WSRTC Update - September 14, 2023


UPDATE: Thursday, September 14, 2023

New Phase of the WSRTC Pooled Fund

The Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) passed a milestone this year as Phase 1 (TPF-5(241)) officially drew to a close. The Consortium started in 2010 as a continuation and broadening of the original California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) project through connections made at the annual Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum. It was established to facilitate and enhance safe, seamless travel throughout the Western United States and has met this objective by promoting innovative partnerships, technologies, and educational opportunities. You can look through the Final Report for TPF-5(241) to read about the impact and accomplishments of the first phase of the WSRTC Pooled Fund. (The report is also posted on the Consortium documents page and the project documents page, along with other project documents.)

The WSRTC stands out through its research on rural transportation topics including traveler information, real-time weather information, motorist safety, technology transfer, and rural operations. The Consortium will continue to make an impact on the lives of rural western states residents through the second phase of the pooled fund – Western States Rural Transportation Consortium Phase 2 TPF-5(494).

The Consortium has focused on technology transfer / education via the Western States Forum. A report on the 18th annual event will be coming soon so check back later this month. The Consortium has also sponsored several incubator projects – small scale research projects intended to serve as a “proof of concept” for larger subsequent efforts – centered on the Consortium pillars of technology, operations, and safety.

There are three active task orders in Phase 2 of the WSRTC and we’ll keep you up to date on these projects as work proceeds:

  • WSRTC Meeting Coordination, Western States Forum, Website Maintenance (WTI)
  • Chain-Up Delay Tracking and Estimation (Montana Tech)
  • Evaluation of the Fotokite Tethered Unmanned Aerial System for DOT Operations in Network-Deprived Areas (AHMCT, UC Davis)

The annual meeting of the WSRTC was held in conjunction with the Western States Forum in June. Here the group is listening to Doug Galarus from Montana Tech (upper left) discuss one of the Consortium’s projects. Around the table clockwise from Doug are Jeremiah Pearce (Caltrans District 2), Sean Campbell (project manager, Caltrans DRISI), Tyler Laing (Utah DOT), Tony Leingang (Washington State DOT), Jacob Grivette (Nevada DOT), Doug Spencer (Oregon DOT), and David Soloos (Oregon DOT). In the back listening in is Kevin Maxwell (Nevada DOT).

A group of men seated at tables arranged in a U shape.

Photo by Leann Koon

Several Consortium members also attended the 2023 ITE Annual Meeting and National Rural ITS Conference in Portland, Oregon. Doug Galarus (Montana Tech) and Jeremiah Pearce (Caltrans District 2) presented the Caltrans District 2 Automated Safety Warning System Controller (a WSRTC project) in the session titled “Next Generation ITS Deployment Applications”. Doug Spencer (Oregon DOT) was a speaker in the session “Creating a Digitized and Connected Infrastructure for Your Agency.”

Check back soon for more updates on the work of the Consortium.