Choose staff training and documentation methods to match individual Transportation Management Center (TMC) needs.

Eight states' experiences with training and documentation methods for TMCs.

Atlanta,Georgia,United States; Boston,Massachusetts,United States; Detroit,Michigan,United States; Houston,Texas,United States; Long Island,New York,United States; Milwaukee,Wisconsin,United States; Phoenix,Arizona,United States; Toronto,Ontario,Canada

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

An important challenge that the TMCs noted was related to selecting staff training and documentation methods to match individual Transportation Management Center (TMC) needs.
  • Implement sufficient training infrastructure and educational experiences for TMC staff. One example can be found in Atlanta, which has a training unit in its planning department that provides 2-week formal training on the operator console and software; the training progresses to a series of 3-4 day more specific classes on various duties, procedures, and response plans. New hires are given tours of the project area to gain familiarity with the road network and device locations and ride with the motorist assistance patrol during the "new hire" training period. Similarly, Milwaukee provides a tailored training for its law enforcement partner and has developed a manual for the course. In addition, Milwaukee has a system work station at the law enforcement dispatch site, generating positive feedback from law enforcement dispatchers regarding the access.
  • Commit adequate time and resources to create and implement an effective training and documentation process. Training in operations and maintenance for the areas of TMC special equipment, such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS), video switches, and projection units, is essential. Since training and documentation is critical for operations, it is important to create user-friendly documentation that is consistent and complete, will improve the quality of operator performance, and will enhance training of personnel. Also, when possible, specify training for both systems and field equipment in the respective procurement documents. Another important guideline is to choose the optimal timing of training on field equipment operations and related procedures, and avoid conducting the training too early or too late. For personnel who arrive later, include workable training materials with initial training to make the catching up process more efficient. TMC managers should also realize there is an ongoing need to update design documents to reflect their systems' "as-installed" configuration. As such, agencies should adopt an affordable tool to maintain thorough systems documentation as advanced traffic management is modified. Lastly, documentation of the updates should ideally be submitted electronically and in-print from software providers.

The experiences outlined here reinforce the importance of addressing two critical operational elements of TMCs. The first is to make sure that staff training for the TMC is sufficiently comprehensive. Also be sure to plan for adequate time and resources specifically when training on how to document TMC operational activities. There are a number of issues to consider in operating TMCs, including the appropriate timing of the training, the development of good training materials, and the recognition that updates will be necessary. Working on these key areas may help TMCs achieve increased efficiency and productivity in their operations.

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Metropolitan Transportation Management Center Concepts of Operation: A Cross-Cutting Study

Author: Joint Program Office (JPO)

Published By: FHWA and FTA

Source Date: 10/1/1999

EDL Number: 10923

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-99-020 / FTA-TRI-11-99-10

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/2997

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Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2006-00291