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 OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine the Bay Area with a "single, seamless" transportation system held together with the latest in computer and communications technologies. That's what the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and its partners from over 30 transportation and environmental agencies are looking forward to putting together with the help of a new $450,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
 The funds, from an FHWA Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Early Deployment Program (IVHS EDP) grant, will help planners incorporate new, advanced technologies into the plan for the management of the Bay Area's diverse, multimodal transportation system. That system, dubbed the Metropolitan Transportation System (MTS), was defined in MTC's 1991 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It contains all regionally significant freeway, roadway and transit systems. MTC's 1994 Regional Transportation Plan update, currently under development, focuses on strategies to manage that system, including the deployment of new technologies.
 "The Bay Area is poised to take advantage of emerging IVHS technologies," said MTC Manager of Advanced Systems Applications Joel Markowitz. "In fact, we already have a number of high-tech pieces in place or on the drawing board -- projects such as the region's system of freeway call boxes; Caltrans' Traffic Operations System, which will alert freeway travelers to trouble ahead with changeable message signs and roadside radio beacons; electronic toll collection on bridges; and TravInfo, a 'real-time' traffic and transit information project funded earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Transportation."
 The IVHS EDP grant will be matched by $112,500 in regional Transportation Development Act funds. "The grant will help us evaluate new technology and identify what is appropriate to solve our transportation problems. One goal will be to link transportation modes and agencies together more effectively," said Markowitz. MTC anticipates an extensive outreach and education program oriented towards transit agencies and public works staff, as well as the environmental community and other interested parties. "We'll find out what the needs are and let people know how technology could help," Markowitz added.
 As in the TravInfo Project, MTC will act as the contracting agent for the Bay Area's IVHS Management Board (Caltrans, MTC and the California Highway Patrol). Policy direction will be provided the Bay Area Partnership's MTS Operations and Management Committee.
 MTC is the transportation planning and financing agency for the nine- county San Francisco Bay Area.
 -0- 8/19/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Terry, 510-464-7785, or Catalina Alvarado, 510-464-7783, both of the MTC/

CO: Metropolitan Transportation Commission ST: California IN: TRN SU:

LH-SG -- SF014 -- 4548 08/19/93 18:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1993
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