Rockville, MD – October 28, 2010 – As Interstate 95 marks its 50th anniversary this year, the I-95 Corridor Coalition announced several key milestones in their coordinated multi-state effort focused on improving the transport of people and commerce in a region representing the world’s 3rd largest economy.
Today, the Coalition announced its ground-breaking “Vehicle Probe Project”1 now provides real-time traffic speeds and travel time information for more than 5,000 miles of roads along the I-95 corridor. In announcing the expansion, the Coalition outlined how the 2-year-old project, through a more cost-effective approach, has improved operations, managed emergency response, and delivered new and improved traveler information services.
“Two years ago, leaders of the Coalition decided to seek consistent real-time traffic data for a large multi-state area, believing the timing was right to leverage technology capable of delivering high quality traffic information at much less cost than traditional approaches,” said George Schoener, Executive Director, I-95 Corridor Coalition.
The I-95 Vehicle Probe Project is a public-private partnership, launched in October 2008, between the Coalition, the University of Maryland and INRIX resulting from a competitive bidding process managed by the Coalition. The project is focused on creating the nation’s first seamless traffic information and monitoring system to use “crowd-sourced” traffic information for achieving a more complete view of travel times and speeds on freeways and arterials along the eastern seaboard. Key results to date include:
• Better Traffic Monitoring at a Fraction of the Cost. In addition to providing states with a more complete view of traffic conditions on their major roads, INRIX’s real-time traffic information has helped states more effectively allocate limited traffic operations resources. According to North Carolina DOT where previous approaches to gathering traffic data had a life cycle cost of nearly $50,000 per mile, INRIX vehicle probe data has been proven to deliver more coverage at about 25 percent of the per mile life cycle cost.2 Similarly, South Carolina DOT claimed that maintaining coverage to gain speed data for over 300 miles of South Carolina roads using traditional methods is equal to the total cost of the INRIX speed and travel time data for 1,200 miles of roads.2
• Faster Emergency Response. In addition to seeing real-time traffic conditions for more roadways and across state lines, member states have been able to more quickly identify and respond to traffic issues. In New Jersey, traffic operations staff identified a serious crash on a stretch of I-80 during a surprise October 2008 snowstorm that they previously wouldn’t have been able to see using their CCTV system. Without the Vehicle Probe Project traffic monitoring site, response to the 2nd incident would have been delayed by as much as an hour. NJDOT estimated that the expedited response to the second incident translated into $100,000 in savings in user delay costs. 2
• New and Improved Traveler Information Services. In a region of 100 million people where more than 100,000 cars and trucks travel the I-95 corridor every day, the Project has delivered new and improved traveler information services that help residents and businesses better plan their trips including:
• Online. i95travelinfo.net provides valuable information to help people better plan their trips with traffic information and travel times for destinations in 15 states covering 24 metropolitan areas including I-95, the beltways surrounding each major city, and all associated routes that together make up the corridor. Additionally, New Jersey DOT is now posting trip times for key corridors and work zones on its newly upgraded 511nj.org site along with the traffic flow map that has been on the site since the projects inception.
• On the road. The Maryland State Highway Administration is now posting travel times on 22 dynamic message signs in the Baltimore/Washington area during peak periods using Project data. Additionally, Virginia DOT is displaying travel time information to common destinations on several multi-function displays at one of the nation’s largest malls at Tysons Corner and at two welcome centers along I-95.
• On the phone. North Carolina DOT has created a statewide “virtual dynamic message sign” feature on its 511 telephone service that allows callers to get estimated travel times to major interchanges. The Florida DOT also has made improvements to its statewide 511 service by using project data along I-10 and I-75 in North Florida, areas previously not covered until Florida joined the Project in June 2010.
“As we move forward with to expand coverage throughout the Coalition, more of our members will have access to traffic data that is becoming a valuable tool in the development of performance measures for their systems,” added Schoener.
About I-95 Corridor Coalition
The I-95 Corridor Coalition is a partnership of transportation agencies, toll authorities, and related organizations, including public safety, port, transit and rail organizations – from the State of Maine to the State of Florida – working together to improve long distance travel for passengers and freight. For more information, visit www.i95coalition.org.
1 Source: Vehicle Probe Project One-Pager, July 2010, https://cot.ag/9QMzF2
2 Source: Vehicle Probe Project Benefits White Paper, August 2010 https://cot.ag/9QMzF2