The implementation of transportation projects can be seen as a lifecycle as shown below and the regional ITS architecture can be used to support the planning, programming, and implementation of those projects, as described in this section.
The diagram above shows the transportation project lifecycle at the highest level. Starting at the top of the diagram, goals and objectives of the transportation system are identified in long-range planning. To meet these goals and objectives, strategies and projects to implement the strategies are identified. To deploy the projects, funding must be secured via the federal transportation programming and/or agency budgeting processes. Once funding has been secured for a project, it can be implemented. Once implemented, it is operated and maintained (O&M). During O&M ideas for improvement or replacement are identified and fed into the long-range planning process to begin the cycle again.
The regional ITS architecture supports three of these major steps – planning, programming, and implementation.
1. Use in Long Range Transportation Planning. A regional ITS architecture can be used to support metropolitan and statewide long-range transportation planning. A regional architecture provides a means by which peer agencies can jointly define their vision for ITS development based on regional goals and objectives. Using the regional ITS architecture, a region can plan for technology application and integration to support more effective planning for operations.
2. Use in Programming/ Budgeting. A regional ITS architecture can be used to support the programming/ budgeting of projects in metropolitan and statewide regions. The regional ITS architecture provides a high-level description of ITS projects, which can serve as an input the definition and prioritization that occurs during programming/ budgeting.
3. Use in Project Development. By starting with the regional ITS architecture, the steps taken by each project will be on the path to fulfilling the broader objectives set forth in the long-range transportation plan. A well-maintained regional architecture that is created and maintained using RAD-IT provides context for ITS projects and the initial input for the systems engineering for a project. Once a project has been articulated in RAD-IT, the systems engineer can use SET-IT to develop project specific output. Project-relevant information from RAD-IT can be used within SET-IT to support not only the development of a project architecture, but also the systems engineering documentation such as Concept of Operations and System Architecture Document.