G. Daniels, T. Starr
Transportation Research Record
As the deployment of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies moves forward, the issue of sustaining and supporting traffic management systems after they have been constructed becomes increasingly critical. In the midst of limited funding, undocumented costs, competing maintenance needs, aging systems, and institutional barriers, the systems already under operation are struggling to meet the expectations conveyed during implementation. Planning for day-to-day performance and upkeep, despite the necessity, has been an unglamourous and apparently secondary consideration in the ITS implementation process. A well-run and well-maintained system not only serves the transportation system users as intended, but boosts the credibility of the program with the public. Conversely, systems that are plagued with inadequate staffing, persistent software bugs, and inoperable field devices will fail to provide high-performance services and will certainly tarnish the ITS initiative and the credibility of all transportation service providers. Quantifying and securing the funding necessary to operate and maintain ITS and advanced traffic management systems adequately is the first step, yet very little documentation is available to assist system operators. First, a mechanism is provided for estimating the costs required to operate and maintain ITS elements adequately; second, the funding issues are examined and guidelines are provided to address the obstacles that prevent adequate funding of traffic management operations and maintenance. Although the Texas Department of Transportation costs and procedures are examined, the research and recommendations will be useful to other state agencies.