T3 Webinar Overview

Next Generation Traveler Information—Agency Social Media

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Date:   Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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 Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO). References 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 the U.S. DOT.


Social media, such as tools like Twitter and Facebook, allow targeted, real-time two-way communication among and between agencies, travelers, and third parties. However, many agencies employ social media as a customer networking resource but not as a major source of real-time information. The amount of information that can be generated, communicated, and processed in real time by these systems will significantly impact agencies operations in the future.

This webinar will present several examples of how the agencies share real-time travel information with the public via social networking tools; how they use the social media to share real-time notifications such as crashes, closures, or major weather impacts to the road network; and how they use this tool for “softer” announcements such as public service messages, and project and meeting announcements.

This webinar will also present a study from the University at Buffalo to illustrate the use of social media to enhance traveler information, improve mobility, and increase safety.


Jimmy Chu will discuss the overview of the webinar.

Lloyd Brown will discuss a definition of social media as well as an overview of the role social media plays in transportation.

Lisa Miller will discuss real-time traveler information trends and related statistics.

Tim Tait will discuss methods and the importance of engaging your customer with social media.

Patrick Wood will discuss how to integrate Facebook in your agency’s social media plan.

Qing He will discuss the research opportunities in using social media to retrieve traveler information.

Learning Objectives

Attendees of the webinar can expect to learn about:

Target Audiences


Jimmy Chu, Transportation Specialist, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), (Washington, D.C.)

photo of Jimmy Chu

Mr. Jimmy Chu is a Transportation Specialist on the Traveler Information Management Team at FHWA in Washington, D.C. In this position, Mr. Chu oversees the Travel Time on Dynamic Message Signs program. He also manages the Transportation Management Center Pooled-Fund Study. He provides technical support to State agencies relating to traveler information programs. Prior to joining FHWA, Mr. Chu worked at the Virginia Department of Transportation for 25 years and was the manager of the TMC in Northern Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland.


Lisa Miller, Traveler Information Manager, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT)

photo of Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller works out of the UDOT Traffic Management Division and is responsible for all traveler information resources including the UDOT Traffic app, website, 511 phone line, and Citizen Reporter Program. She acts as the Public Information Officer for the Traffic Management Division and interacts with local media during large scale special events, severe weather, and project updates. Ms. Miller is responsible for ensuring that all traveler information disseminated from the Traffic Management Division is accurate and in real time as well as educating and maintaining relationships internal to UDOT.

Previously, Ms. Miller was with TranSmart Technologies, Inc. as an on-site consultant program manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and was responsible for the traveler information network within the Lake Michigan Interstate Gateway Alliance (LMIGA-formerly the Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee ITS Priority Corridor). She also worked for URS Corporation before joining TranSmart Technologies, and was involved with communications, traveler information, grant writing, Traffic Management Center operations, and media relations. Ms. Miller completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin and also holds a minor in Architectural History and Urban Planning.

Lloyd Brown, Director, Communications, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

photo of Lloyd Brown

Lloyd Brown is responsible for all facets of agency communications including strategic messaging, crisis communication, agency branding, and web site administration. Before joining AASHTO, Lloyd served as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) communication director, overseeing the administration of WSDOT’s public information and involvement activities throughout Washington, such as the SR 520 Bridge and Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement. Under Brown’s leadership, WSDOT was recognized as a national leader in the development and implementation of social media tools, redefining the agency’s relationship with the public.

Mr. Brown was among a handful of communications experts who responded to a Federal government request to assist with post-Hurricane Katrina Recovery, spending two weeks supporting FEMA external affairs at the joint regional headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Brown earned a BA in Communications from Washington State University and a MA in Communications and Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Qing He, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering and Industrial Engineering, University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York

photo of Qing He

Dr. Qing is currently the Stephen Still Assistant Professor in Transportation Engineering and Logistics at UB. Prior to joining the faculty, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at IBM’s T J Watson Research Center. He has published more than 40 journal papers and conference papers. He possesses seven U.S. patents and received the worldwide IBM Faculty Partnership Award in 2012 and 2014. He is a Co-PI of the newly funded Tier 1 University Transportation Center, Transportation Informatics (TransInfo) at UB. Since 2015, his research in social media has been featured in a variety of national media, including, but not limited to The Washington Post, Yahoo! News, The Weather Channel (live interview), and WKBW (live interview).

Timothy Tait, Ed.D., Communications Director, Arizona Department of Transportation

photo of Timothy Tait

Dr. Timothy Tait is the communications director for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), where he has served in various roles. As communications director, Mr. Tait oversees all communication and public involvement services for the agency and leads the offices of Community Relations, Creative Services, Internal Communications, Customer Outreach, and Public Information, including the ADOT Adopt a Highway Program and the Safety Communications Program. He is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, and completed his doctorate at Grand Canyon University, where his research examined the role of leadership behaviors in the public involvement process for transportation projects.

Patrick Wood, Intermediate Communications Specialist, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

photo of Patrick Wood

Patrick Wood is MoDOT’s social media manager and is responsible for the continued development of their statewide social media accounts. Mr. Wood also acts as MoDOT’s statewide customer service coordinator.

Mr. Wood graduated with a degree in Communications Broadcast Media from the University of Central Missouri.