The Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum provides an opportunity for field engineers, maintenance personnel and technicians to share ideas and discuss successes and failures in implementing rural ITS projects. The Forum encourages dialogue at a technical level so participants get a thorough understanding of an ITS project and its applicability to their own situations in rural, western states. Transparency and trust are cultivated in the small group setting.
The Western States Forum places high importance on the following:
Presenters delve into how solutions were developed, focusing on applications that have been deployed in the field and are being used in live traffic situations. The longer presentation time ensures that this level of detail may be presented and understood.
Attendance is limited and extended time is allocated to facilitate and encourage detailed technical discussions.
Transparency and trust
Presenters will discuss not only success stories, but also about failures and problems, so participants can learn about what does and doesn't work and why.
The concept for the Western States Forum originated through the rural California/Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) partnership. This partnership, initiated in 1998 by the California and Oregon Departments of Transportation with support from the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, has sought to advance the implementation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to meet transportation challenges in rural areas. Over the last decade, the COATS partnership has increasingly focused on technology transfer and the Forum has developed and grown with this purpose. For more details, see the WSRTTIF Factsheet.
After four phases of COATS spanning 12 years, the Steering Committee determined that it was in the best interest of the project to broaden its area of service to the western United States. To address this intent, the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) was formed with the following purpose:
- To promote innovative partnerships, technologies and educational opportunities to facilitate and enhance safe, seamless rural travel throughout the western United States; and
- To provide a collaborative mechanism to leverage research activities in a coordinated manner to respond to rural transportation issues among western states related to technology, operations and safety.
The Western States Forum continues with the support of the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium. To read more about the Consortium and its activities, please visit www.westernstates.org.
In 2012, the Western States Forum was recognized with a Best of Rural ITS Award at the annual National Rural ITS Conference. The Forum won for Best New Innovative Product, Service or Application. Below, Leann Koon and Sean Campbell accept the 2012 Best of Rural ITS Award from Steve Albert (left), Rural SIG Chair, and Scott Belcher (right), ITS America President.Photo by Doug Galarus
There are numerous examples of ways in which the Forum has helped participants with implementation of ITS technology. Read more about how technology presented at the Forum has been implemented around the Western States region.