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TMC Staffing & Operations




Brief description

Technological advances, performance-based budgeting, and an increased focused on transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) are all impacting the roles of public agency traffic management centers (TMCs) in the 21st Century. With the changing nature of these roles comes a rethinking of traditional staffing models, as well as the short- and long-term TMC operational strategies pursued by state DOTs. The Texas DOT (TxDOT) and the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) recently embarked on a project to understand the nature of these changes and how future TMC best practices might look within TxDOT’s network of TMCs for its major urban areas.

This virtual peer exchange will bring together agencies from across the United States, to share some of their best practices, challenges, and lessons learned, as they have refined their own TMC operations. The specific applications to be covered are:

• Public agency vs. private contract staffing for day-to-day operations

• The role of integrated corridor management (ICM) on TMC staffing and operational plans

• Leveraging performance measures to support funding and staffing resources for TMCs

In addition, the peer exchange will touch on some of the work done through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s TMC Pooled Fund Study, and will present some of the resources available at a national level to public agencies.

Target Audience

This peer exchange is intended for State and local/city transportation agency personnel who are involved in traffic management, process development, and other operations functions as they pertain to state-owned TMCs. While TxDOT and the SWRI will derive immediate use from the information shared during this event, the peer exchange will also benefit other practitioners, researchers and professionals who are interested in this topic.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this virtual peer exchange will be able to:

• Develop recommended TMC staffing levels based on overall workload

• Apply techniques to ensure acceptable return on investment (ROI) for funding of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and traffic incident management (TIM) programs

• Understand how non-traffic management activities influence staffing and resource availability

• Measure the impact of staffing levels on the ability to handle incidents, considering such factors as:

o Monitor incidents and track incident response

o Provide necessary dispatch and accurate updates to agency partners

o Implement dynamic message signs (DMS) and other equipment as laid out by incident response plans

o Provide automatic terminal information service (ATIS) data entry and updates to support internal and public notification

o Document incident performance measures through an advanced traffic management system (ATMS) per the FHWA TIM Timeline and additional agency requirements

• Assess the impact of staffing levels on compliance with 23CFR511 requirements for reporting incidents, lane closures, travel speeds, and travel time information



• Steven Lavrenz, National Operations Center of Excellence

• Brian Fariello, Texas Department of Transportation

• Jesus Martinez, Southwest Research Institute

• Lynne Randolph, Southwest Research Institute


• Introductory Session: Overview of the TMC Pooled Fund Study

o Jimmy Chu, FHWA

• Session 1: TMCs and the Role of Public vs. Private Sector Staffing

o Randy Johnson, Missouri DOT

o Brian Kary, Minnesota DOT

• Session 2: TMC Staffing and the Impact of Integrated Corridor Management

o Dean Gustafson, Virginia DOT

• Session 3: Leveraging Performance Measures to Justify TMC Staffing and Funding Levels

o Melissa Ackert & Dong Chen, Florida DOT


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Transportation Planner
Senior Engineer
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Manager / First Line Supervisor
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