States still not using ITS effectively

GAO report reveals funding levels remain low, encourages more involvement from U.S. DOT and FHWA

Transportation Management News GAO April 24, 2012
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A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report reveals a nation that is still struggling with the implementation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS).


The study, titled “Intelligent Transportation Systems: Improved DOT Collaboration and Communication Could Enhance the Use of Technology to Manage Congestion” concludes that states continue to fund ITS at low levels, and some are challenged when it comes to retaining the right people to operate ITS systems.


GAO does applaud the efforts of the U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for ongoing training efforts and technical assistance, however; the agency believes the two need to do a better job of disseminating information.


“Some experts and transportation agencies noted that ITS-related information on RITA’s and FHWA’s websites is not always presented in a way that is useful and some agencies lack awareness of ITS activities sponsored by DOT,” the report said.


A stronger presence in the ITS field by the U.S. DOT and FHWA could help leverage more funding for the congestion-management technologies, the report said. The FHWA estimated states used $800 million to $1.3 billion of their eligible 2010 highway funds and $798 million to $1.3 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars on ITS.

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