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MTC: BAY AREA WINS FEDERAL GRANT TO DEVELOP HIGH TECH TRAVELER INFORMATION SYSTEM

 OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) issued the following today:
 The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has identified the San Francisco Bay Area Intermodal Traveler Information System "TravInfo" project as one of 16 proposals out of 102 nationwide that will receive federal money to advance Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) concepts.
 The TravInfo application was prepared by an ad hoc partnership of public agencies and private firms chaired by the MTC. TravInfo will provide travelers with easy access to current and accurate information on all travel modes. When TravInfo becomes fully operational in the mid-1990s, travelers will be able to access the regional information center, indicate where they are and where they want to go, and the TravInfo system will identify multiple options (i.e., drive to Hilltop Park-and-Ride Lot, take bus to BART and take BART to San Francisco Civic Center, versus drive west on Interstate-80 to Ninth St. in San Francisco, follow Ninth to parking structure at Mission St.) as well as provide accurate information on the current travel time and the cost of each option.
 "This is an exciting project because it was created by public and private partners to serve the needs of both: the public's demand for better travel information and businesses' desire to develop innovative products to deliver that information," said MTC Manager of Advanced Systems Applications Joel Markowitz. Federal Highway Administrator Tom Larson agrees. "The TravInfo project is a personal favorite of mine," he told the MTC planning staff today during a visit to the agency.
 The Bay Area applied for $2.5 million to implement and operate for two years the initial stage of the project, the Baseline System. It will integrate data from the California Highway Patrol's regional incident log with data from surveillance of approximately 125 miles of freeway by Caltrans' Traffic Operations System and MTC Service Authority for Freeways and Expressways roving tow truck patrols and a database of public transit routes, schedules and fares that is currently being developed by MTC and local transit operators.
 Although U.S. DOT officials have yet to determine the amount of money the Bay Area will actually get and when it will arrive, Markowitz is optimistic that it will be enough to get the project off the ground this year. "The Bay Area won this grant based on the merits of the project and strength of our partnership efforts. We were up against stiff competition from around the country for the IVHS funds," Markowitz said.
 The TravInfo project will be under the day-to-day direction of a full-time project manager and the overall direction of a management board composed of MTC, Caltrans District 4 and the California Highway Patrol.
 The high-quality transportation data produced by integrating many sources of information will enable private firms to develop and deploy additional innovative Advanced Traveler Information Systems products. "Because of their high-tech expertise, Bay Area firms are already cranking out in-vehicle navigation systems, pocket-sized traffic information devices, telephone information systems and modified radio receivers. One goal of this project is to encourage new private sector initiatives," said Markowitz.
 The effects of TravInfo on a broad array of issues, including entrepreneurial response to improved travel information, changes in individual travel behavior and the impact on the performance of the transportation system as a whole, will be evaluated by California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH), a consortium of California universities formed to enhance IVHS research.
 MTC is the transportation planning and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Terry, 510-464-7785, or Catalina Alvarado, 510-464-7783, both of MTC/


CO: Metropolitan Transportation Commission; U.S. Department of
 Transportation; Caltrans District 4; California Highway Patrol ST: California IN: TRN SU:


GT-BB -- SF011 -- 2861 01/07/93 18:13 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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