PBS&J, SmartRoute Systems/Westwood One (SRS), Tele Atlas and Meteorlogix announced the formation of a national alliance to provide 511 traveler information telephone services to state and local agencies. The alliance will offer comprehensive content, full integration of existing ITS services, and strong project management capabilities, according to the companies. The companies announced the alliance in Minneapolis at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA) Annual Meeting. They spelled out the roles each will play: PBS&J - Project management, project design, Documentation, Telecommunications Carrier Coordination
SRS/Westwood One - National traffic content, operations, 511 Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone system implementation
Tele Atlas - Map databases, interface development, traffic workstations, traveler information servers, Web sites, and traffic-television products
Meteorlogix -Travel-related weather information, highly accurate travel times, and real-time alerting capabilities "This group of companies represents a 'best-of-breed' in the traveler information industry," said Rick Schuman, PBS&J's national business manager for Traveler Information Services. "We have been working to find the best way to leverage our national traffic content and this alliance offers that opportunity," said Richard Marks, SRS/Westwood One senior V.P. Larry Sweeney, V.P. for Government and Industry Relations at Tele Atlas North America, explained that the alliance gives state and local agencies a "one-stop shop" for 511 services. He added, "For markets that have their own data and for those with little or no data of their own, we can launch a 511 service in 90 days. No one else in the industry can match that." Weather is a vital component in the 511 equation, according to Steve Goertz, V.P. for Meteorlogix, based in Minneapolis. "Being able to access accurate, timely weather information via 511 is a tremendous public service," he said. "Coupled with SRS/Westwood One traffic content, Tele Atlas' traveler information servers and PBS&J's ITS planning and engineering expertise, our weather content is an integral piece of the 511 puzzle," said Goertz. The companies are part of the 511 Deployment Coalition, a consortium of government agencies and private companies working to bring 511 services to U.S. markets. "Working together on the 511 Deployment Coalition created a forum within which the four companies looked at the market and decided a strategic alliance could allow for a more efficient and cost effective delivery of services that can meet the national 511 implementation guidelines today," said Schuman. AASHTO, APTA, ITS America and U.S. DOT sponsor the 511 Deployment Coalition. About PBS&J
Founded in 1960, PBS&J is an employee-owned company headquartered in Miami, FL with over 3,000 employees in more than 60 offices. From sound engineering services to cutting edge information technologies and including a wide range of scientific and planning disciplines, PBS&J says it has the in-house resources to support projects from concept through implementation and operations. About SmartRoute Systems/Westwood One
In existence for 25 years, Westwood One operates 71 traffic operations centers in the U.S., delivering traffic information in 97 cities. SmartRoute Systems, established in 1988, provides the very latest in local traffic, news, sports and weather information to wireless, Internet, in-vehicle navigation systems and voice portal customers. Our extensive reports include: traffic incidents, road and lane closures, construction delays, event delays, travel times and alternate routes. SmartRoute was acquired by Westwood One in November of 2000 and now has available traffic incident data from Metro Networks, in addition to news and other local content from Metro Source. About Tele Atlas
(www.na.teleatlas.com) Tele Atlas is a provider of digital maps. Its North American subsidiary is based in Menlo Park, CA. Tele Atlas focuses on providing content to key market sectors, including Telematics/Automotive Navigation, Location Based Services (LBS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). About Meteorlogix
Meteorlogix is a portfolio company of VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the billion-dollar equity affiliate of Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Based in Minneapolis, the company delivers industry-specific weather management capabilities for its customers to manage weather-related business risks, maximize personal safety and minimize financial loss. Meteorlogix serves customers with a focus on public safety, broadcast media, transportation, energy and aviation industries.