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Dispatch from ITS World Congress: Wednesday wanderings

On Wednesday I spent some time navigating the technical displays at the ITS World Congress to learn about the innovations coming to the transit industry.

A few companies are trying to take the hassle out of park-and-ride. Parkmobile designs pay-by-phone systems that are currently in place at parking facilities for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Metra (IL), and Metro-North Railroad (NY). (In fact, MBTA commuters were so excited about the service last summer that 1,000 signed up for accounts before the service came on line.) Streetline uses sensors to provide real-time occupancy information for on- and off-street parking in selected cities. After testing the system at the Fort Totten Metrorail station, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (DC) plans to extend the project to Rockville.

Lynx (FL) has installed LCD displays that provide traveler information at three high-volume bus stops, including the Orlando International Airport. The signs provide countdown information and include space for advertisements and public service announcements. According to Ayers Electronic Systems, LLC, Lynx buses transmit GPS-based location information over a cellular network using the Transit Communications Interface Profiles standard.

In the Canary Islands, Metropolitano de Tenerife uses a wireless network to stream real-time surveillance video to a central monitoring facility for the Tenerife Tram. Because the system’s 26 trams travel through tunnels, tight curves, and narrow streets, a wired surveillance system was not practical, according to Proxim Wireless, which deployed the system. Instead the agency chose a wireless solution that addressed its physical and operational challenges at a lower cost and easier installation than a cable-based system.

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