XPEDITE (forum is now closed)

The XPEDITE online dialogue is closed. You may view ideas that were submitted, but FTA is not accepting new ideas at this time. Thank you to all who participated!

The Federal Transit Administration needs your input by October 30, 2015 on ways we can accelerate innovation and expedite project delivery. The XPEDITE online dialogue is all about getting your input on steps we can take to achieve that vision. No one knows the challenges faced by transit providers better than those working every day to keep America moving, so please take a few minutes to share your insights with us.

Review our list of questions and subject areas, which cover.

  • Improving public transportation technologies (jump to the questions);
  • Using proven methods to speed up planning, development, approval, and delivery of FTA supported capital investments (jump to the questions); and
  • Enhancing financing methods and opportunities for public-private partnerships through “value capture” that support improved capital investments (jump to the questions).

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  • Select the category that best relates to your idea
  • Provide more detail about your idea in the description area, if you like
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    You do not need to provide ideas for every subject area. Go back to the list of questions when you’re done.

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  1. Ascertain that all new opportunities are inclusive enough to offer response from purveyors of the latest technologies

    FTA's transportation technology categories are rigid and limiting. Technologies coming on strong today include low-sky near-ground fixed guideway technologies, among other non-street / highway -oriented solutions. Besides the enhanced energy efficiency offered by such solutions, these aerial technologies inherently offer easing of at-grade traffic congestion by virtue of operating in a separate space. Many of these solutions are not "rail," "light rail," commuter / heavy rail," or wheels on surface roads. Time to include this cluster of important above-surface modalities in all FTA opportunities!

    1 vote
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    • Devote FTA financial resources to promising new 'out of box' technologies.

      Innovative technologies are being developed at a record pace, yet FTA's funding categories continue to be the same as they've always been, often pegged to traditional modalities. New modalities, e.g., Group Rapid Transit (GRT), Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), and Automated Transit Network (ATN) technologies need FTA's assistance in early stages in order to gain a foothold. FTA financial assistance can be key in closing the funding gaps now preventing promising technologies from getting to market. FTA's assistance would be particularly high-leverage for prototype builds and demonstration projects. Bringing innovative technologies to market can leverage the kinds of leaps required to…

      1 vote
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      • Promote the adoption of existing ADAS features readily available which can be integrated with any public transportation vehicle

        Roughly one VRU is killed each week by a transit bus in the United States. Due to the numerous large blind spots, there is an acute danger for large vehicles operating in congested urban environments. Numerous cities throughout the United States report that large vehicles are over-represented in pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities. The task of a transit bus operator is extremely difficult, navigating the vehicle all day through congested streets. FTA has an opportunity to lead by example and be at the forefront in exploring the best existing solutions to assist operators to safely carry out their jobs…

        4 votes
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        • Open-source project funding - OneBusAway

          OneBusAway (http://onebusaway.org) is an open-source transit traveler information system. Originally developed and deployed in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, it has grown to a significant open-source project, with other installations in Atlanta, Medford, New York City, and Tampa, as well as in other countries. OneBusAway Tampa (http://tampa.onebusaway.org/) in particular was initially deployed as part of a research project being conducted at USF. During this pilot, USF collaborated with Georgia Tech to perform a controlled experiment and assess the impact of real-time information on transit riders. The results, published in Transportation Research Part A, speak…

          34 votes
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          • Project Management Guidance for Transit ITS Projects

            The U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration has project management guidance such as the Systems Engineering “V” for project management for ITS projects in general. However it would be helpful for FTA to have specific guidance for public transportation ITS projects. Examples of system engineering management processes for deployment of Transit Signal Priority, CAD\AVL, electronic fare collection, and OneBusAway deployments programs should be considered by FTA

            7 votes
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            • Support the development of data specifications for mobility management software

              A variety of proprietary systems for scheduling demand response services each use different definitions. Support the development of common specifications to allow seamless transfer of data between providers using different software systems. Support the implementation of common specifications as they are developed by only funding purchases from manufacturers committed to their use.

              7 votes
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              • Remove barriers to entry for driverless transit systems

                Driverless transmit systems, aka automated transit networks (ATN), were first developed in the US. The Federal Government turned its back on them 40 years ago and they are now re-emerging overseas. It is now time to try to catch up! These driverless transit systems are in public service and can supplement and render more efficient, existing corridor-based systems. In many situations, they can provide a higher level of service than light rail for much less cost. A four-step program is recommended:

                1. REMOVE BIASES FROM TECHNOLOGY SELECTION
                Present rules, regulations, standards and guidance documents should be reviewed to remove references…

                2 votes
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                • Tools for planning better transit connectivity to other modes

                  It would be great to have tools that help easily plan transit routes while integrating other factors and services into the equation such as location of bus, train, water taxi, bike share locations, ped/bike access, complete streets, points of interest, etc. along the route. For example http://transitapp.com/ shows you all these connectors available in your location under "layers" for planning your individual trip - meanwhile http://getremix.com/ is a program that easily lets you plan new transit routes and provides population data and cost estimates. If this tool also provided connectors that would be great!

                  6 votes
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                  • Have a one stop shop & annual debrief for "latest and greatest" transit technology page with free tools as well as vendors.

                    It's hard to keep up with all the technology out there - there should be a one stop shop for this - and an annual debrief maybe at APTA as well as summary or newsletter that goes out to all the transit industry. If FTA hosted a page dedicated to this - including free tools(ex.http://transitapp.com/) or programs to purchase (ex. http://getremix.com/) - in this way - if this effort was promoted enough then vendors would approach FTA to have their innovative and successful services be included on this one stop shop.

                    4 votes
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                    • FTA integrates NTD, and all other reporting functions into a Cloud environment to eliminate duplicative data being reported.

                      FTA should embrace a cloud computing infrastructure to make data reporting requirements for operators a one-stop shop, and allow the FTA to sift the data to whatever need is required, which helps the operators keep their systems moving without burdensome multiple reporting requirements to multiple databases.

                      3 votes
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                      • Fund a study on reduction of capital and life cycle costs of subway power distribution using state-of-the art (al-ss) 3rd rail technology.

                        Make our limited transit funds go further: Globally proven (and US manufactured) modern 3rd rail solutions exist which provide 30 - 60% improvement in electrical efficiency over steel-aluminum or steel conductors. The Honolulu Metro system would require 3 fewer substations (at ~$3-$5 million each) using 3rd rail technology that the rest of the world has been using for many years (at no cost premium!) Old thinking + old ways = higher capital & life-cycle costs.

                        With PTC implementation affording shorter headways and greater capacity, 3rd rail upgrades are an inexpensive way to increase available power without changes to substations, grid…

                        3 votes
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                        • Reduce Red Tape

                          Reduce the Federal paperwork and simplify the Federal processes local agencies have to go through in dealing with the Federal Government (or through their State transportation agencies).

                          1 vote
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                          • Allow greater flexibility in the use of Federal Transit funding.

                            Allow greater flexibility in the use of Federal Transit funding.

                            1 vote
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                            • Promote advanced technologies in alignment with EPA regulations

                              Now more than ever, the development of advanced technology is in alignment with EPA regulatory standards. The FTA could assist in advanced technology deployment by requiring bid agencies and private partners to prioritize the aforementioned over traditional technologies in their RFP and associated bid documents. This would enhance the visibility of advanced technologies and help the manufacturers of such technologies gain the competitive advantage needed for successful commercial deployment.

                              Additionally, grantees issuing procurement documentation for technology should not be allowed to, at their discretion, pull bids after proprietary information of new technology is received. While transparency is an inherent component…

                              1 vote
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                              • Right of Way Access for bandwidth-based revenue generation

                                One commodity that goes hand-in-hand with transit systems is right of way. Also, many transit systems have fiber optic network infrastructure in that right of way for internal use. If not already done, why not install additional conduit, micro-duct, and fiber optic infrastructure for revenue generation? It would be an incremental addition to many capital improvement projects and the commercial demand is great. (think Google Fiber and many other Gig City projects) If done correctly, right of way used for fiber network access is an evergreen resource that could benefit the public/private sector and provide a long-term revenue stream for…

                                1 vote
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                                • Create a way for multiple transit systems across a region to seamlessly purchase technology

                                  This would allow smaller transit systems to benefit from economies of scale, and similar technology across systems would promote collaboration across regions, supporting transit that is modern and widespread.

                                  5 votes
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                                  • Have one NEPA process good for all U.S. DOT agencies

                                    Right now each U.S. DOT administration has different NEPA rules and forms. Establishing a universal NEPA process for all U.S. DOT agencies would save large amounts of money both for U.S. DOT and for grantees across administrations. This action would be particularly useful as more and more projects involve both the FTA and the FRA.

                                    2 votes
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                                    • FTA needs to lessen the regulatory and reporting burden on smaller grantees. Right now FTA treats a $3.0 mil. grant the same as a $30 mil.

                                      The level of FTA oversight and the amount of FTA regulation of grants and grantees needs to be scaled proportionately to the size of the FTA grant. A $3.0 mil. grant should not have the same level of reporting and review as a $30 mil. grant and that grant should be different than a $300 mil. grant. Yes, FTA must protect taxpayer dollars but not in inefficient and overly burdensome ways for smaller grantees.

                                      3 votes
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                                      • Take Down the Silo's

                                        Coordination among Federal Agencies for supporting transportation has been discussed and discussed yet never achieved. Coordination with other Agencies will enhance the value of FTA funding providing opportunities to get more for the buck.

                                        5 votes
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                                        • One problem we see is our technology does not last the lifetime of the vehicle and it is challenging to support this, upgrade this or replac

                                          One problem we see is our technology does not last the lifetime of the vehicle and it is challenging to support the product, upgrade it or replace it? You could write in the lifecycle of the bus but chances are slim that they will support the old and not associate a cost with the new, technology is not meant to last 12 years? This comes at a very high cost to us.

                                          3 votes
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