Identify champions early to facilitate communications, project management, and staff ownership for successful deployment of a comprehensive transit ITS program.
Washoe County’s experience implementing a comprehensive transit ITS program.
Made Public Date
12/20/2011

250

Reno
Nevada
United States

250

Reno
Nevada
United States

250

Reno
Nevada
United States
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Identifier
2011-00603

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study

Background

In 1999, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County, Nevada entered into a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to procure and implement Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for its fixed-route and paratransit services. RTC's transit ITS deployment initiative was a multi-year funding project and the total cost agreed to was $4,750,000, with a funding split of 80 percent federal and 20 local. RTC began the procurement process in 2000, the implementation in 2002, and completed implementation and acceptance testing in 2007. RTC staff and its passengers have become accustomed to the system and its functionality. Key ITS technologies deployed were:

  • Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) on fixed-route, paratransit and supervisor vehicles
  • Computer-Aided Dispatch
  • Paratransit Scheduling and Reservation Software
  • Fixed-Route Scheduling Software
  • DataMart™
  • Automated Passenger Counters
  • Real-Time Traveler Information for Fixed-Route Vehicles
  • Remote Engine Diagnostics
  • Automated Stop Announcements
  • Transit Signal Priority
  • Mobile Supervisor

An evaluation report, entitled "Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Transit Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation" was published in March 2010. The project evaluators compared baseline pre-transit ITS data and post-transit ITS data, measured the quantitative and qualitative impacts on operational efficiency, observed how RTC staff performed their responsibilities, and identified a set of lessons learned.

Lessons Learned

Champions, who facilitate ITS deployment decision making at an agency in a formal or informal capacity, play a crucial role in the successful deployment of a comprehensive transit ITS program. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County’s experience offers the following lessons learned.

  • Identify champions early in the ITS planning and deployment process. A champion or champions should be identified in functional area at the agency. This may include planning, management, operators, dispatchers and maintenance staff. The champions should be people enthusiastic about technology and willing to incorporate it into their daily activities.
  • Understand the responsibility of champions in facilitating communications, and project management and ownership. The purpose of the champions is threefold:
    • First, the champions can serve as liaisons with the rest of the staff in their functional areas. The champions can communicate the plan to the users and receive feedback and needs rom them to relay to the Project Manager.

      Second, the champions can work with the Project Manager to refine the transit ITS plans and the required functionality.

      Third, the champions can generate enthusiasm within their user groups and help the agency staff understand how transit ITS will benefit them. Their participation in the planning process will engender a sense of ownership in the planned system that allows it to be accepted and utilized more quickly.

  • Recognize and utilize the roles of technically proficient champions in the implementation process. The champions from each user group can help smooth the implementation process. Because they are enthusiastic and well-informed regarding the transit ITS, the champions will be ideal candidates to perform the testing and to help identify and resolve “bugs” during implementation.

Depending on the size of an agency, a formal working group of champions may not be necessary. However, it is important for the Project Manager to stay in contact with them and share information about the planning process. This may be through efforts as simple as group e-mails, a newsletter or monthly progress report. The champions help all the agency staff feel they are part of the planning process. RTC has largely achieved the goals of its transit ITS deployment program and benefited significantly in many ways including better schedule adherence, increased ridership, reduced emissions, and increased customer satisfaction.

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study
Publication Sort Date
05/01/2010
Author
Tina Wu, Matt Weatherford, Ancila Kaiparambil, Linna Zhang
Publisher
Federal Transit Administration U.S. Department of Transportation

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