Governor McDonnell announced today that the Commonwealth collaborated with the best and brightest minds in the public and private sectors to utilize innovative technology to move traffic with greater ease throughout the state. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) issued a Notice of Intent to Award to Serco, Inc. to operate the state's five transportation operations centers and manage the Safety Service Patrol. The contract is up for consideration by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which will make a decision on whether to award the finalist during its meeting in June. The six-year contract is worth $355 million.
"The Commonwealth sought innovation from around the country to deliver the best technology solutions to maximize our transportation system," said Governor McDonnell. "Virginia is a leader among state departments of transportation in providing real-time traffic information to motorists, and we wanted to build on that reputation. We will use technology more effectively to better manage congestion, freight movement, incidents, severe weather related incidents and traveler information. This is another example of utilizing smart, creative solutions that harness cutting-edge innovations to improve the quality of life of Virginians."
Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton added, "The result is using technology to be the eyes, ears and voice of Virginia's road transportation system, so we can go into immediate action to prevent accidents, clear incidents, make our roads safer, and immediately inform motorists so they can reach their destinations faster. Our transportation system in Virginia must be more reliable than other states' and countries in order for us to remain competitive economically."
The project will operate all five transportation operations centers, including managing the Safety Service Patrol, under one consolidated system instead of separate geographical programs. This model will continuously modernize the system, providing greater consistency and efficiency of service in every aspect of the operations. Some of the services include:
-Monitoring traffic through the use of nearly 900 cameras, 500 electronic message signs and more than 1,000 road sensors
-Improving and maintaining the reliability of electronic devices
-Managing incident and emergency response, to help clear roadways and get traffic moving as quickly as possible
-Dispatching Safety Service Patrol and maintenance crews to respond to incidents
-Reducing travel times by providing 511 traveler information
-Managing HOV/reversible lanes
-Providing real-time information to emergency responders
-Serving as emergency operations centers during major events
-Coordinating signal systems
In coordination with the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, VDOT released a Request For Information (RFI) seeking interest and suggestions from the private sector on how all five centers could better operate as one system and deliver improved services to motorists. More than 30 companies submitted an RFI and based on those ideas, VDOT was able to develop a procurement strategy and initiate a formal procurement for services. The overall intent of the project is to contract with a firm to operate the centers. The key improvement will transform the centers to operate under a single advanced active traffic management system platform.
VDOT's Transportation Operations Centers are located in Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Salem and Staunton.
"I am very pleased with the progress VDOT has made in collaborating with the private industry to develop the best solutions to improve transportation through technology," said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. "It takes all tools and methods, including technology, operations, and first-class communication systems, in addition to maintenance and construction to make our highway system operate as smoothly as possible."
Serco Inc. is the Americas Division of Serco Group, PLC and is headquartered in Reston, VA. Serco is considered a world-class leader in transportation service solutions and has been widely regarded as a global innovator in advising, designing, integrating, and delivering real-time, cost-effective problem-solving services for operational environments. Serco, Inc. employs more than 9,000 individuals across 45 states and five Canadian provinces in North America. Serco has administered and provided oversight to approximately 400 contracts in the operations management, information technology, and professional services. Globally, the Serco Group employs more than 100,000 employees in 14 countries and has worked with federal, state, and local government agencies.