Officer Kapsch TrafficCom Inc.

Daniel H Sise Jr. Director of Business Development Laser Technology

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