Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, is the application of technology-based solutions such as advanced sensors, computers, electronics and communication technologies, to improve the overall safety and efficiency of the regional multimodal transportation system. ITS is rooted deeply in transportation operations using technology application and staff dedication to ensure safe and efficient operation of the transportation network.
The PAG ITS program helps coordinate regional activities, meet federal requirements and recommend ITS infrastructure investments in the region. To assure continuing focus and advancement of the ITS program, PAG has created the Transportation Systems Subcommittee (previously known as the Tucson Area ITS Working Group). This committee consists of representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Sun Tran, University of Arizona, and the eight PAG member agencies. The committee served to guide the development of a new ITS Strategic Plan and a regional ITS architecture in 2004 to serve as the roadmap for ITS infrastructure investments and coordination of technology-based solutions in the regional multimodal transportation system. The new regional ITS plan and ITS architecture build upon the work that has been done in conformance with the original ITS plan developed for the region in 1996.
PAG is taking a more proactive role in regional transportation operations through coordinated efforts with its member agencies to develop a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO). Essentially, an RCTO is a plan for coordinated transportation operations – that is, mapping out specific strategies of how transportation agencies, public safety, emergency services, transit and others can work better together, to get the most benefit out of the region’s existing systems and transportation resources.
For the PAG region, the development of an RCTO means developing and realizing opportunities for better traffic signal coordination, traveler information and work zone coordination throughout the region.
Local jurisdictions will gain opportunities for grouped purchase of equipment and services for transportation operations, improved personnel resources and expertise, and improved information and data exchange to help improve transportation operations regionwide. PAG is serving to coordinate the regional operators to provide a neutral table for cooperation and to link operations and planning, resulting in more opportunities for funding.