TMC and PSAP Data Integration
Traffic or transportation management centers (TMC) are the heart of operations for most transportation agencies. They monitor and evaluate conditions on the transportation system through cameras, detectors, and other instrumentation, and they operate the system through traffic control and information distribution. TMCs often provide communication and dispatching functions for maintenance and service patrols to clear debris, respond to stranded vehicles, or support traffic incident management (TIM). Public safety answering points (PSAP) are the communication centers for public safety response agencies, receiving 911 calls, dispatching responders and resources, and monitoring incident communications. The TMC and PSAP functions together provide communications, data, resources, and situational awareness functions for incidents; however, there is minimal coordination and integration of these centers in ways that can enhance and support incident response most effectively. They each use communication and data systems; TMCs generally run advanced traffic management systems (ATMS) and PSAPs run computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, that are rarely integrated to share data and enhance agency efficiency and response effectiveness. This paper looks at the opportunities for integrating TMCs and PSAPs, examples of integration initiatives, and the benefits and challenges of integration.