TransCore was selected, through an open public bidding process, by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) to deploy the SCATS adaptive traffic control system, encompassing more than 128 intersections throughout the 30-square miles of the Hackensack Meadowlands District. The $3 million contract was predominantly funded by the Commission's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER II grant to implement the Meadowlands Adaptive Signal System for Traffic Reduction (MASSTR) program. The four-phased program will be complete by December 31, 2013.
MASSTR is the result of an evaluation of the existing signalized intersections in the region and the applicability of alternative adaptive signal control systems to support fluctuating traffic patterns in the district. The NJMC ultimately determined there was a lack of coordination across traffic signals and a need to upgrade dated technology. Adding to the complexity, these traffic signals are under the jurisdiction of multiple agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Bergen County, Hudson County, municipal authority and private owners.
To meet the overall traffic needs of this economically critical corridor, the NJMC determined that the most cost-effective and immediate solution to reduce congestion was the upgrade and coordination of the regions signal system, and the deployment of the adaptive traffic control system known as SCATS or the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System. SCATS was originally developed for Sydney Australia by the Roads and Transport Authority. The system operates in real-time to adjust signal timing in response to changes in traffic demand while providing immediate and historical traffic information for traffic engineers.
The Meadowlands is one of the busiest commerce corridors in the nation, and the ability to transport people and goods safely and efficiently is vital to the success of its economy and residents' quality of life. The area is home to hundreds of warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities as well as the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The local, state and federal roadways that run through the Meadowlands also provide easy access to Manhattan, Newark Liberty International Airport and Port Newark.
By deploying an intelligent transportation system with adaptive capabilities provides immediate response to traffic patterns as they occur, reducing choke points in the roadway network while simultaneously reducing vehicle emissions, fuel consumption, and travel times. The adaptive nature of the system provides the greatest efficiency in areas of highly variable traffic demand such as Super Bowl XLVIII, which will take place in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium in February of 2014. Effective management of special event traffic is one of the key benefits of this type of adaptive signal control technology.
SCATS is currently one of the most widely used adaptive traffic control systems around the world controlling more than 30,000 intersections globally and more than 1,000 intersections in the United States. Atlanta's Cobb County recently doubled their use of the system and the San Jose and southern Bay Area agencies have made extensive deployments of the technology to combat growing congestion in Silicon Valley. Over 350 new SCATS signals are slated for deployment across the country in the next 12 months.
"This will be the largest deployment of SCATS in the Northeast," explained Bob Ball, TransCore's managing director for the Northeast. "Because the area crosses over different corridors with varying issues and objectives, SCATS flexibility and configurability allows for such an all-encompassing installation."
What makes SCATS adaptive system so popular is because corridors can be configured differently versus using traditional time-based signal controls. Other systems lack this level of configurability or flexibility. SCATS also operates with an open architecture for communications, controllers and detection, allowing authorities to utilize various manufacturers' equipment. SCATS specific capabilities include:
True real-time, cycle-by-cycle 100 percent adaptive control capabilities;
Capable of being monitored from up to 30 workstations at the same time with eight varying access levels;
Capable of being easily expanded;
Has more than 30 years of proven field adaptive operations experience;
Operates in adaptive mode 24/7, 365 days a year without manual intervention;
Provides real-time and historical detection monitoring and alarm features;
Has been field integrated with Ethernet IP communications;
Easy to monitor and use by operational, engineering and maintenance staff and includes city-wide, corridor, and intersection graphical displays;
Capable of identifying system malfunctions and abnormalities and generate alarms for operators or maintenance personnel;
Automatically records timing and detection information for 365 days for historical analysis;
Provides pre-emption and transit priority features.
TransCore's 75-year heritage supporting the transportation industry spans the development of RFID transportation applications at Los Alamos National Labs to implementation of the nation's first electronic toll collection system. The breadth of the company's expertise includes traffic management systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), systems integration, design consulting, operations, maintenance, RFID manufacturing, and extensive Web-based logistics systems. TransCore has installations in 46 countries and a vast portfolio of intellectual property. In 2012, Engineering News-Record (ENR) ranked TransCore No. 140 out of the Top 500 Design Firms.
TransCore is a U.S. owned and operated company with headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa. TransCore operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Industries, a Standard and Poor's S&P 500 Index company. For more information, visit www.transcore.com.
About the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is the planning and zoning agency for the 30.4-square-mile Meadowlands District, which includes parts of 14 towns in Bergen and Hudson counties. The Commission's objectives include promoting economic growth and development, including the redevelopment of brownfields, and environmental preservation and enhancement. Through its renewable energy initiatives the NJMC has shown that economic growth and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive goals and can go hand-in-hand to improve the economy and quality of life of New Jersey residents. For more information, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov.