Strengthen existing maintenance and repair capabilities at Transportation Operation Centers (TOCs).
A New Jersey Department of Transportation experience with ITS operations and maintenance in Transportation Operations Centers (TOCs).
Made Public Date
02/21/2007

91

Florida
United States

1

Los Angeles
California
United States

55

Maryland
United States

420

New York City
New York
United States

1000

Newark
New Jersey
United States

17

Minnesota
United States

961

Washington
United States
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Identifier
2007-00358

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

Background

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

Many 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. Their experience suggests that including the ability to conduct in-house maintenance and repairs greatly improves management of ITS resources within TOCs. Strengthening these capabilities will result in increased operational efficiency through preventive maintenance, faster repair time, and less reliance on vendors. It will also reduce costs and unnecessary staff time.

  • Research and implement a statewide ITS maintenance management system (MMS). An MMS logs and tracks ITS maintenance activities, resulting in more efficient TOC operations for both in-house and contract maintenance.
  • Develop in-house fiber optic cable maintenance and consider adding network systems technician positions. An in-house maintenance capability will ensure that resources are available to fix ITS systems, thus keeping downtime to a minimum. Major problems associated with fiber optic cable maintenance include the slower response time of outside contractors and their lack of expertise. Their performance also requires close monitoring for quality control. Two TOCs in New Jersey have expressed a preference for maintaining fiber optic cable links internally if proper resources are made available. Such resources include trained crew, spare cables, splicing equipment and diagnostics scopes, fusion process materials and equipment, and continuous training.
  • Strengthen statewide ITS support contracts. Statewide ITS maintenance contracts should include preventive maintenance of ITS devices such as closed circuit television (CCTV), variable message sign (VMS), highway advisory radio (HAR), and detector stations, along with a preventive maintenance checklist and performance measures. With a preventive maintenance program in place, ITS devices will be checked more frequently, which will in turn result in improved system operations.
  • Purchase vehicles dedicated to performing in-house maintenance. The availability of on-site vehicles to perform repairs and routine maintenance will significantly reduce costs and system downtime. It will also add capabilities to meet statewide emergency needs; for example, a dedicated vehicle can be quickly deployed to facilitate installation of temporary devices during an evacuation.
    • TOCs, including the New York City Department of Transportation, Colorado Transportation Management Center, and Los Angeles Department of Transportation, all report highly productive use of bucket trucks and network vans to repair CCTV, VMS, cable plants, and overhead microwave detectors.

Strengthening in-house maintenance and repair capabilities improves operational efficiency not only within TOCs but across regional boundaries as well. Because TOCs rely on vendors to perform maintenance and repairs, they experience prolonged system downtime and higher operational costs. Performing in-house preventive maintenance and repairs will not only keep system downtime to a minimum but will also cut costs associated with having to hire vendors. In order to conduct effective in-house maintenance and repairs, TOCs must have sufficient qualified staff on site, with the appropriate resources to complete the task at hand.

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

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Operational Support Contracts - Implementation Plan - Final Report
Publication Sort Date
01/01/2005
Author
Patel, Raman K.
Publisher
Transportation Research Center, Polytechnic University

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