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Intelligent Transportation Systems

Photo courtesy of Garrett via Flickr/Creative Commons license.

Intelligent transportation system (ITS) projects take advantage of modern technology to better manage the transportation system. ITS applications include traffic signal coordination, freeway traffic monitoring and management, automated transit vehicle location and passenger counting, incident management, ramp metering, and strategies to monitor and manage commercial vehicle operations. These applications allow the region to more efficiently operate the transportation system and better maintain effective signal timing plans and bus scheduling.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), through its planning and funding efforts, has consistently encouraged the implementation of ITS strategies. Signal coordination efforts have been underway in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County since the early 1980s, as well as in Weber and Davis counties for over a decade. The initial deployment of ITS in Utah was completed in conjunction with the reconstruction of I-15 in Salt Lake County. The system now consists of a traffic operations center and fiber optic backbone reaching over 1,000 signals and scores of cameras, variable message signs, traffic monitoring stations, and several ramp meters along I-15.

Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County operate satellite traffic control centers and the system has expanded into Weber, Davis, Utah and other counties. There are also connections to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and other transportation entities. UTA utilizes automated passenger counters, electronic time of arrival signs at rail stations, and several other ITS elements. While not replacing the need for additional roadway capacity, annual benefits have been estimated at about $180 million and reductions in delay by nearly 20 percent.

For additional information regarding ITS, please contact Wayne Bennion.

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