About This Site - ITS Lessons Learned Knowledge Resource


The Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has developed this ITS Lessons Learned Knowledge Resource (LLKR). Major objectives are:

  • Capture experiences of stakeholders in their planning, deployment, operations, maintenance, and evaluation of ITS.
  • Provide all ITS stakeholders with convenient access to the lessons learned knowledge so that they can make informed decisions in their future ITS actions.

Each lesson captured in this knowledge resource is described in a concise format. A lesson description includes items such as a lesson title in the form of a recommendation, background and lesson learned narratives, as well as identifying information such as date, location, source, and contact.


Lessons Learned Knowledge

A lesson learned is the knowledge gained through experience or study. It is a reflection on what was done right, what one would do differently, and how one could be more effective in the future. An ITS stakeholder experience of what worked and what did not work in the procurement of a traffic management system software is considered a valid candidate for this lessons learned knowledge resource.

The lessons presented in this knowledge resource place the reader in the position of one who has experienced either a successful or unsuccessful practice. It then places the reader in the same position of the one who has learned a lesson and deduces a statement that says, "If I had the opportunity to turn back time, this is a possible rule that might be true or helpful to others." The lessons contained in this knowledge resource should not be considered as official policy or guidance from USDOT. Use discretion as to whether or not lessons reported in this document apply to your situation.


The lessons contained in this Lessons Learned Knowledge Resource should not be considered as official policy or guidance from the USDOT.


Lessons Learned Knowledge Sources

Lessons are collected primarily from ITS case studies, best practice compendiums, planning and design reviews, and evaluation studies. The ITS Electronic Document Library (EDL), Transportation Research Board’s Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS), international transportation literature database (e.g., Transport), and conference proceedings are major sources for the documents that are reviewed for collection of lessons. Interviews of subject matter experts are also used as sources of new lessons. The Web site is updated continuously by adding new lessons as sources of such lessons become available.


Lesson Classification

ITS lessons are presented in a number of classification schemes capturing various topics of interest of ITS professionals. Table 1 provides a list of major classification schemes and topic areas.

Table 1 Lesson Classification Scheme and Topic Areas.

Classification Major Topics
Lesson Categories
  • Design & Deployment
  • Funding
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership & Partnerships
  • Legal Issues
  • Management & Operations
  • Policy & Planning
  • Procurement
  • Technical Integration
ITS Applications
  • Commercial Vehicle Operations
  • Data Management
  • Maintenance and Construction
  • Parking Management
  • Public Safety
  • Public Transportation
  • Support
  • Sustainable Travel
  • Traffic Management
  • Traveler Information
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Weather
ITS Goal Areas
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Efficiency
  • Energy & Environment
  • Mobility
  • Productivity
  • Safety




Target Audience

Lessons presented in the general Lesson Categories are deemed useful to program managers and provide insights into areas ranging from management and operations to human resources. For example, a reader may learn that including ITS projects in the state’s long range transportation plan is a sensible way to take advantage of multiple project synergies and stable funding.

Lessons presented in the ITS Applications categories provide insight to the project managers, planners, and designers responsible for a particular ITS application. This will allow, for example, a designer planning a new transit management system to search for lessons learned gathered from the experiences of others deploying similar applications. ITS application lessons are categorized in 12 technology areas, ranging from vehicle safety to traffic management to sustainable travel. 

Lessons presented in the ITS Goal Areas are deemed helpful to executives, researchers, and planners, interested in learning more about successful approaches to maximizing benefits in key ITS goal areas ranging from safety to customer satisfaction.



In the continuing enhancement of this Lessons Learned Knowledge Resource, the ITS JPO periodically receives guidance from many ITS professionals representing various local, regional, state and federal transportation agencies; planning and research organizations; as well as private sector consulting firms. These individuals represent a wide spectrum of ITS decision makers involved in the planning, design, management, operation, and evaluation of ITS throughout the nation. Their input has been crucial and invaluable in defining the user needs, knowledge content, and the Web site interface. We acknowledge and appreciate their guidance.

We invite you to read the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ – to learn more about this site. Many users have been providing comments and suggestions on this site through the online link – Help Us Improve. We appreciate your comments in our quest to continuously enrich this knowledge resource to best serve your needs.