Street smart: Safety, federal concerns fuel legislation for highway funds

Safety, security concerns likely to fuel legislation for federal highway funds<@VM>Roadwork ahead: Transportation-related projects up for bid

For Robert Franklin of Lockheed Martin Transportation Systems, the future of traffic management systems shines brightly

(Washington Technology photo by Paul Bousquet)

"There will be more demands for security. The public wants it and the providers want it." ? Ghassan Salameh, a vice president and co-leader of the transportation practice at Booz Allen Hamilton

Since the September attacks, American Management Systems Inc. has concentrated heavily on helping government agencies identify transportation employees and citizens applying for driver's licenses, said Barry Goleman, an AMS vice president.

When Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, it provided a new avenue for systems integrators to broaden their business base in the state and local market.

The six-year, $151 billion highway transit bill, commonly known as ISTEA or "ice tea," provided federal grants to state and local governments aimed at improving the quality of American life by unclogging roads and making travel easier on streets and highways.

The legislation led directly to five major projects for aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp., according to Robert Franklin of Lockheed Martin Transportation Systems. Among these were an advanced transportation management system for Colorado, an intelligent transportation system for Minnesota and a contract to develop a national intelligent transportation system (ITS) architecture for the U.S. Transportation Department.

The bill "was what really set [ITS] in motion" for the company, said Franklin, manager of Lockheed Martin's ITS business development.

ISTEA and its 1998 reauthorization, the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century, laid the groundwork for robust business not only for large defense integrators, but also for business process outsourcing companies that found opportunities in electronic toll collection systems and traffic enforcement programs.

The market research firm Gartner Dataquest of Stamford, Conn., estimates spending on information technology hardware, software and solutions for transportation by state and local governments will grow at an annual rate of 6.5 percent from $7.3 billion in 2002 to $8.7 billion in 2005.

When the surface transportation bill comes up for reauthorization in September 2003, the sector's key players are betting that lawmakers will change the bill's focus from smart transportation to safe transportation.

"There will be more demands for security. The public wants it and the providers want it," said Ghassan Salameh, a vice president and co-leader of the transportation practice at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Va.

With this in mind, several systems integrators have developed new security solutions ? such as identity verification systems for driver's licenses, surveillance systems for ports and tracking systems for hazardous cargo ? positioning themselves for what they believe will be significant new opportunities in the transportation sector.

New requirements, solutions

The role that traffic management centers played in New York and Washington Sept. 11 was "a clear indication of the value or utility of intelligent transportation systems in dealing with a wide range of events, even those unanticipated, such as terrorism," said C. Michael Walton, chairman of the board of directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America in Washington.

Intelligent transportation uses various technologies ? communications, information processing, control, electronics, Global Positioning System satellites ? to track the movement of vehicles, monitor traffic flow and provide security at border crossings and checkpoints.

Before Sept. 11, an intelligent transportation system in one city or region was not typically linked with other cities or, for that matter, with the police or other emergency personnel. But the terrorist attacks have spurred government officials to integrate traffic management centers and other transportation systems with other public systems.

The Department of Transportation wants state and local governments to deploy integrated ITS infrastructure in the nation's 75 largest metropolitan areas by 2006. Next year, Congress is expected to provide $232 million in grants to state and local governments for ITS, according to ITSA.

The funding includes $110 million for standards, operational testing and development and $122 million for deployment, the group said.

John Goggin, vice president for government strategic service at the Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group Inc., said state and local governments likely will seek federal grants to improve emergency services, highway flow and traffic management improvements and vehicle monitoring and identification next year.

Some transportation security projects with a national focus will establish the design for future projects. For example, TRW Inc. of Cleveland won a five-year, $31 million contract in May from the Coast Guard to assess the vulnerability of 55 military and commercial seaports and develop a methodology for improving their security.

Similarly, Booz Allen Hamilton is completing a $1.6 million threat and vulnerability assessment of 32 transit agencies for the Federal Transit Administration. The project, which was awarded in January, is to help transit agencies protect passengers and systems from explosives, chemical and biological attacks and cyberattacks, Salameh said.

American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., has made major changes to its transportation practice in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Before the attacks, the company's transportation practice was evenly split between supporting financial and infrastructure systems for state transportation departments and supporting driver's licensing programs for motor vehicle administrations, said Barry Goleman, vice president of state and local solutions for AMS' public safety and transportation group.

Since the attacks, AMS has concentrated on identity verification, marketing its new authentication solution, called Identicate, to federal and state agencies, Goleman said. The solution is designed to provide positive identification of transportation employees and help states verify the identity of citizens applying for driver's licenses.

The solution gives state customers "a way to take positive action with minimal setup time and cost" and doesn't involve replacing entire systems, Goleman said.

The company has won pilot projects with one federal agency and two states, Goleman said. The customers have asked AMS not to identify them, he said.

Also responding to the new demand for secure transportation, Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, is developing solutions designed to ensure the safety of infrastructure and commercial shipping, said Jim Dullum, enterprise client executive for EDS' Sabre account.

The company has bundled technologies that would put an electronic "fence" around shipments of cargo to ensure they are not tampered with as they move around the country, he said. The company is also looking at using smart cards to identify truck drivers or transit workers and providing surveillance technologies for border crossings, he said.

Ciber Inc. of Denver also sees opportunities in port security. The company has developed a port security solution that tracks incoming and outgoing ships.

In April, Ciber won a $1 million contract with Hawaii to provide harbor management and security software to improve safety and security at eight ports on the Hawaiian islands, said Ed Burns, Ciber's president of state government solutions. The company is in discussions with Florida and Louisiana for similar solutions, he said.

Designing security-related transportation systems that can be integrated with the police and other public safety organizations is not without obstacles.

Traditionally, the security standards for intelligent transportation systems have been substantially lower than those required for public safety systems, said Tom Davies, senior vice president of the market intelligence firm Current Analysis Inc., Sterling Va.

Consequently, additional funding will be required to improve the security and interoperability of traffic management systems, he said. This will provide additional opportunities for systems integrators to provide planning and consulting services to integrate traffic management with public safety systems.

"There will be a modernization of the traffic systems in place to be sure they can't be disrupted, and the new systems put in place will be held to a higher standard," Davies said.

Looking to Congress

Ciber's port surveillance project in Hawaii was funded by the Coast Guard through a grant from the Department of Transportation. While few such grants were awarded this year, systems integrators are hopeful that grant money will flow more freely to state and local governments in future years through TEA-3, the next six-year surface transportation bill.

These hopes are not far-fetched. The ITS community has powerful support from the 35-member ITS Congressional Caucus, jointly chaired by Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif. Caucus members are expected to push for the ongoing deployment of intelligent transportation systems in the nation's largest metropolitan areas, according to ITSA.

Industry experts believe the new surface transportation bill may contain policy changes governing matters such as shipping hazardous cargo and security requirements for transportation projects.

The two previous surface transportation bills are among the largest public works projects in the nation's history, providing billions in grants to state and local governments for transportation improvements and efficiencies.

Because of expected state budget shortfalls during the next several years, transportation initiatives will continue to rely heavily on federal funding. But between homeland security funding and the 2003 surface transportation bill, contractors are optimistic about new business opportunities.

"The transportation bill would give the states greater financial access to do the critical infrastructure, surveillance and ITS projects that we believe are necessary to protect our nation," Burns said.

(Washington Technology photo by Dan Gross)

U.S. Transportation Department

Project:Surface Transportation Security and Reliability Information System Model Deployment

Value:$10 million over four years

RFP: Sept. 13

Purpose: Fund a pilot project by a state department of transportation to improve transportation security.

Iowa Department of Transportation

Project: Deployment of an Intelligent Transportation System, phase II

Value: TBD

RFP: Late 2002

Purpose: Deploy an ITS system with advanced traveler information systems, electronic fare payment system and intelligent vehicle initiatives.

Kansas Departmentof Transportation

Project: Study of Automatic Vehicle Location System

Value: TBD

RFP: October

Purpose: Commission a study of an AVL system for emergency response vehicles.

Massachusetts Highway Department

Project: Massachusetts Intelligent Transportation System

Value: TBD

RFP: January 2003

Purpose: Enhance statewide ITS system.

New York State Thruway Authority

Project: Advanced Traffic Management System

Value: TBD

RFP: October

Purpose: Build an advanced traffic management solution to monitor and control ITS devices along the thruway and provide an integrated view of roadway conditions.

North Carolina Department of Transportation

Project: Consulting Services for Community Transportation Improvement Plans

Value: Three-year contract, value to be determined

RFP: Issued July 25

Purpose: Planning and management assistance for community transportation improvement plans, five-year service plans, facility site selection and feasibility studies.

Oregon Department of Transportation

Project: Address Change Solution and Vehicle Registration Renewals

Value: TBD

RFP: August

Purpose: Move some DMV processes to the Internet, including custom license plate applications and driver's record requests.

Virginia Department of Transportation

Project: Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Systems Integrator

Value: TBD

RFP: October

Purpose: The department is seeking a systems integrator for an intelligent transportation system along the Interstate 81 corridor.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.