Houston’s new ITS to be designed and built by TransCore

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The City of Houston, Texas, has awarded TransCore a US$33.6m contract to design and build an intelligent transportation system (ITS) that will be deployed across 489 intersections throughout the city.

The new system will be fully integrated with the city’s multi-agency partnership, Houston TranStar, and the City’s traffic management center (TMC), enabling traffic engineers and emergency operators to immediately detect, respond to, and share real-time information with the traveling public. The project is expected to be completed in early 2020.

Over the next three years, TransCore will design and install:

• 91 new dynamic message signs (DMS);

• 113 roadside CCTV cameras;

• 144 solar-powered, mid-block radar detection sites;

• 489 traffic signal detection sites.

The ITS system will continuously monitor some of Houston’s busiest streets. Through real-time data collection and monitoring from roadside equipment, traffic engineers will stay abreast of current traffic conditions and even predict those locations and times that have a greater likelihood of incidents. The system will immediately dispatch emergency personnel when needed, as well as alert motorists of changing roadway conditions by automatically posting updates on DMS.

TransCore has deployed innovative intelligent traffic management solutions across the USA and internationally, including the world’s largest traffic control system in New York City, and a recently completed project in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, to coordinate multiple existing traffic management systems.

The company has worked with multiple agencies throughout the state of Texas to implement ground-breaking transportation initiatives over the last 30 years. In Houston, it developed the country’s first wrong-way detection system, and in 2015, the company completed another milestone project, with the country’s largest reversible high occupancy vehicle to high occupancy toll (HOV/HOT) lane conversion.

“Our population is expected to grow by 50% over the next 20 years. This equates to another two million travelers on our local roads,” said Alanna Reed, public information officer for Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “This smart technology infrastructure will enable us to prepare for this growth, and provide the residents of Houston greater mobility across the region.”

Clint Holley, TransCore’s Houston-based VP and southwest managing director, commented, “As major metropolitan cities continue to grow, the use of ITS has enabled local governments to increase mobility, lower environmental impacts of congestion, and make our roadways safer. We are excited to work with the City of Houston to deploy a state-of-the-art, city-wide ITS system that brings these important innovations to all of us.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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