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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Travinfo Evaluation (technology Element) Traveler Information Center (tic) Study: Operator Interface Component-phase Iv: Institutional Analysis


TravInfo is a Field Operational Test of advanced traveler information systems for the San Francisco Bay Area, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The project involves a public/private partnership which seeks to compile, integrate and broadly disseminate timely and accurate multi-modal traveler information through commercial products and services. The public sector component centers on the Traveler Information Center (TIC), which collects and integrates both static and dynamic traveler information. The TIC began operations in September 1996 and operates as an FOT through September of 1998. The evaluation of the TIC consists of four components, system reliability, communications interface, response time, and operator interface. This report focuses on the operator interface element. The operator interface element has investigated the human element by considering the role of the operator in the flow of information through the TIC, the operators' tasks and responsibilities and the operators' physical environment. This report focuses on TIC operational effectiveness from an institutional perspective, identifying both areas of achievement as well as barriers to successful TIC operations. The evaluation was conducted through an analysis of responses to questions during in-person interviews of TIC operators, supervisors, and management. While data was collected, processed, and disseminated to the public and private sectors, there were, nonetheless, constraints to operational effectiveness; most pre-dated the beginning of TIC operations but there were some that occurred during TIC operations. There were also, however, areas of success that contributed to operational effectiveness. Prior to beginning operations detailed pre-project planning is essential, particularly vis--vis selection of a committed contractor(s), contractual agreements, data sources, and software interface design. During operations, key issues to consider include the hiring of staff with a high level of adaptability and flexibility to accommodate a changing environment, instituting staff quality control measures, and insuring a high level of communication among all staff. Key Words: TravInfo, Field Operational Test, evaluation, traveler information center, advanced traveler information systems, operator interface, institutional issues

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