Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - coordination, operations - traffic, infrastructure - traffic signals, planning - signage/information, ridership - commuting, organisation - management, mode - mass transit


Transportation operations, Transportation management associations, Transit operators, Transit centers, Transit, Traffic signal networks, Traffic signal coordination, Traffic signal control systems, Traffic managers, Synchronization (Traffic signals), State departments of transportation, Quality control, Public transit, Product inspection, Preventive maintenance, Mass transit, Management, Maintenance management, Maintenance and repair, Maintenance, Los Angeles (California), Long Island (New York), Local transit, Linked signals, Interconnection (Traffic signals), Interagency relations, Integrated systems, Integrated control systems, Information management, Houston (Texas), Hardware (Computers), Freeway traffic control, Freeway management systems, Failure analysis, Electronic equipment, Electronic computers, Coordination, Computers, Computer controlled signals, California, Automatic traffic signal control


The transportation management center (TMC) often serves as a focal point for coordination of transportation activity in its geographic area of responsibility. To carry out its functions, the operations and maintenance units of its constituent agencies must coordinate effectively around-the-clock. The purpose of this feature is to describe the types of interaction and coordination that are found in North American TMCs and to provide examples of successful practices. The basis for these findings includes detailed examination of operations and maintenance practices at nearly two dozen freeway, signal, and transit control centers in the United States and Canada and inputs from two TMC peer meetings. Common situations requiring interaction include identification of devices that have failed or are not performing to specification; diagnosis, repair, testing, and bringing those devices back online; adjusting devices for optimal performance; bringing new equipment online; and implementing equipment upgrades. Details are provided on four TMCs exhibiting effective interaction: Texas Department of Transportation operations staff at the Houston TranStar TMC; the maintenance dispatch center at the California Department of Transportation urban TMC; the Automated Traffic Surveillance And Control (ATSAC) system in Los Angeles, California; and maintenance management by the INformation FOR Motorists (INFORM) program in Long Island, New York.