Research Archive

Real-Time Transit Data Demonstration Projects Awarded to Integrated Corridor Management Demonstration Sites

The primary objective of the Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Initiative is to demonstrate how innovative transportation strategies and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies can efficiently and proactively facilitate the movement of people and goods through major metropolitan transportation corridors.

Specifically, ICM is the integrated, dynamic management of freeway, arterial, transit, and parking systems within a corridor using ITS technologies and innovative practices or strategies.  It includes technical, operational, and institutional integration.  In simple terms, ICM is the management of the corridor as a system, rather than the traditional approach of managing the individual transportation networks within the corridor.  ICM operations occur for all operational conditions, including recurring congestion, incidents, planned events (e.g., construction), special events (e.g., concert, sporting events), and adverse weather.

Many transit agencies currently lack access to transit vehicle data in real time.  As a result, it may be difficult to implement some ICM strategies that include transit, such as adding transit capacity in real time to accommodate dynamic mode shift to transit (e.g., drivers may shift to transit as a result of a major incident on an adjacent freeway).  In order to help “fill the ICM transit data gap,” the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recently awarded $1,700,000 to the ICM Demonstration Sites ($900,000 to Dallas) and ($800,000 to San Diego) to develop, install, test, and demonstrate on-board ITS systems and communications technologies to support real-time connectivity between transit vehicles and central facilities to support the following potential applications:

  • Vehicle location and speed monitoring
  • Passenger load monitoring
  • Vehicle health monitoring
  • On-demand in-vehicle traveler information
  • On-board video surveillance

The Dallas ICM Pioneer Site will install automatic passenger counters (APCs) on Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) red line light rail transit (LRT) vehicles and analyze various communications mechanisms (e.g., General Packet Radio System, Wi-Fi, Dedicated Short Range Communications [DSRC]) for transmitting train locations, speeds, and passenger counts to a train control center and ICM system in real time to make informed operational decisions.  Using this and other information, the project will explore the scenarios for which DART could increase LRT capacity in real time to accommodate dynamic mode shift to transit. 

The San Diego ICM Pioneer Site will analyze various communications mechanisms (e.g., cellular, Wi-Fi, DSRC) for transmitting bus locations, speeds, passenger counts, and other potential on-board data for the proposed new Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which will operate in the I-15 corridor.  Similar to Dallas, these data will be transmitted to a transit management center(s) and ICM system in real time to make informed ICM operational decisions.  For example, the information will be provided to an ICM decision support system that will be used by San Diego partner agencies to select appropriate ICM strategies.  The project will also explore how real-time transit vehicle health data could improve responses to road calls or prevent bus breakdowns in the field.

Lastly, the project will include an independent evaluation to be conducted by the Volpe Center that will evaluate the performance of the on-board transit vehicle data collection and communications equipment, assess the utility of the real-time data/information, and determine the ability of the transit agencies to make operational changes in real time.  The evaluation will also document any lessons learned.

For more information on the U.S. DOT ICM Initiative please contact:

Brian Cronin
Team Leader, ITS Research and Demonstration
ITS Joint Program Office
Research and Innovative Technology Administration

Steve Mortensen
Senior ITS Engineer
Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation
Federal Transit Administration

Bob Sheehan
Transportation Specialist
Office of Operations – Transportation Management
Federal Highway Administration

For more information on the Dallas ICM Pioneer Site please contact:

Koorosh Olyai, P.E.
Assistant Vice President
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) – Mobility Programs Development

For more information on the San Diego ICM Pioneer Site please contact:

Alex Estrella
Senior Transportation Planner
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)