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Executive Summary

U.S. transportation agencies are currently adopting a customer service model for updating their business practices. This shift of focus toward the consumers of transportation services is creating the need to deliver a variety of information products so that travelers can make more informed decisions about their schedules, modes, and routes of travel. In response, U.S. transportation agencies are developing traveler information products that are coupled with weather, location, event, and emergency information.

On the basis of literature surveys, eight cities in Europe were identified that have established traveler information products and services that reflect all transportation modes, especially beyond the personal automobile. From October 26 to November 10, 2002, a U.S. panel reviewed and documented the practices, policies, strategies, and technological innovations used in those cities to make traveler information available. The panel was co-sponsored by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The panel comprised 11 members representing the FHWA, AASHTO, the Federal Transit Administration, and U.S. public and private-sector professional associations.

The panel evaluated systems and services for potential application in the United States. Panel members held meetings with national, regional, and local units of government and, where appropriate, private-sector organizations involved in such efforts. The U.S. participants shared their viewpoints and experiences in the spirit of mutually beneficial exchanges, which could result in new partnerships between comparable American and European agencies and institutions. A summary of the findings of this scanning tour follows.


Two findings were noted under customer needs and usage:

Information Content

Three findings were noted under information content:

Business/Cost Recovery Models

Numerous observations were noted about business/cost recovery models for traveler information systems:

Quality Measures

The major finding with regard to quality measures is the commitment to measuring and improving the quality of traveler information collection and delivery. In most cases, the sites start with quantitative measures and then move (or plan to move) to qualitative measures. In particular, Sweden has developed specific data quality documentation to improve the data collection process.

Technology Applications

There were multiple findings about technology applications:

International/National Consistency Issues and Standards

Specific findings applied to international/national consistency issues and standards:

Policy/Institutional/Legal Aspects

The following findings, some of which were mentioned earlier, also relate to policy/institutional/legal aspects:


The panel offers the following initial recommendations:

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