Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, policy - equity, technology - intelligent transport systems, mode - subway/metro


U.S. Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Federal Highway Administration, Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Solicitations, RTI, Road transport informatics, RFPs, Requests for proposals, Model Deployment Initiative, Metropolitan areas, Manpower utilization, IVHS, ITS (Intelligent transportation systems), Intelligent vehicle highway systems, Intelligent transportation systems, Deployment, Conurbations, ATT, Advanced transport telematics


The U.S. Department of Transportation's creation of a new initiative for integrated approaches to transportation management and the provision of traveler information services for metropolitan areas is explored and evaluated from a unique vantage point. The Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative (MDI) was executed through a first-time solicitation for MDI applications. Twenty-three proposals were received for the program launch. Focusing on the 19 nonselected or progress teams, the authors conducted lengthy interviews with 55 team members. These interviews revealed and detailed the challenges and obstacles that these teams faced in each stage of their response to the new initiative. More than the response experiences of the progress teams are explained, however. The candor and insights of the team members are used to make recommendations. With the passage of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century and the legislative expansion of the deployment initiative to metropolitan and rural areas, MDI is likely to continue, and recommendations for effective expansion are articulated. Understanding of new program initiations from a different source of input for use as a guide to both responders and program creators is discussed. Team dynamics, the need for clarity and examples, careful adherence to schedule, and a varied array of support activities were findings that can be generalized beyond the MDI experience to new transportation program initiatives regardless of mode. Whether programs are new or continuing, a learning cycle that contains an opportunity for all participants to share their challenges, problems, and suggestions with the Federal Highway Administration-Federal Transit Administration promises to be a source of refinement and improvement.