U.S. Department of Transportation ITS Program Advisory Committee

Committee Meeting Minutes: September 25, 2007
1:00 p.m.- 2:46 p.m., Conference Room 7
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington , DC 20590

1. Committee Members Present in Conference Room 7:

Shelley Row, Committee Designated Federal Official
Joseph Avercamp
Kenneth J. Button
Bryan P. Mistele

2. Committee Members Present by Webconference:

Steve Albert
Robert Peter Denaro
Ann Flemer
Alfred Foxx
John M. Inglish
Randell H. Iwasaki
Thomas C. Lambert
Adrian Lund
M. Granger Morgan
Tomiji Sugimoto
Joseph M. Sussman
Iris Weinshall
Ronald Greer Woodruff
John Worthington

3. Committee Members Absent:

Lawrence Burns
Michael Replogle

4. Others Present:

Paul R. Brubaker, Administrator, U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration
Steven Bayles, Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Scott Belcher, ITS America
Bob Glass, Citizant
John Hinch, U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Sarah Hiple, Nissan North America
Ron Hynes, U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration
Don Itzkoff, O’Connor & Hannan LLP
Barney Legge, Citizant
Robert Monniere, U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration
Andy Palanisamy, Citizant
Ray Resendes, U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Rick Schuman, Inrix
Carlos R. Vélez, Jr., Citizant
Matt Welbes, U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration
Jack Wells, Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Kyle Williams, Robert Bosch LLC

5. Agenda:

  • Opening
  • Ethics and FACA Briefing
  • ITS Program Advisory Committee (ITSPAC) Charter
  • ITS Program Plan
  • U.S. DOT, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), and ITS Joint Program Office (ITS JPO)
  • ITS Management Council and ITS Strategic Planning Group
  • Overview of Current ITS Program
  • Strategic Direction
  • General Discussion
  • Next Steps
  • Public Comments
  • Closing

6. Meeting Transcript and Other Committee Documents:

The meeting transcript and other committee documents publicly are available online at http://www.its.dot.gov/itspac/index.htm

7. Summary of Proceedings:

  • Opening: Ms. Row called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m., welcomed the group, and facilitated introductions. Ms. Row described the meeting purpose as an introduction to the basic federal advisory committee legislative, administrative, and organizational issues that will serve as background for the committee’s strategy planning effort that will be the major topic of the November 2007 committee meeting. Ms. Row then reviewed the meeting agenda.
  • Ethics and FACA Briefing: Mr. Monniere presented a summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), including provisions related to ethics and the avoidance of committee member conflicts of interest.
  • ITS Program Advisory Committee (ITSPAC) Charter: Ms. Row discussed key elements of the ITSPAC charter.
    • Role of the ITSPAC is advisory.
    • ITSPAC input will be fed into both the Surface Transportation Research and Technology Development Strategic Plan and the ITS Program Plan.
    • The ITSPAC annually is to review ITS program funding to ensure program activities are likely to advance ITS; likely to result in deployment, and if not, to identify the barriers to deployment; and that the appropriate government and private sector roles in ITS research and technology investment have been considered.
    • Annually, the Secretary will report to Congress how ITSPAC recommendations have been assimilated, and reasons for rejecting any recommendations. Next report due February 2008.
    • The ITSPAC is chartered for two years. Charter will be renewed in February 2008.
    • The ITSPAC reports to the Secretary of Transportation through the ITS Joint Program Office.
    • The legislation is very specific on the ITSPAC membership.
    • ITSPAC meetings require a quorum of 10. Goal is to hold three in-person meetings annually, supplemented, as necessary, by Webconferences.
    • Goal is to appoint the ITSPAC chairman and vice chairman prior to the November 2007 meeting.
  • ITS Program Plan: Ms. Row summarized key information concerning the Five-Year ITS Program Plan.
    • ITS Program Plan mandated in SAFETEA-LU, Subtitle C.
    • The ITS JPO will mail committee members a copy of the current ITS Program Plan.
    • The mandated biennial update is next due in Fall 2008.
    • ITSPAC will be requested to provide input for the revised Program Plan, including a future vision for the ITS program.
  • RITA and ITS JPO
    • Mr. Brubaker highlighted that the RITA charter is focused very closely on ensuring the efficient and effective investment in research and technology across the department and the modes. He recommended that ITSPAC members read in detail the SAFETEA-LU ITS program language (Subtitle C), particularly the scope, goals, and purposes sections, because they provide the context in which the Secretary desires the ITSPAC to make its recommendations.
    • Ms. Row briefly addressed the ITS JPO organization, emphasizing that expected changes in the ITS program will be reflected in a revised ITS JPO organization.
  • ITS Management Council and ITS Strategic Planning Group:
    • Ms. Row presented the following summary:
      • The ITS Management Council functions as the ITS program board of directors; is comprised of most of the modal administrators, particularly those representing the surface modes; and provides ITS program strategic guidance. Mr. Brubaker chairs the ITS Management Council
      • The ITS Strategic Planning Group (SPG) is the peer-level group of associate administrators across the modes that are involved in the ITS Program. They provide a very critical link and collaboration point for the ITS Program with the modes who are partners in carrying out the ITS program. They provide more detailed programmatic and budgeting input, and other more specific guidance on the direction of the ITS program. We work with those people fairly frequently and communicate on a routine basis in the conduct of the program
    • Mr. Averkamp asked what is the SPG key deliverable and its timetable? Ms. Row replied that the SPG meets as required and any deliverables depend on the nature of ongoing activities. For example, the SPG provided specific input on how to restructure the program to implement the Congestion Initiative. There were two SPG meetings to look at how to go about the process of realigning the budget to accommodate a new initiative.
  • Overview of Current ITS Program
    • Ms. Row presented a very high level view of the program, which she described as having two main parts -- a research program and a technology transfer program.
    • Recently, the research program was restructured around nine major initiatives focused on high-risk, high-value, high-leverage research. They are all at different stages of development and completion. Six are scheduled to complete in about the 2009 time frame, which lines up with the reauthorization time frame, so now is a good time to be thinking about how to focus the program in the future. All the initiatives are geared around achieving the departmental safety, mobility, and productivity goals. This year, the Congestion Initiative was added, so now there are ten major initiatives
    • The Congestive Initiative has received a lot of visibility and is a key focus for the Department and the Secretary, with $100 million to be made available to urban partners over three years: $20 million in ’07, $40 million in ’08, and $40 million in ’09. The ITS funding, while specifically defined for the urban partners in general, will support the technology components of operational tests at the urban partners’ sites. $95 million of the $100 million will be focused on the technology components and the other $5 million on evaluation and some oversight -- the vast majority toward evaluation. The ITS JPO currently is in the process of developing an initiative evaluation and oversight plan. Evaluation will be performed in partnership with the urban partners, which are Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco. San Diego, although not technically an urban partner, will receive some money for operational testing of an innovative transit technology.
    • Questions and answers followed on the timetable for assessing initiative implementation, the possibility of ITSPAC visits to initiative sites, whether initiative evaluations would address only how well technology performs or will they include also technology long-term impacts, and whether the ITSPAC role primarily will be to review ITS program past performance or to review ITS program planning for the future.
    • Ms. Row concluded the ITS program discussion with a review of the four major components of ITS program technology transfer: information dissemination; professional capacity building; architecture and standards maintenance and deployment; and maintenance of a benefits, costs, lessons learned, and deployment statistics information clearinghouse.
  • Strategic Directions:
    • Ms. Row stated that this portion of the presentation would set the stage for the next ITSPAC meeting in November 2007.
    • She described the current transportation conundrum. The transportation system is stressed by congestion, too many fatalities, and reduced national productivity due to congestion. The public sector investment resources that traditionally have been used to address these transportation problems also are under stress – funding is reduced or insufficient. At the same time, the nation is experiencing an information technology explosion, so how can information technology developments be leveraged in the federal research and technology transfer program to address transportation congestion, safety, and productivity problems? Ms. Row stated that this question is the high-level framework for ITSPAC input to ITS program strategic direction.
    • Ms. Row described the following “vectors” that are coming together to create an opportunity for developing a new ITS program vision: ITSPAC establishment, the 2008 revision of the ITS Program Plan, the 2009 end of several major initiatives, and the 2009 transportation reauthorization.
    • More specifically, Ms. Row stated that the plan for the ITSPAC November meeting is to have each committee member address, from their industry’s perspective, the market trends that are relevant to, and their potential impact on the future of the ITS program.
  • General Discussion, Next Steps: During the discussion that followed, Mr. Brubaker strongly urged committee members to read the ITS program section of SAFETEA-LU and the ITS Program Plan. To help committee members prepare for the November meeting, Ms. Row committed to sending them a series of questions on key transportation and technology trends within their respective industries.
  • Public Comments: Ms. Row called for comments from non-committee members in the room, and there were none.
  • Closing:The meeting concluded at 2:46 p.m.

I hereby certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.

Shelley Row
Designated Federal Official
ITS Program Advisory Committee
November 16, 2007