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Rural and Small Metropolitan Intelligent Transportation Systems Case Studies

Rural and Small Metropolitan Intelligent Transportation Systems Case Studies

In This Article:

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) projects include a wide variety of applications where communications technologies are connected to transportation systems. Rural and small metropolitan areas can see benefits to transportation safety, mobility, and operations, but they may experience challenges due to long distances, smaller populations, telecommunications connectivity issues, and funding for transportation improvements.

From 2019-2023, the NADO Research Foundation conducted research supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ITS Joint Program Office and developed the report Rural and Small Metropolitan Intelligent Transportation Systems: Case Studies on Developing and Deploying ITS in Rural Regions and Smaller Communities (PDF, draft final report, May 2023).

This research combined a review of existing literature on rural and small metropolitan ITS with interviews of transportation professionals and primary source research to identify case studies. The report presents case studies highlighting the work of state, regional, local, and nonprofit agencies using ITS in rural, small metropolitan, and suburban or exurban places around the United States. Several themes emerged across the cases, including important roles for state, regional, and local agencies in preparing for and investing in ITS; the significance of capacity building for staff on ITS; and the need to invest in rural broadband along with ITS.

Travel Information Case Studies

Management and Operations Case Studies

Transportation Safety and Health Case Studies

Transit and Mobility Case Studies

Preparing for Vehicle Connectivity and Automated Vehicles Case Studies

Smart Infrastructure Case Studies

This research was conducted under contract to the U.S. Department of Transportation in two parts, completed in 2020 and in 2023. The report was primarily authored by NADO Program Manager Rachel Beyerle, NADO Associate Director Carrie Kissel, and NADO Research Fellow Danny Tomares.

Many transportation agency staff and others assisted with this project in a variety of ways. We offer deep and heartfelt thanks to all the individuals who have provided information and images, consented to be interviewed, and offered editorial guidance in support of this research. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. DOT or the NADO Research Foundation. This research is not endorsing any manufacturers, products, or services cited herein and any trade name that may appear in the work has been included only because it is essential to the contents of the work.

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