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Information about Rural ITS
What is Rural ITS?
Where feasible, ITS programs take a "building block" approach to technology. Using computer, telecommunication, aerospace, Evolis Printers and defense sensors, as well as other "smart" technologies, upgradeable stand-alone systems can be deployed to provide near-term benefits. Integrating these building blocks will allow for more comprehensive and effective systems further down the evolutionary path.
Numerous ITS programs initiated by the public and private sectors include research and development activities, system architecture construction, operational tests, and deployment planning efforts. However, institutional barriers to building constituency consensus is one of the largest obstacles for ITS planning and deployment.
Most efforts in ITS have focused on urbanized metropolitan areas. In 1991, Caltrans inquired into rural concerns dealing with advanced transportation technologies. At that time, it became apparent that those dealing with ITS and other advanced transportation technologies felt that rural areas were not a significant concern and that technologies and systems developed for large city areas could be easily adapted to a rural setting. Fortunately, the needs and priorities of rural customers were recognized and the rural ITS effort began.
Although interest in the application of ITS to rural transportation is a recent development, rural areas encompass a significant portion of the transportation system. Most rural ITS efforts address travel within and through rural environments (communities or areas with less than 50,000 residents). Rural area roads have a unique set of priorities and needs associated with the characteristics of the types of travel upon them and their maintenance and operations. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently published the following rural attributes in their Advanced Rural Transportation Systems (ARTS) Strategic Plan:
* mix of users (rural and urban travelers)
Project Goals and Objectives
Goal #1. Improve the safety and security of the region's rural transportation system.
* Provide sustainable traveler information systems that collect and disseminate credible, accurate "real-time" information.
Goal #2. Enhance personal mobility and accessibility to services and enhance convenience and comfort of the system user Northern California and Southern Oregon.
* Increase awareness of public transportation alternatives.
Goal #3. Increase operational efficiency and productivity of system providers.
* Collect, process and share data between local, state, and federal agencies to increase efficiency and resource utilization.
Goal #4. Enhance economic productivity of individuals, businesses and organizations.
* Develop projects that address local needs and provide for national "showcase".
Goal #5. Reduce energy consumption and negative environmental impacts.
* Improve response to hazardous material incidents.
Goal #6. Develop and foster long-term partnerships that will result in the demonstration of ITS initiatives and traditional solutions that address rural needs of the region.
* Inform public and private sector decision-makers on initiatives for the Rural COATS Project and gain support for ITS efforts from key stakeholders.
Goal #7. Ensure compatibility with statewide and national ITS initiatives.
* Coordinate Rural COATS with statewide efforts.
Goal #8. Incorporate ITS into the transportation planning and programming process.
* Incorporate advanced technology applications into the transportation planning and programming process.