Better information translates into reduced trip times, more predictable travel, less stressful conditions and safer trips for travelers. Reliable information is the crux of any traveler information program while the technologies enable a transportation agency to efficiently and effectively disseminate the information. Traveler information systems consist of those technologies used to provide updates on travel, traffic, and road conditions to motorists before and during their trip. In general, agencies provide information using the internet, social media, cable television, telephone (both landline and cellular).
The public looks to ODOT for fast, reliable, and accurate road condition information on Oregon’s highways. ODOT’s traveler information website, TripCheck.com, is the primary source for traveler information in Oregon. TripCheck provides a variety of information in near real-time and statewide. Traveler’s visit TripCheck for road conditions, weather conditions and forecasts, public transportation information, and more. TripCheck.com averages 1.8 Million visits a month. We are pleased to announce TripCheck will be receiving several updates this year including new base maps and navigation tools.
TripCheck mobile is designed for cell phones and older PDA type devices. TripCheck Mobile uses a simple menu structure formatted specifically for navigation by mobile keypads. The information provided is targeted at those motorists making ‘enroute’ travel decisions. The TripCheck Mobile site presents the same incidents and road condition information as the main TripCheck.com website. A user may access the mobile web site by using the www.tripcheck.com/mobile. Newer smartphone and tablet devices will launch the default TripCheck site to give the user the full menu of tools.
ODOT distributes its travel information and camera images/video to some of Oregon’s cable TV providers. Citizens in the cities of Portland, Corvallis, and Bend can check road and weather information on their television via their local cable system. Comcast cable subscribers in the Portland metro area can view full-motion video from 18 freeway cameras Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 14. The latest images from Portland-area cameras rotate on one side of the screen while a color-coded map displays current speeds on the other.
Bend Broadband customers can view road and weather information from selected cameras, as well as live video feeds on Channel 48. Morning commuters in Corvallis get TripCheck information via their local cable systems. The system also provides a close circuit feed of the same type of information to municipal and local government agencies in LaGrande, Oregon.
TripCheck Traveler Information Portal - TTIP
TTIP is a data exchange system that allows ODOT and other public jurisdictions to share traveler information data as well as provides an access point for private companies and research institutions, which in turn repackage this travel information data. These companies, typically referred to as Information Service Providers (ISPs), may in turn sell their services to other companies or the media. More than 60 organizations currently subscribe to TTIP data.
In terms of benefits, TTIP provides:
- Provides easy access to data for ISPs.
- Saves each agency/jurisdiction from the costs of building the entire infrastructure to supply data themselves.
- Promotes federal initiative to standardize the formatting of transportation data within Oregon.
- Supports better emergency coordination among participating agencies by making data sharing easier and timelier.
- Provide data that agencies can use to analyze regional traffic patterns and related issues which can influence their planning and operations.
Travelers who have access to a touchtone phone (including cellular) anywhere within Oregon can dial 511 and obtain current road conditions throughout the state. Callers have the option of voice or push button commands to navigate through the system. 511 is extremely popular for winter travelers and received approximately 670,000 calls during 2013
The 511 system uses the same information that is provided to the TripCheck website and converts the text to voice for callers to listen to current road and weather conditions.
Travel Time VMS
Variable Message Signs (VMS) are used in the Portland Metro area to display travel time estimates from one major intersection to another. For example, at I-5 and Carmen (Northbound) VMS signs post estimated travel times to the I-405 and Highway 26 interchanges. Currently, Portland State University is working on refining the travel time calculations to improve the reliability of these estimates.