New TMC at the PSCCMontgomery County, Maryland with a population of 870,000, 3,000 miles of roadways, and a major mass transit system is part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Montgomery County recognizes that the transportation system within the County will have to be efficiently managed if the transportation demands of the 21st century are to be met. 

To meet the transportation needs of Montgomery County, an Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS) is being implemented. The ATMS is operated from the Transportation Management Center (TMC) and is based on over 20 years of experience in designing, constructing, and operating a real-time computerized signal system composed of over 930 traffic signals. The ATMS features an open architecture and is composed of multiple subsystems that are integrated into a system that is managed and operated through common transportation workstations. The ATMS is designed by the users and implemented by various contractors. The ATMS is designed to provide control, monitoring, and traveler information in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, travel time, and accidents. Its emphasis is on safety and efficiency of mobility that include mode, route, and travel time choices.

In 1996, Montgomery County began integrated traffic and transit operations. As part of a joint project with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Maryland Department of Transportation, the County began equipping its Ride On buses with the latest in GPS (Global Positioning System) based automatic vehicle locating technology. Vehicle tracking will be integrated with the traffic signal control system to provide priority treatment for buses. Montgomery County has funded a multi-million dollar capital improvement project to implement and test advanced transportation technologies in the County.

The ATMS includes the following existing and planned Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects and related capabilities and functions:

  • Advanced traffic responsive traffic signal control for up to 1,500 signals (930 on-line)
  • Automated variable message and route guidance sign control system (future)
  • 230 camera video surveillance system (160 operational, 15 per year)
  • Sophisticated electronic transportation monitoring systems
  • Time critical Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Automated transportation information system
  • Travelers Advisory Radio System (TARS)
  • Live television broadcasts of transportation information on County Cable Channel 6 into homes and businesses
  • Internet
  • Integrated transit and traffic operations
  • GPS and other technology based vehicle tracking system
  • Automated Parking Management (future)
  • Automated incident detection and management system (future)
  • Automated integration with police/fire computer aided dispatch systems (future)
  • Automated transportation planning support  (future)
  • Sophisticated fiber optic based communication system
  • Integration with future automated highway systems (future)
  • Sign Trailers