T3 Webinar Overview

Taking a New Route: CalTrans Talks about its Open Source Solution to Deploying a Transportation Management Center

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Open Source Alternative to Deploying Transportation Management Systems

Date:   October 20, 2010
Time:  1:00 – 2:30 P.M. Eastern Time
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 webinar is to gain insight into an open-source alternative for deploying transportation management systems for state departments of transportation, municipalities, or other agencies. Open-source solutions tend to be less expensive to deploy, maintain, and enhance. In addition, agencies may benefit through collaboration by investing their resources in a common product that is mutually beneficial in function and form.

To illustrate this approach, two state agencies—the California DOT (Caltrans) and the Minnesota DOT (Mn/DOT)—will discuss and demonstrate how each agency derived individual and mutual benefits using the open-source Intelligent Roadway Information System (IRIS) Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).

The webinar will explore the IRIS features and enhancements developed by the Advanced Highway Maintenance & Construction Technology Research Center at the University of California, Davis, in order to adapt and expand the IRIS for use within the Caltrans Stockton District 10 Transportation Management Center (TMC).


Historically, acquiring a transportation management system has required a huge investment of capital and a long implementation timeframe. Often, the acquiring agency is beleaguered with nondisclosure agreements and is left with little or no software documentation. The acquiring agency is often forced to execute sole-source contracts in order to maintain the system. Additionally, the agency inherits off-the-shelf software and hardware components that require costly annual maintenance agreements. In this time of economic uncertainty, agencies cannot afford to propagate "large size" ATMS' to "smaller sized" transportation management centers. Agencies need more transparency into the systems they acquire and a competitive and economic means of deploying and maintaining these systems. Most importantly, it is time for DOTs to reach out and collaborate on common solutions.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand state-of-the-art operations for Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), travel times, speed harmonization, automated warning, and incident detection.
  • Understand the common thread between two state departments of transportation that face similar challenges, demands, and visions.
  • Understand the benefits of using open-source General Public License software for public agency transportation management applications and development.
  • Understand how a successful collaborative model can be used between public transportation agencies, universities, consultants, and hardware and software vendors.
  • Understand how multiple agencies can use internationalization configuration settings that allow them to share a "one size fits all" system.
  • Gain insight into the systems engineering principles and tools that were used for adapting and enhancing Mn/DOT's IRIS for use within Caltrans.

Target Audience

Public and private transportation practitioners, ITS deployment and system integrators, ITS software developers, State and local transportation engineers, traffic operations engineers and managers, and ITS hardware and software companies.


Ed Fok, FHWA Resource Center
Edward Fok is a Transportation Technology Specialist with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Technical Service/Resource Center. His current role is to support agencies around the country in deploying state of the art systems and processes while helping researchers to advance the state of the art. Ed came to FHWA with 11 years of experience from City of Los Angeles Dept of Transportation. His experience includes: arterial operations, urban transportation management, integrated corridor operations, application and development of adaptive control systems, development of advanced field devices, and development of online applications. Mr. Fok has B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. He is licensed in electrical engineering, traffic engineering, and professional traffic operations engineering.


Stan Slavin, California Department of Transportation
Stan Slavin is a senior transportation electrical engineer for the California Department of Transportation. Over the past 13 years he has specialized in the deployment and maintenance of transportation management systems while instilling systems engineering practices for the Department's transportation management centers across the state. Mr. Slavin has over 20 years of experience as a transportation electrical engineer for Caltrans. He is a registered professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona.

Antoinette Moon, Caltrans District 10 Traffic Management Center
Antoinette Moon is the Supervisor for the Caltrans District 10 Traffic Management Center. For the last 5 years, she has been working to upgrade equipment and update information systems in the TMC. Antoinette has been in communications for 35 years, and started working for the State of California in 1989. Since 1970 she has worked with two-way radio, air-to-ground, ship-to-shore, CCTV, burglar alarms, video & audio surveillance, worked in radio broadcast as a D. J., and helped in developing alarm monitoring software.

Michael Darter, University of California, Davis
Michael Darter is a software engineer with the Advanced Highway Maintenance & Construction Technology (AHMCT) Research Center at the University of California, Davis. Prior to working on IRIS for Caltrans, he worked on driver assistance systems and asset management projects at AHMCT, and a distributed 3-tier banking system with Wells Fargo. He also developed versions 1 and 2 of DARWin, AASHTO's implementation of their Pavement Design Guide. Michael has an M.S. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and is particularly interested in software reliability.

Doug Lau, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Doug Lau is an information technology specialist for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT). Over the past 17 years he has been the lead software developer for Mn/DOT's traffic management systems including the Intelligent Roadway Information System (IRIS) as well as the Department's ramp metering and signal control programs. He is well-versed and experienced with numerous programming languages included C++, Java, JavaScript, and Python.