In many transit agencies, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are procured and used in stand-alone modes by the individual business unit that sponsored the deployment. This practice limits the ability for a broad range of business areas to benefit from those systems. To begin to overcome this limitation, it is important to establish internal procedures to integrate available ITS technologies into legacy systems, open data sources, and transparent structures leading to ample opportunities for distributing information creatively, effectively, and efficiently. This approach can help streamline internal operations, inter-agency coordination, and the elimination of duplicating data collection efforts.
On the external front, many transit agencies have been releasing raw routing and scheduling data to third-party developers leading to transformative applications. These applications emphasize social, mobile, app-centric, cloud-based data transformations that are now available. An array of transit applications can be tailored to improve customer service at little or no cost to the agencies.
To assist transit leaders in understanding ITS technologies, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) would like to include as part of their website a “Tech Portal” that will be managed by its Research & Technology Committee. The purpose of the Tech Portal is to provide a resource for transit leaders to learn about technology that their agency can use, particularly newer technologies. Information placed on the portal will typically be short (5-minute average), graphic-based (video, flash, or PowerPoint) presentations on a macro level. Content will be non-vendor specific and broad based, and may cover all aspects of transit, including bus, rail, paratransit, planning, operations, engineering, maintenance, management, and other relevant areas.
The objective of this research was to develop content and structure for a web-based knowledge portal for transit system leaders that will be hosted on the APTA website. The content of this web-based portal is intended to help transit system leaders understand and communicate how to deploy existing and emerging technology, incorporating the following products:
1. A Tech Portal site map and work flow for submission, approval, and presentation of content that will be hosted on APTA’s content management system within the existing APTA website design;
Note: APTA currently uses a SharePoint™ platform for content management. Material created as part of this research should ultimately be compatible with that platform to facilitate implementation.
2. Formal standards, templates, and procedures for content submission as a function of the chosen media;
3. Effective guidelines for maintaining, updating, and removing Tech Portal contents;
4. Initial multi-media content for seeding the Tech Portal with current, relevant information using the templates; and
5. A preliminary implementation, marketing, and sustainability plan for the Tech Portal.
Guidelines are now complete and posted as Web Only Document 68.
Setting up the web portal with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is now underway.