Technology in Rural Transportation – “Simple Solutions”Author/Presenter: Deeter, D.; Bland, C. E.
The Rural Outreach Project: Simple Solutions Report contains the findings of a research effort aimed at identifying and describing proven, cost-effective, “low-tech” solutions for rural transportation-related problems or needs. Through a process of research and interviews with local level transportation professionals throughout the United States, examples of technology applications which have been locally developed to meet local problems were identified and documented. During Phase A of the project, more than fifty “simple solutions” were identified. The categorization of technology applications was made in accordance with the critical program areas, or “rural clusters” developed by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Rural Action Team as part of its work to develop an Advanced Rural Transportation Systems Strategic Plan. During Phase B, a subset of this list of candidate solutions was selected for further investigation. Details documented during this stage include descriptions of the benefits of the technology, the expected implementation process, the potential issues associated with each technology, and each technology’s role in larger scale, fully integrated rural intelligent transportation systems. It is hoped that the resulting simple solution descriptions will be used as a toolbox of information to assist in reaching out to local level transportation professionals to introduce them to intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and their potential benefits. Solutions studied within the project focussed on pratical applications of technologies, which could serve as precursors to future applications of more advanced systems.