May 2015 NOCoE Newsletter

Message From the Executive Director

By Dennis Motiani

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The National Operations Center of Excellence is moving forward slowly but surely. During the month of April, I have spent a lot of time in interacting with you, which included some in-person engagements at ITS Heartland and ITS Massachusetts, the AASHTO spring meeting, North/West Passage Regional Operations Forum on Rural ITS and I3 Transportation Showcase in Florida.  I have been very impressed with the attendance and quality of presentations.

What I found a little surprising though was that many of the attendees at these meetings/conferences were hearing about NOCoE for the first time. It’s my sincere request to you that if you are getting this newsletter to please share it with your staff--from management down to the boots on the ground. NOCoE will only be successful if we reach and cater to all levels of TSM&O practitioners. Additionally, our newsletter is revamping continuously. Give us feedback on what you are seeing and reading.

The NOCoE will have a presence in June at the ITS America Annual Meeting/STSM&O annual meeting in Pittsburgh. I hope to see you many of you there. Please stop by the NOCoE kiosk which will be located in the ITS America booth. Do not hesitate to engage in a discussion with me on NOCoE-related matters. I welcome the comments and questions. Enjoy the newsletter and the ITS America Annual Meeting.

National Vision and Big Thinking Necessary for America’s 21st-Century Transportation Infrastructure  
By John S. Halikowski, Director, Arizona Department of Transportation

In January, Arizona inaugurated a new governor. In his first State of the State address, Governor Doug Ducey called for Arizona to "Think Big" and focus on improving the state's economy to create opportunity for all. At the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the governor's challenge is a guiding concept incorporated into ADOT's vision and strategic plan. Competing to achieve success in a global economy requires a vision and plan of action. Effective leadership aligns and motivates people to action since a vision without implementation is just another idea. For Arizona to compete successfully, it must have an aligned statewide vision and plan coupled with leaders at every level in the public and private spectrums advocating and acting to achieve investment in infrastructure. The alternative — do nothing — throws the state back to a patchwork of competing visions and uncoordinated infrastructure investment, and diminishes our ability to compete with the rest of the world. 

Why focus on vision, alignment and action? Because Arizona, like the nation, is in a global competition to attract manufacturing to provide high-paying jobs and drive a robust economy to realize the vision of “opportunity for all.” ADOT believes that transportation infrastructure is a foundational element of establishing and retaining base manufacturing that improves the economy with a “make it here and sell it there” philosophy. Yet, like other states across the nation, Arizona’s capital improvement program to expand and modernize its transportation system is hampered not only by an outmoded and underperforming 1950s revenue model that currently provides the bulk of Arizona’s transportation revenue, but also by complacency and the hope that somehow it will all work out.

Let’s be clear: Hope is not a strategy and complacency is not competition. We can do better. We need action.
In fact, as a nation we talk more about how to fund transportation (or to kick the funding can down the road) than about how we will actually use those resources. Why? Because we have no shared national vision and alignment for transportation infrastructure investment, and we are complacent enough to believe that someone else will solve the problem. Consequently, even though many transportation leaders at all levels have attempted to act and advocate for what they believe is the right solution, the lack of a national vision has fostered a lack of alignment in Congress and consequently resulted in transportation entropy (oxymoron recognized). While many in Congress recognize that “something must be done!” Congress continues to argue with itself about the flaws in funding ideas rather than setting a national vision for a competitive 21st-century transportation system and coming to agreement on adequate and sustainable funding mechanisms. Other countries continue to outpace the U.S. in percentage of GDP invested in transportation and overall regulatory streamlining. As states and as a nation, complacency and inaction will cost us economic power and jobs in the future.  

To read more of this article, please click here.

Operations: The Secret Tool for Economic Growth
By Richard Mudge, Ph.D., Compass Transportation and Technology, Inc.

Transportation operations have a direct impact on people’s daily lives, probably more so than any other public service.  The quality of transportation determines how we get to and from work or to and from visits to friends and family or health appointments, shopping, and recreation.  Even individuals who do not use the roadway system depend on transportation for deliveries of food, health care, and other necessities.

But operations actually play a more vital economic role, albeit one that is largely unseen.  Very simply, businesses perform better with access to large pools of qualified labor and individuals improve their financial well-being with access to more potential jobs.  In sum, labor and job access are keys to our nation’s ability to generate economic productivity and support growth in general.   

Operation Orange Squeeze

Pennsylvania Turnpike has a new initiative called Operation Orange Squeeze. Todd Leiss, Operations Center Duty Officer with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission explains that there is quite a bit of construction going on across the 550+ mile system and it seems that this construction and maintenance is non-stop year around.

Leiss says Operation Orange Squeeze is a work zone safety initiative that operates in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Police. The State Police--Troop T--is the Turnpike Troop and operates out of 9 stations across the system.

In the past two years Leiss says two of their maintenance workers have been killed in maintenance zones and in the past month while working he says there has been one fatal accident (the driver of the striking vehicle) and one near fatal accident in the construction zones.

Please click here to read more and find out about the Operation Orange Squeeze website.

 To read more, please click here.

U.S. Department of Transportation to Unveil New Connected Vehicle 102 Course at the ITS America Annual Meeting

The Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) will unveil a new connected vehicle training workshop at ITS America's 25th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Pittsburgh, PA.

The course is based on the successful Connected Vehicle 101 classes that the ITS JPO has been conducting since 2013.

The workshop will be held on May 31, 2015, in the Welk Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel. This instructor-led workshop builds on the Connected Vehicle 101 workshop by providing additional details about future vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure applications. It will describe initial considerations for deploying the enabling technology such as identifying regional and local transportation challenges, developing deployment concepts and integrating your connected vehicle project into ongoing operations. For further information, please click here.

RFP: Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency
TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program has issued a request for proposals to develop tools to address how environmental, economic, and social sustainability objectives can be established and implemented by transit agencies. Proposals are due July 14, 2015.

USDOT Announces Updates to the National ITS Architecture and the Turbo Architecture Software


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office is pleased to announce that the National ITS Architecture and the Turbo Architecture software have been updated to Version 7.1 and are available at the National ITS Architecture website. The National ITS Architecture provides a common framework for planning, defining, and integrating ITS deployments. 

The Architecture was developed and has evolved with stakeholder input, using a consensus-building methodology in accordance with legislative direction. The National ITS Architecture reflects the contributions of a broad cross-section of the ITS community and provides a definitive reference for ITS deployment planning. Please click the link above to read more.

Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Deployment Coalition to Host Workshop Following ITS America's Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh 

Via ITS JPO news release

The newly formed Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Deployment Coalition (V2I DC) will hold a workshop to form technical working groups (TWGs) and increase stakeholder participation in V2I deployment activates. The workshop is open to the public and will be held at the Omni William Penn Hotel on June 4 and 5 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Formed earlier this year, the V2I DC includes the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and ITS America. The workshop is anticipated to be a full day on Thursday, June 4th, and a half-day on Friday, June 5th. To find out the purpose and further information, please click the link above.

NDOT Lanuches Wi-Fi on Train Service 


On May 25th, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Piedmont train, the N.C. Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) Rail Division launched its new Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi Service. According to NCDOT, the addition of complimentary Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi will ensure complete wireless internet services to passengers traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi service will allow passengers non-stop access to surf the web, check and respond to email, engage in social media and stay connected while traveling on the 174-mile corridor. To find out more, please click the link above.

Have You Visited the NOCoE Website?

The National Operations Center of Excellence is your source for the latest transportation systems management and operations news! Check the site at for recently-added blog posts, events, reference documents, forum discussions and more. We are especially interested in you sharing your experiences or organizational practices in the discussion forum.This is YOUR transportation operations resource and we are interested in your feedback to continually improve our portfolio of services. Please feel free to contact us with your suggestions, either through the website or at