Develop a unified approach for a statewide intelligent transportation systems (ITS) deployment policy.
A New Jersey Department of Transportation experience with ITS operations and maintenance in Transportation Operations Centers (TOCs).
Made Public Date


United States


New Jersey
United States


New York City
New York
United States

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Operational Support Contracts - Implementation Plan - Final Report


Many Transportation Operations Centers (TOCs) in the country have now entered into their second-generation life cycle and have successfully implemented day-to-day TOC operations in their jurisdictions. TOCs from California, Minnesota, Florida, Washington, New York, and Maryland as well as cities like Los Angeles and New York City have successfully built second-generation systems with a good level of operational support. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has faced significant challenges in keeping intelligent transportation systems (ITS) at a high level of availability at their two TOCs. As more components are added to the ITS infrastructure, system administration, management, and operational support become critical for TOCs.

The purpose of this report was to develop an ITS operational support and contract implementation plan for NJDOT TOCs. The project was initiated to review current operations and maintenance practices of NJDOT and to investigate further the best practices of other state TOCs to develop recommendations and lessons learned. On the basis of the review and investigation, specific recommendations were made in three categories: policy, staffing, and operational support.

Lessons Learned

A deployment policy, if implemented while ITS deployments are still evolving in the state and region, will result in substantial benefits that include enhanced regional interoperability, uniformity in implementation, and efficiency improvements, as well as better coordination among transportation agencies. Ways in which state DOTs can develop a unified approach to creating an ITS deployment policy are as follows:

  • Develop a state DOT TOC Concept of Operations Plan. This guiding document will include ITS strategic plan elements and a migration strategy that aligns with funding priorities. It will articulate the agency’s vision, goals, and objectives; identify high-level roles and responsibilities; and delineate practices and procedures to be followed by the TOC in daily operations. It also will allow the agency to further develop ITS projects and allocate funding. Typical ITS initiatives addressed in a statewide ITS plan will include ITS architecture, TOC operations, incident management, highway service patrol, traffic control systems, freeway systems, and traveler information.
  • Develop a state DOT TOC Operations Manual. This is the main document that operators and traffic engineers refer to during the course of daily TOC operations. It typically covers TOC operations but also maintenance procedures, coordination and communication requirements, and contacts within and outside of the agency. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has developed an annotated outline of a TOC Operations Manual, based on national consensus, which serves as a checklist for the current recommended practice requirements.
  • Develop a statewide policy on fiber optic and wireless technologies for ITS deployments. Such a policy is needed for DOTs to address two critical aspects of ITS network integration. First, it will provide necessary bandwidth and full connectivity necessary to support ITS devices, and second, it will allow interoperability of different communications technologies without interference from each other.
    • The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has a policy on a wireless communications shared resource agreement with a local provider and has formed public/private partnership arrangements to meet such ITS needs.
    • The City of New York has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from private ventures to implement a citywide wireless network using a city-owned operating band frequency of 4.9 GHz for fire and police departments, traffic signal control systems, public safety, and emergency management applications. If successful, such arrangements with the private sector will provide public agencies with ready access to the latest technologies.

A unified approach to creating and enforcing a statewide ITS deployment policy will enhance regional interoperability, uniformity in implementation, efficiency improvements, and coordination with other transportation agencies. State DOTs should begin by developing a Concept of Operations Plan, which will summarize what the system is supposed to accomplish and under what conditions it will be done. In addition, state DOTs should write a TOC Operations Manual to help guide operators and engineers during the course of daily operations. For improved communications it is beneficial for DOTs to use fiber optic and wireless technologies in ITS deployments.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Operational Support Contracts - Implementation Plan - Final Report

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Operational Support Contracts - Implementation Plan - Final Report
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Patel, Raman K.
Transportation Research Center, Polytechnic University

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