Transit systems around which cities and the rest of the modern world are built are on the precipice of a huge paradigm of change. ITS or intelligent transportation systems—with the help of transit signage technologies—are making public transportation, driving, and traffic management not only better but safer for all.
Key Aspects of the Transit Industry
Transportation is a key component of the societal framework. Without an efficient, reliable, and sustainable transit system, cities won’t be able to move— literally and figuratively. Apart from solid infrastructure developments, soft infrastructure must likewise evolve to accommodate the changing needs of the modern man and the demands for global investment in the transportation industry. Both worlds are bridged by technology, as vehicles—along with the infrastructure and systems on which they operate—are becoming increasingly connected.
The Current State of Transit
As the rise of traffic and the rapid growth of population creates demand for more robust transportation infrastructure, many jurisdictions are clamoring to find sufficient money and space to build.
Despite lacking funds, however, population growth isn’t stopping—and cities must brace for its impact. As a matter of fact, the World Health Organization projects that 7 out of 10 people will be living in cities by the middle of this century. This—along with other environmental concerns like climate change—should prompt city leaders to begin rethinking the nature and future of existing transportation systems.
Fortunately today, new transit technologies continue to emerge in response to the challenges of the modern world. These technologies range from connected (and even autonomous) vehicles to keyless fleet management, alternative fuels, traffic analytics, and brand-new local planning and zoning policies, all of which support future-forward, transit-oriented development.
Innovations for on-road communications are also beginning to impact the way that vehicles operate while providing information as well as much-needed capabilities for improved, real-time traffic management, as long as the necessary infrastructure exists.
Intelligent transport systems (ITS) are the way of the future. A related technology is being poised to shift the status quo of the transit industry and transform transportation into a better-connected and more dynamic component of smart cities. As society moves forward to a more efficient city-as-a-system state, the call for smarter transit systems are becoming louder to promote greater ease in transit, which is in turn expected to cause a positive impact on the quality of commerce and life for the general population, travelers, and visitors, as well as for local businesses.
The Case for Intelligent Transport Systems
As cities continue to struggle with the challenges of transportation and those brought about by the demands of modern travelers, leaders and industry players must find ways to address the growing needs of the population. They need to redefine what mobility should look like in the not so distant future—and ITS is gearing up to be a major focus of these developments.
The US Department of Transportation itself testifies to the merits of ITS in improving the safety and efficiency of transit systems. ITS enhances overall mobility and transportation safety by integrating innovative wireless communication technologies into vehicles and transit infrastructure. The main purpose of an intelligent transportation system is to make information processing and sharing within the transit industry faster and more efficient to enhance traffic management, keep vehicles moving, prevent accidents and collisions, and reduce the environmental impact of the transit industry in general.
ITS involves, among many things, the coordination of traffic signals, the dissemination of electronic information via transit signage, management of variable transportation sign systems, as well as the distribution of real-time and relevant traffic data to social media feeds, websites, local broadcast stations, mobile apps, etc.
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