Strategically Deploying Bus ITS at WMATA

This paper describes how the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has committed organizationally to a “back to basics” approach that emphasizes system reliability and customer service. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are recognized as a means for reaching these goals and delivering tangible benefits. WMATA is currently deploying several significant bus ITS components. In addition, WMATA’s major business systems are being integrated through an enterprise-wide Information Technology Renewal Program (ITRP) that has been underway since 2002. For these efforts to pay off, WMATA’s challenge is determining how to maximize the benefit of these deployments by combining them into an integrated system while operating within a “stovepipe” environment. Working with the existing culture, we are striving to deliver: (1) inter-operability among the different technologies; (2) a systems architecture for integrating on-board and wayside bus information processes and communications systems; (3) integration of on-board WMATA bus ITS with other WMATA systems and regional ITS initiatives. At the same time, these efforts must also be consistent with regional National ITS Architecture requirements and available industry standards. Successfully meeting these challenges will enable the Authority to enhance service reliability and customer satisfaction through projects such as: (1) real-time bus arrival information; (2) schedule-based transit signal priority; and (3) simplified sign-on for bus operators. This paper examines some of the technical as well as cultural issues WMATA is currently facing—both internally and as a regional transportation provider—as the organization strives to complete complex technological projects while transitioning from a “discrete projects” mentality to integrated systems deployments. We look at what we have accomplished, lessons learned, challenges that remain, and WMATA’s vision for improving system reliability and customer service through technology integration.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: 2005 Bus & Paratransit Conference

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001962
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1931594163
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 13 2005 3:36PM