T3 Webinar Overview

RCTOs in Action: Portland, Detroit, Tucson, and Hampton Roads Discuss their Regional Concept for Transportation Operations

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Developing a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations

Date:   July 25, 2007
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


The purpose of this T3 session is to provide more background to highlight the use of a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO) as a tool for facilitating regional collaboration on management and operations, and to present four metropolitan areas that have developed and applied RCTOs to their regions: Portland, Oregon; Detroit, Michigan; Tucson, Arizona; and Hampton Roads, Virginia. The session will explore the differing approaches used to develop an RCTO, and the contributing roles of ITS Strategic Plans, Regional Architectures, and funding sources in this process.


Successfully managing and operating the regional transportation system depends upon deliberate, sustained collaboration among operators, planners, and other key stakeholders to establish direction and decide how to move forward. Meaningful and realistic objectives are necessary to guide the effort.

This deliberate, sustained collaboration among participating jurisdictions is evident in a number of regions across the United States. A common thread among these collaborative partnerships, and others like them, is the development of a shared concept of how they want to improve regional transportation system performance by working together. This concept takes the form of collective agreement on objectives and the strategies for achieving them, which include institutional relationships and performance expectations. An RCTO formalizes this thread by providing a framework that guides collaborative efforts to improve system performance through management and operations strategies.

This session is the first in a series of T3s that will focus on Transportation Systems Management and Operations. Proposed upcoming topics include:

  • Best practices in relation to congestion management process and guidance.
  • Organizing for operations (making state DOTs less capital and more operations focused).
  • Linking Planning and Operations.

Webinars will focus on the role of ITS in agency operations and congestion management.

Target Audience

State, MPO, and RPO transportation engineers, transportation planners, traffic operations engineers and managers, transit operations managers, and emergency management agency managers; and FHWA Division Office and FTA Regional Office ITS and Planning personnel.


Wayne Berman, Team Leader, Office of Transportation Management, FHWA Office of Operations
Wayne is a Transportation Specialist with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Operations. In this position he is responsible developing, encouraging, and guiding better planning for operations within both the operations and planning communities. In this capacity, he is also responsible for improving the linkage between planning and operations in order to deliver traffic management and traveler information services, especially those utilizing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Mr. Berman is also responsible for initiating and implementing policies, plans, and programs that support and facilitate the application travel demand management programs, including commuter choice and value pricing.

Wayne has been with the FHWA for over 30 years and has held positions in their Offices of Planning and Traffic Operations and Safety before his present position. Mr. Berman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) and a Masters of Science degree in Civil Engineering, with specialties in transportation planning and traffic engineering, from the University of Maryland. He is active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Association for Commuter Transportation, and the Transportation Research Board.

Harlan Miller, Transportation Planner, FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty
Harlan has 16 years of experience in transportation including transportation planning, environment, air quality, and operations. He has been in the Headquarters Office of Planning for the past year. In this position he is actively working with the Office of Operations in an effort to develop outreach and training on transportation system management and operations and the integration of planning and operations. Most recently, he has been involved in the development of the new 1-Day NHI course titled "Advancing Transportation Systems Management and Operations — Working Toward a Regional Perspective".

In previous assignments Harlan was the Planning and Technology team leader in the Utah Division for eight years and the Assistant Planning Engineer in the Missouri Division for five years. While in the Utah Division Mr. Miller was involved in planning for and operations during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Harlan is a 1987 graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a 1989 graduate of the University of Illinois with a master's degree in Civil Engineering. Harlan has been with the FHWA since 1989.


Jonathan (Jon) Makler, AICP, Metro
Jon is the transportation operations program manager for Metro, the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) in Portland, Oregon. The program includes regional coordination of operations planning as well as the congestion management process. Jon also performs standard MPO duties related to the Metro's transportation plans and the Transit Investment Plan (TIP). Jon's prior employers span private, public, and academic sectors and his work has covered topics such as air quality, equity, and intelligent transportation systems.

Jon holds degrees from Swarthmore College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

J. Thomas Bruff, Coordinator/Senior Engineer, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)
J. Thomas is coordinator/senior engineer for Engineering Services, Transportation Programs of SEMCOG. He has had 20 years of experience in various areas of traffic engineering and transportation planning. Since 1997, Mr. Bruff has worked for SEMCOG as the engineering services coordinator of SEMCOG's Transportation Department. Prior work experience includes 10 years with the Road Commission of Macomb County in Michigan as their traffic and safety engineer.

He has been responsible for managing the activities of the engineering services group, which include development of SEMCOG's regional safety, congestion, pavement, and bridge management systems and maintaining the regional ITS architecture. He is the primary staff person in charge of developing the region's concept for transportation operations (RCTO), which is one of three Federal Highway Administration grant recipients.

J. Thomas is active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and ITS Michigan.

He obtained his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University (1986).

Paul Casertano, AICP, Pima Association of Governments
Paul has worked for Pima Association of Governments (PAG) since 1997, serving as planner and program manager for regional Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), regional Transportation Operations Planning, and regional Transportation Safety Planning. Paul has helped guide the incorporation of ITS, operations, and safety into the transportation planning process in the Tucson area through stakeholder-driven planning efforts and good working relationships with PAG committees, local jurisdictional representatives, DOT directors, and local elected officials.

Paul's recent work has included serving as the project lead for the in-house development of PAG's ITS strategic plan update and Regional ITS Architecture and for the development of transportation safety long-range project recommendations. He is a member of the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Committee and a lead in the development of the region's first Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO).

The RCTO development process has enabled PAG to get its local jurisdictions engaged in planning for transportation operations and has created a platform upon which the regional program will build. The RCTO has jump-started regional efforts on a variety of fronts including regional traffic signals, traveler information, construction coordination, and incident management. PAG plans to use the RCTO template as a tool to continue its transportation operations planning work.

Paul is a Certified Planner with the American Planning Association's Arizona Chapter and National Membership and is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers' Southern Arizona Chapter and the Intelligent Transportation Society's ITS Arizona Chapter, where he was formerly with the Board of Directors.

Paul received an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix (2003) and a bachelor's degree in Regional Development from the University of Arizona (1995).

Camelia Ravanbakht, Ph.D., Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
Dr. Ravanbakht is a principal transportation engineer with the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission in Chesapeake, Virginia. She has had more than 20 years of experience in research, development, and applications of transportation engineering and planning activities. She is the lead staff person for directing, managing, and coordinating the Management, Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems Program in the Hampton Roads region. She has directed the deployment of the regional ITS program through a cooperative process with representatives from local, state, and federal governments and the private sector. She currently serves as the co-chairperson for the Hampton Roads Management, Operations and ITS Planning Committee.

Dr. Ravanbakht is an adjunct faculty member in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She serves on several technical and advisory committees including Virginia Surface Transportation Safety and Virginia Systems Operations and Research Advisory Committees. She is a member of the Institute of Technical Engineers and is actively serving on several Transportation Research Board committees on safety, operations, and congestion management strategies. She has served on the ITS Virginia Board of Directors since 2000 and has been president of ITSVA in 2005-2006.

She obtained her doctorate from North Carolina State University.