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(As nominated for Intelligent Transportation Society of America Award by transportation professionals that have taken the course.)

"Intermodal Freight and ITS Short Course"

Nominated in Education and Training Category 

Nominated in Awareness/Advocacy Category

 

Organization Nominated:

Name: E-Squared Engineering’s "Intermodal Freight and ITS Short Course"

Point of Contact:   Richard B. Easley, President

Phone:                    (703) 858-5588

Fax:                         (703) 724-0983

Address:                 43969 Tavern Drive

                                Suite 200

                                Ashburn, VA 20147-3909

Quantifiable Summary of Nomination:

The "Intermodal Freight and ITS Short Course", was developed to bridge the ‘awareness’ gap between public sector agencies/organizations and the private sector freight community and present a framework for leveraging the technology resources expended by both communities for overall transportation system benefits. It is the first and only course that provides a comprehensive understanding of "ITS" combined with an eye-opening view into the impacts, challenges, and motivations of the intermodal freight community and clearly illustrates the links between the two. The objectives of the course include increasing the knowledge and understanding of the existing and emerging Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies as well as understanding the complexities of the intermodal freight community and its effect on the local, regional, and national economies.

The course components (1.5 days in the classroom and 0.5 days visiting an intermodal facility reviewing what was learned in the class) include sections defining the term ‘intermodal’ and stress the concept that our nation has one interconnected transportation system with passenger and freight components - and not two separate systems. The course describes intermodal freight trends from a national and regional perspective and also explores trends in each respective mode. The course explores the history of intermodal freight, the history of ITS, and reviews the relationship between ITS America, U.S. DOT, and the intermodal freight community. It goes on to describe the bottlenecks and challenges faced within the intermodal freight industry as well as the challenges that can only be solved by the public and private sectors working together (including standards). The course goes on to provide real working examples of the advanced technologies that are deployed to improve passenger/traveler transportation and the advanced technologies that are deployed to improve freight operations, and then clearly illustrates that the technologies are exactly the same in both communities. Following the descriptions of the technologies are a series of detailed examples of successful public/private partnerships around the country that have developed to improve passenger mobility as well as freight mobility. Many of these partnerships are unconventional, ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions that have proven to be very effective. One of the final sections of the course includes options for funding various intermodal freight and ITS projects. This section explores the TEA-21 legislation and various mechanisms to address many of the challenges identified and explored earlier in the course. The course conclusion stresses the growth of intermodal freight traffic, the need for understanding these trends, why it is critical for partnerships to develop, and the need for creative planning and deployment on the national, regional, and especially, the local levels.

The "Intermodal Freight and ITS Short Course" is designed for, and has been taken by, both public sector and private sector transportation professionals. This course is presented in a way that can be understood by audiences unfamiliar with "ITS" and/or who possess a limited knowledge of freight movement. The course, developed and funded by E-Squared Engineering (a new small business ITS firm), is based on the instructor’s eight years of extensive intermodal freight research that includes personal interviews with front-line employees, middle management, and executive management personnel at public agencies, trucking companies, railroads, steamship lines, port authorities and intermodal terminal operations throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, the instructor’s ITS expertise comes from eight years of experience which includes serving as functional area coordinator on staff at ITS America in the areas of Commercial Vehicle Operations, Advanced Traffic Management Systems, Advanced Public Transportation Systems, Travel Demand Management, Intermodal Task Force, Interim Director of the ITS America System Development and Deployment Department, and serving as the Chair and committee member on many ITS committees in various national, regional, and local organizations.

The "Intermodal Freight and ITS Short Course" is a valuable component of the ITS America ‘ITS To Go’ Training Program. ITS America has chosen this course to be one of 4 courses taken on a nationwide tour that provide transportation professionals with the necessary knowledge and tools to improve our nation’s transportation system. This course, through the ITS America training program, is recognized through the University of Maryland and extends 1.6 Continuing Education Units to all students that successfully complete the course. ITS America markets the E-Squared Engineering course with the following goals and objectives:

Increase the understanding of ITS technology and intermodal freight among various stakeholders and open up dialog that will lead to improved freight transportation operations for both the public and private sectors.
Illustrate the basic motivations of the public and private sectors in the intermodal freight planning and operations communities.
Uncover the general principles of public private partnerships, and the basis for cost and benefit decisions concerning technology deployment.

Students will explore the potential for leveraging existing technology deployments (both public and private) to achieve greater transportation efficiencies.

Another benefit of the course is that E-Squared Engineering also offers a specialized version of the course to individual state DOT’s, MPO’s, and other organizations. This allows organizations to offer this training to those that require it the most and cannot take the time to travel.

Comments from students that have taken the course include:

"Excellent combination of classroom materials and hands-on activity (i.e. the visit to the intermodal center)…"

"Instructor well organized and knowledgeable of subject…"

"Recent information and many case studies and examples…"

Howard Glassman, Executive Director

Florida MPO Advisory Council

"Well thought out relevant presentations…"

Mark Jensen, Sr. Engineer/Analyst

SAIC

"This is the only course I’ve found that addresses all modes when discussing intermodal freight…"

"EXCELLENT CONCEPT, WELL EXECUTED."

"Saved me many hours and trips to learn about the field!"

Douglas Terhune, State ITS Administrator

Alaska Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities

 

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