This report sets out Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT's) view of the appropriate roles, responsibilities and allocation of costs for public and private providers of advanced traveler information systems (ATIS) services, given WSDOT's goals of providing traveler information to promote the safety and efficiency of its transportation facilities, encouraging private sector investment in ATIS services, and reducing WSDOT's ATIS costs.
The report provides background about current ATIS services, infrastructure and participants in the Puget Sound region, the area of Washington in which ATIS implementation is most advanced. The report describes the private sector ATIS business opportunity and the need to balance that opportunity with public sector goals of broad access to traveler information. It discusses the emerging private sector market for fee-based ATIS services and projects a significant expansion of the market in the Puget Sound region beginning in about 2002, based on a detailed ATIS market analysis.
The report recommends near-term actions that respond to the current speculative and highly volatile consumer market for ATIS services and a still developing public infrastructure model for data sharing (the ITS Backbone). These recommendations include guidelines for public-private cooperation, promotion and enhancement of the ITS Backbone, and testing the revenue potential of current WSDOT ATIS services through the Smart Trek program.
For the longer term, the report recommends that WSDOT prepare for the anticipated expanded private sector ATIS market by taking actions to move toward private sector funded operation of the ITS Backbone. The report also recommends that in two to three years, the performance of the ITS Backbone concept and operating model be reviewed for continued appropriateness to the emerging private sector ATIS market.