Highway Congestion: Intelligent Transportation Systems' Promise for Managing Congestion Falls Short, and DOT Could Better Facilitate Their Strategic Use


A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Congestion is a serious and growing transportation problem for the nation. Many strategies--like adding new lanes--have the potential to alleviate congestion but can be costly and have limited application. Another strategy is the use of communications, electronics, and computer technologies--intelligent transportation systems (ITS)--to more effectively utilize existing transportation infrastructure by improving traffic flow. Congress established an ITS program in 1991, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) subsequently set an ITS deployment goal. In this report GAO (1) describes the federal role in deployment; (2) assesses DOT's ITS goal and measurement efforts; (3) identifies what ITS studies have found regarding the impacts of ITS deployment; and (4) identifies the barriers to ITS deployment and use.

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