In 1998, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) created a network of freeway sensors in order to monitor traffic and track historical data. This system is named the Freeway Performance Measurement System (PeMS) and is hosted by the University of California - Berkeley. However, even in 2006, Caltrans employees were still using "Census Traffic Data" which was not generated through ITS methods and could be one to three years old instead of using PeMS and it's accompanying Archived Data User Service (ADUS). Caltrans decided to implement a training program for potential users, both Caltrans employees and MPO employees, that was a full day of training that included four classes on different uses of the PeMS data and tools to help them do their jobs. To expand awareness, over 34 training sessions were provided.
Because PeMS had a low utilization rate while being advertised by word of mouth, Caltrans supplied training sessions in order to increase awareness of the system. Prior to the training, only a few advanced traffic engineers had picked it up on their own, and over 75 percent of those trained had never used the system. Many were not aware of its full capabilities.
The data and the tools used by ADUS are complex enough to require training. During the training, users asked how to get the input information for traditional manual analysis methods rather than how to do computations using the more complete 24/7 archived data. An example concerns calculating delay for lane closures. Users were surprised that there were different ways to do the calculations and automate the process. After receiving training, users plan on using the tools to reduce their job complexity.
Users were also concerned with data quality. Assurance was needed that the archived ITS detector based calculations were high quality. The training described the data and the calculations used by the archived data and tools. At the end of training, ninety-three percent of the participants stated that it was a good class and many commented that they would like to receive more training.
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