Between March 2000 and January 2001, FDOT developed seven regional ITS architectures plus a statewide services ITS architecture covering all of Florida for all ITS services deployed and planned at that time. A lot has happened since then:
First Generation of Florida’s Statewide ITS Architectures (SITSA)
The eight regional ITS architectures were developed based on requirements derived from existing documentation at that time: early deployment planning studies, strategic plans, and other documentation. Three-day workshops were held with stakeholders in each region to collect local requirements by iteratively developing an ITS inventory, and then developing operational concepts for services showing how information would be exchanged between groups of ITS elements to satisfy stakeholder needs. Consensus was a key element of the workshops – especially on the final day of the workshops when the stakeholders reviewed each service in the draft regional ITS architectures – and agreement was a requirement for inclusion in the regional ITS architectures.
Conformity with the NITSA
During the fall of 2000, when the regional ITS architectures were being finalized, FDOT became aware of the federal activity that subsequently resulted in the issuance of Rule 940. Rule 940 specifically defined what analysis needed to be done to make a regional ITS architecture. Rule 940 specified that by April 8, 2005, any ITS projects proceeding to final design using any federal funds would conform to a regional ITS architecture defined by Rule 940. Such regional ITS architectures have eight specific systems engineering analysis elements, plus a required plan for maintaining the regional ITS architecture. The eight requirements are:
1. Description of the
The SITSA developed by FDOT in 2000 addressed requirements 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 pretty well (some better than others), but didn't address requirements 4 and 8 at all.
Evolution of the NITSA
Version 4 of the NITSA, released in May 2002, added the Maintenance and Construction Operations (MCO) set of services, focusing on four new areas of ITS investment:
Version 5 of the NITSA, along with a new release of Turbo Architecture, added support for even more ITS services. This version represents a major revision of the NITSA – especially in the area of security. Key features of this version are:
Update of Florida’s SITSA
This planned update will provide the FDOT with the needed framework for deploying statewide ITS maintenance, construction operations, and security projects. This update will also help all stakeholders acknowledge the evolved requirements since the completion of the original SITSA. Participation in planned stakeholder meetings will be the key to the success of this update. An official invitation, schedule, and agenda will be distributed when this project is ready to start.
This article was provided by Robert S. Jaffe, Ph.D., ConSysTec Corp. For more information, please contact Dr. Jaffe at (914) 248-8466 or email RSJ@consystec.com.
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The FDOT has been tackling this issue for many years – primarily by constructing new roads or adding lanes. Today, new construction is becoming less and less feasible and any addition of capacity becomes rapidly congested as growth continues. This is especially true for I-95, which acts as a key link in Miami-Dade’s transportation network.
In fact, the principal causes of congestion are incidents/accidents and long queues from vehicles exiting and entering the expressway system.
Solution is Hi-tech Expressways
Ramp metering is a key component in FDOT’s SunGuideSM ITS Program. Ramp metering controls the rate of vehicles entering an expressway with a red/green traffic signal located at the expressway’s on-ramp. Motorist must wait for the green light in order to merge onto the expressway mainline. The signals can be set to different flow rates to optimize traffic flow, minimize congestion, and control queuing at the ramp. Most important, ramp metering reduces crashes at ramp merges and makes it easier for drivers to enter the traffic stream.
Although not a cure-all for congestion, ramp metering is a proven, cost-effective strategy to help reduce congestion, increase traffic speed, and improve travel time and trip reliability. Ramp metering is not a new traffic management technique. Various forms of ramp control were implemented in the late 1950s and 1960s in Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Today ramp metering exists in more than 23 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and throughout the world.
More than 30 years of operation has created widespread agreement among transportation authorities that ramp metering improves traffic flow and reduces crashes. However, convincing proof of the true effectiveness of ramp metering has been elusive. This all changed after 2000, when the Minnesota State Legislature directed the Minnesota Department of Transportation to measure the effectiveness of ramp metering in the Twin Cities. During this ramp metering study, it was possible to measure the criteria with the ramp meters and then after the ramp meters were turned off. Since the ramp metering had been deployed in 1969, the study involved drivers who fully understood how to use ramp metering. Performance measures included overall travel time, traffic volumes and throughput, crashes, and transit operations.
The results of this study indicated that without ramp metering:
According to this study, ramp metering resulted in an annual savings of about $40 million to the public, outweighing the costs of the ramp metering system. Benefits were 15 times greater than the cost of the ramp metering system alone, and five times greater than the cost of the entire congestion management system.
How Does Ramp Metering Work?
The fuzzy logic software determines the traffic signal cycle rate to optimize the expressway mainline traffic flow and to ensure that drivers are not delayed excessively at the ramp. Fuzzy logic software was selected because it can handle contradictory statements such as the two above. The ramp metering system has a fail-safe to help prevent traffic from backing up too far into the local streets. If a back-up is sensed, the ramp meter signal rate is increased to allow more cars to enter the expressway mainline at a quicker rate.
The wait to enter the expressway mainline is slightly longer for each driver; however, traffic flow becomes much smoother and speed increases. Most people will experience an overall reduction in travel time. In fact, people making longer trips will benefit more than those making shorter trips. There is also the possibility that those making shorter trips will sometimes experience an increase in their travel time.
Where Will Ramp Metering
be Used in South Florida?
Miami-Dade Market Research
In addition to focus group meetings, a telephone survey was conducted with residents living in the area where the I-95 ramp metering will be implemented. As was the case with the focus group meetings, during the course of the telephone survey, as participants became more familiar with ramp metering benefits, perceptions tended to change and the participants became more comfortable with ramp metering.
Clearly, educating the public and South Florida’s motorists regarding ramp metering benefits is the KEY to dispelling apprehension and gaining widespread acceptance. We will continue to use focus group meetings after we start operating the ramp meters.
Most of the ramp metering equipment is already on the ground, but we expect to go HOT in the fall of 2005.
This article was provided by Rene de Huelbes, FDOT District 6. For more information, please contact Mr. de Huelbes at (305) 470-5341 or email Rene.deHuelbes@dot.state.fl.us.
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The First International Conference on Virtual and Remote Weigh Stations was held in Orlando from February 16-18, 2004. The Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS) at the University of Central Florida was the organizer for this event. About 110 people attended the conference, comprising every major player, including academia, departments of transportation, enforcement agencies, safety agencies, federal and state groups, and several vendors. In a unique show of interest, more than 20 states sent one or more representatives to the conference. According to the feedback from attendees, the conference was deemed a great success!
The conference was structured in a single track, with each day having two presentation sessions. At the conclusion of each day, the major issues presented were discussed by panels. Two panels were conducted: one covered the lessons learned and the second covered future issues for virtual weigh in motion (VWIM) stations. Col. Graham Fountain, Director of the Motor Carrier Compliance Office (MCCO) and Mr. Chester Chandler, FDOT ITS Program Manager, were the keynote and luncheon speakers, respectively, for the conference.
The first presentations covered technologies used in VWIM stations and the lessons learned by various states that have deployed VWIM solutions. Major technologies of interest were weigh-in-motion systems, laser dimensional compliance systems, video monitoring systems, and licensing and Departments of Transportation automated reading systems.
The main outcome that emerged from the conference was that VWIM stations can offer a lot more than traditional weight conformance enforcement. It is envisioned that VWIM stations will evolve into automated centers for compliance and adherence to state and federal regulations including weight, dimensions, hazardous materials, security, tire pressure, vehicle condition, and emissions. Additionally driver-related issues, such as certification, overall physical condition, and performance assessment, are also envisioned at these VWIM stations. Future VWIM stations should also be equipped with facilities for permitting and credentialing, areas of interest in traditional Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Network activities. There was also the realization that future VWIM stations may be used to collect information that could benefit a multitude of state, federal, and private users, in addition to serving valuable security and safety interests. The conference concluded with a lively discussion by the panel on the future of VWIM stations where ideas were shared between the conference attendees and the panel.
A follow-up conference on Security, Enforcement and Policy, and Technology Applications for commercial vehicles is being planned for October 31, 2004, in Orlando. Details about the First International Conference on Virtual and Remote Weigh Stations presentations may be found at www.catss.ucf.edu.
This article was provided by Dr. Amr Oloufa, P.E. University of Central Florida. For more information, please contact Dr. Oloufa at (407) 823-3592 or email AOloufa@mail.ucf.edu.
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is moving forward to reduce the national highway fatality rate to 1.0 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by 2008. One of the underpinning efforts that FHWA has undertaken to achieve this goal is to provide an interactive workshop, sponsored by the FHWA Office of Highway Safety and the FHWA Resource Center, on “Improving Highway Safety with Intelligent Transportation Systems.” Through cooperation with FDOT, three sessions of this workshop have already been presented to over 100 state, local, and law enforcement personnel this year (Jacksonville – February 11-12; Fort Lauderdale – March 2-3; and Tampa – March 22-23), and they have been well received.
This workshop gives an overview of several perspectives, including:
ITS applications are contrasted with more traditional safety improvement approaches, and the complementary nature of these approaches is explored. In addition, this workshop provides information about other resources to aid the workshop attendees. This workshop is geared towards traffic operations and ITS engineers at all levels, transportation planners responsible for highway and transportation improvements, public safety professionals responsible for transportation safety, researchers interested in highway safety and ITS, and other persons having interests in these areas.
The goals of these workshops are to:
Following the ITS America 14th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Antonio. Texas, a one-day version of this workshop will be held on April 29. A $50 registration fee, payable through ITS America (www.itsa.org), is required. The workshop is limited to 50 people.
In addition, the workshop is being converted to a National Highway Institute (NHI) version (www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/) so that it can be delivered more easily on a national level. The target date for availability of the NHI version is the end of 2004.
This article was provided by Dr. Morris Oliver, FHWA Office of Highway Safety. For more information, please contact Dr. Oliver at (202) 366-2251, or email Morris.Oliver@fhwa.dot.gov. Additionally, Mr. Mac Lister, FHWA Resource Center, may be contacted at (708) 283-3532 or email Mac.Lister@fhwa.dot.gov.
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ITS Florida held its second annual ITS Legislative Awareness Day at Florida’s State Capitol on Wednesday, March 17. The purpose of this event was to raise the awareness of ITS, get the word out on how ITS can benefit motorists, and to demonstrate the importance of ITS. This purpose was accomplished in a few different ways this year.
Prior to the ITS Legislative Awareness Day, ITS Florida officers attempted to set up meetings with eight targeted Senators and/or Representatives, FDOT Secretary José Abreu, and Tara Bartee of the FDOT Public Transit Office. Also prior to this event, personal invitations were sent out inviting Senators and Representatives currently on any transportation-related committee, Florida Transportation Commissioners, and other key FDOT staff, to come by the ITS Florida display area and to also have lunch. These same invitations were also sent out to Florida Transportation Commission members and other key FDOT staff.
Although appointments with all of the eight targeted Senators and Representatives were not obtained, ITS Florida was successful at meeting with Senators Ron Klein, Daniel Webster, and Jim Sebesta, and Representatives Allan Bense, David D. Russell, Jr., Leslie Waters, and Greg Evers, along with key FDOT staff. These meetings were held during the week of the ITS Legislative Awareness Day, and proved to be quite productive for ITS Florida. Most of the Senators and Representatives were relatively familiar with ITS and some of the benefits offered by deploying ITS; but almost none of them were familiar with ITS Florida. They were impressed with the close working relationship between ITS Florida and FDOT. The Senators and Representatives were also impressed that ITS Florida is not simply acting as an industry association made up of independent stakeholders, but actually ties into the customers (FDOT and other public and private sector agencies) through involvement on the ITS Florida Board of Directors and ITS Florida’s Advisory Council, which serves as the official advisor to FDOT on ITS issues. ITS Florida President, Terry Griffith, provided each Senator and Representative with materials describing ITS Florida and the FDOT ITS Program. A special thanks goes out to the FDOT ITS Office for helping gather information on short notice.
In a meeting with FDOT Secretary José Abreu, President Griffith introduced the ITS Florida organization and its membership. ITS Florida Vice President, Charlie Wallace, described ITS Florida’s Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program with its broad range of training courses provided to the membership, including FDOT. ITS Florida Board of Directors Member, Chester Chandler, informed Secretary Abreu about the upcoming FDOT Mid-Year ITS Working Group Meeting which will be held July 12-16, 2004, in Daytona Beach. ITS Florida events have been scheduled in conjunction with this meeting. An invitation to attend the meeting was extended to Secretary Abreu.
Secretary Abreu was also briefed on Transpo 2004, which will be held in December 6-8, 2004, in Jacksonville, and ITS Florida’s partnering efforts with ITS Georgia and Georgia Section ITE. Secretary Abreu was pleased to learn of the strong partnering efforts ITS Florida is sharing with our bordering state. The time spent with Secretary Abreu was greatly appreciated by the ITS Florida members, and the meeting was very productive.
Eric Hill, Anita Vandervalk, and Diana Carsey met with Ike Ubaka and Tara Bartee of the FDOT Public Transportation Office (PTO). Diana briefed the PTO staff on ITS Florida and how the organization keeps in touch with its members. Eric initiated a discussion on public transit outreach efforts. The PTO is involved in the ITS Performance Measures effort through provision of “congested intersection” information. Anita is currently working with Tara who assured that the information required for the ITS performance measures is being developed and would be available by June,2004.
On March 17, the ITS Legislative Awareness Day added to the busy atmosphere of the State Capitol! This year was a total contrast to last year. The State Capitol was packed with people from various organizations throughout the state. This year, the ITS Legislative Awareness Day was held early in the legislative session, unlike last year. This made a great difference in how many people were actually walking around the State Capitol. This year, people went to lunch instead of working through their lunches in order to get a last minute bill passed. ITS Florida reserved the second floor Rotunda area, just like last year, and added some outdoor courtyard space between the House Building and the historic State Capitol. The weather was beautiful!
A Road Rangers truck and two operators from the District 2 area were located in the outdoor courtyard space. The Road Rangers operators on hand were Altamese Ford and Thomas Ford. They were surprised to learn the number of people in the Panhandle that are unaware of what a Road Rangers is and the service they provide. Both operators were wonderful to talk to and answered many questions on what they actually do for motorists out on the roads. ITS Florida would like to extend a special thanks to Altamese Ford and Thomas Ford for agreeing to participate in this event.
ITS Florida provided lunch to all participants in the outside courtyard where the Road Rangers truck and operators were located. A special thanks to Buddy Cloud and Peter Vega for arranging to have the Road Rangers truck and operators available for this event. This was a successful draw for our event. ITS Florida also had some display boards on the second floor Rotunda showing pictures of Districts 4 and 6 Road Rangers in action. Thanks to Guy Francese and Angel Reanos for providing the pictures. The pictures made a nice display and showed the wonderful, but dangerous, job that our Road Rangers perform every day.
ITS Florida had a mix of 19 public and private sector exhibitors. Each exhibitor displayed information aimed at raising the awareness of ITS and demonstrating its benefits. There was plenty of traffic in the display area, consisting of general State Capitol staff, a few legislators, some FDOT District Secretaries, and some members of the Florida Transportation Commission.
Although the cost to participate in the ITS Legislative Awareness Day is relatively low, the event may not warrant being held all day in future years. In order to make this event a success, ITS Florida needs stronger member participation. ITS Florida sends a very special thanks to those who took the time to participate – it was greatly appreciated.
Overall, after a busy week in Tallahassee, ITS Florida can claim success. The meetings with the Senators, Representatives, and other FDOT staff went extremely well and raised the awareness of our organization and what ITS Florida does for the ITS industry. We would like feedback from our members who participated in the exhibit to determine the appropriate direction for next year. We welcome all feedback, even if you weren’t a participant. Please direct all written feedback related to ITS Legislative Awareness Day to Erika Ridlehoover at Erika.Ridlehoover@transcore.com.
This article was provided by Erika Ridlehoover, Florida ITS Legislative Awareness Day Chair. For more information, please contact Ms. Ridlehoover at (813) 376-0036 or email Erika.Ridlehoover@transcore.com.
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During ITS Florida’s Advisory Council Meeting in Clearwater, Terry Griffith, President of ITS Florida, addressed the Florida Transportation Commission and invited the commissioners to the ITS Legislative Awareness Day that took place at the State Capitol on March 17, 2004. It’s great to know that ITS Florida understands that enlightening the Florida Legislature and other policy makers in our government on the benefits of ITS is critical to the success of the Florida’s overall ITS Program. Florida is investing at least $759 million in ITS deployment over the next ten years, and the FDOT, through it’s ITS Working Group Meetings, has done an excellent job of involving the planners and the implementers of ITS as the ITS Program moves forward. The ITS Working Group Meetings also serve the purpose of keeping our private partners informed about Florida’s ITS Program so they can respond to FDOT’s needs.
Everything seems to be on the right track with ITS deployment. We’ve come a very long way over the past few years. However, there is one component of ITS deployment that we must always keep in mind as we move forward with implementing FDOT’s Ten-Year ITS Cost Feasible Plan… the people who travel on our transportation system. There are many, many partners across the state in the traffic management field. The FDOT, numerous local and county governments, expressway authorities, seaports, airports, and transit authorities are all attempting to address the state’s transportation needs. It is absolutely critical that all of these transportation organizations work together to meet the needs of the traveling public in order to realize our ultimate goal of having a statewide integrated and intermodal transportation system.
John and Jane Public do not know the difference between a local road and a state road, or when they cross jurisdictional boundaries, nor do they care. All they care about is how fast they can get from point “A” to point “B” and if they can get there safely. We need to remember this as we implement our traffic management systems to ensure that we are providing the information the traveling public needs to make informed decisions about their travel choices and the routes they plan to take. The last thing we need is a “disconnect” between jurisdictions when responding to an incident or providing information. We all know, probably from personal experience, that governmental agencies don’t always work together and we all know how frustrating the results can be.
In closing, let’s make
sure that the “I” in ITS is
expressed in every aspect of ITS deployment. We must be intelligent in
coordinating, planning, implementing, operating, and maintaining
every aspect of ITS. Our ultimate
goal is a statewide integrated intermodal transportation system that
meets the needs of the traveling public. We cannot achieve this goal
working individually. I know this is a worn out cliché, but it
has to be said – There is no “I” in team. Let’s
show the citizens in Florida what can be accomplished with teamwork.
This article was provided by Mark Reichert, Florida Transportation Commission. For more information, please contact Mr. Reichert at (850) 414-4103 or email Mark.Reichert@dot.state.fl.us.
If you wish to contribute an article to the SunGuideSM Disseminator on behalf of ITS FloridaTM, please contact Erika Ridlehoover at (813) 376-0036, or email Erika.Ridlehoover@transcore.com.
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On November 5, 2003, my adventure began. What better way to spend the winter – in Florida with warmer weather than found in my home state of Tennessee or in Washington D.C. – learning about FDOT’s ITS Program, and making new friends. I was sold.
I completed my 14-hour drive
from Washington D.C. and arrived in Tallahassee, Florida,
The next day, my assignment began. I met the FDOT ITS Office staff along with a few others at a Primavera software training course held at the FDOT Magnolia Training Facility. My tasks were laid out; Chester Chandler and his staff welcomed me; and I was asked to write an editorial for the April edition of the SunGuideSM Disseminator.
First, I would like to give you a bit of background of how I came to be in Florida working with these dedicated individuals involved with the FDOT ITS Program. I was hired by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and began working as a Highway Safety Engineer in June 2002. During my first two years with FHWA, I have been part of the Professional Development Program. This program takes each individual on a tour of assignments to gain background, knowledge, and experience in areas throughout the public and private sectors of transportation.
I spent this time at several locations on special assignments within the FHWA and with state departments of transportation. Other than Florida, my assignment locations included:
During the assignments in Kansas, Washington, and Virginia, my focus was on safety. I worked on design projects, work zone review teams, intersection crash studies, sign visibility, and many other projects.
Since more than 42,000 people are killed annually in traffic crashes in this country, safety is one of the FHWA’s Vital Few priorities. FHWA has the responsibility of ensuring that the nation’s highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up to date. For this reason, I thought it would be a good idea to look beyond the safety arena in order to learn more about opportunities and new technologies to aid in achieving our goal of reducing fatalities on our nation’s highways.
In order to gain the cross-training I desired, my supervisor and I set up an assignment with the FDOT. The FDOT continues to be on the cutting edge of ITS technology. FHWA believed that getting involved with a state that continually strives to move forward would help me achieve my goal of gaining some experience and knowledge of ITS technologies. This would give me the ability to apply what I learn about ITS technologies to safety work and how ITS can be used to aid us in reaching our safety goals as a nation.
ITS offers ways of aiding motorists during their journey by using technologies ranging from information distribution with the 511 service and dynamic message signs to the reduction in response times for incident management. These technologies are designed to save lives, time, and money. During my assignment I was exposed to existing and new technologies at work. I was able to:
I was also able to attend the SunGuideSM Software Kickoff Meeting, an ITS Florida Board of Directors Meeting, two FDOT ITS Working Group Meetings, an incident management meeting in Orlando, and several other meetings. Through all of these activities I have been able to learn and experience the great things that FDOT has accomplished and continues to accomplish with ITS.
I will be starting on my new adventure in design and safety with FHWA at the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division in Sterling, Virginia. I believe that with both safety and my new-learned knowledge of ITS technologies, we can accomplish the critical goal of saving lives.
I would like to thank the FDOT ITS Office for hosting me during my assignment and making me feel welcome. During my short stay, I have met many talented individuals who contributed to my learning experience. The contacts and friendships I have made will be very valuable in my future. Although I am excited to begin my next journey with FHWA, I do hope to keep a good working relationship with each person I have met along the way.
For information on FHWA safety facts, visit the Safety Web page at: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ facts_data/category.htm.
This editorial was provided by Jacinda Russell, FHWA. For more information,
please contact Ms. Russell by email at Jacinda.Russell@fhwa.dot.gov.
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SunGuideSM Disseminator Word Challenge Answers
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America's 14th Annual Meeting and Exposition
FDOT has successfully exhibited at ITS America’s Annual Meeting and Exposition since 2001. FDOT and ITS Florida’s exhibit will center around Florida’s successes in ITS deployments and ITS Florida members, and will provide an opportunity for visitors to speak with attending FDOT ITS Office representatives.
Stop by and visit — FDOT will be at Booth 270.
For more information, please contact Kristen Blanton, FDOT ITS Office, at (850) 410-5631 or email Kristen.Blanton@dot.state.fl.us.
Are a Finalist!
The FDOT ITS Office submitted its entry, a 1,500-word essay entitled “Mainstreaming SunGuideSM Through FDOT ITS Working Group Meetings,” in the new award category, Marketing/Outreach (for Public Sector only). We are proud to have been recognized by ITS America as one of three finalists in this award category. ITS America will announce the winners in all of its award categories in San Antonio on the morning of April 26.
Our ITS Working Group Meetings continue to be a critical element in building Florida’s ITS marketplace. Over 1,000 ITS professionals have attended our ITS Working Group Meetings since the fall of 2000. Each ITS Working Group Meeting provides first-class networking opportunities, technical presentations, training, and a tour.
for Information on the Upcoming Safety and Security, Enforcement
and Technology Conference
Watch for upcoming announcements as further information becomes available.
2004 — Border Wars: Overcoming Transportation Barriers
Steps Down From National ITS Leadership Position
Under Mike’s leadership, participation and membership in ITS America’s CVO activities have increased dramatically. The CVFM Forum has helped shape several national initiatives related to CVO. These initiatives include a formal, and much needed, relationship between the CVO and intermodal freight industries. Thanks largely to Mike’s inclusive leadership style, the CVFM Forum meetings included subject matter and venues directly relevant to leading edge issues facing the CVO and intermodal freight industries. Through this leadership style, Mike was able to elevate awareness and uncover the parallels between the stakeholders for both industries and create a roadmap that will help solve their transportation challenges in a unified manner.
Prior to serving as the CVFM Forum Chairman, Mike served as Chairman of the ITS America CVO Subcommittee on National CVISN Initiatives. Although Mike is stepping down, he will still be an active CVFM Forum member. While his leadership skills will be missed on the CVFM Forum, Mike will be changing leadership hats and becoming the next Chairman of the I-95 Corridor Coalition CVO Program Track. Mike will continue to be busy helping to guide CVO initiatives for agencies and users from Florida to Maine.
. . And a Hearty Welcome to Tahira
Please join us in thanking Jacinda for her hard work and wishing her good luck!
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SunGuideSM Disseminator April 2004