CALTRANS AND CHP OPEN LOS ANGELES REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT CENTER
The new, state-of-the-art, world class facility opens to a fanfare of guests and media attention.
On October 31, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) held the grand opening ceremony for the new facility known as the Los Angeles Regional Transportation Management Center (LARTMC) near Glendale.
Smarter and more advanced than its predecessors, including the original Traffic Operations Center (TOC) and the Transportation Managment Center (TMC) located at the District Office Building, the new $46-million, LARTMC serves as the operations focal point for maximizing traffic flow and reducing congestion and is the hub for emergency response efforts and freeway incident management on the Los Angeles County and Ventura County freeway system.
Funding for the project came through the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) as well as $17.5 million from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
“From the original TOC to the upgraded TMC, which was in operation since late 1998, to this new LARTMC facility, these centers have been built with the basic idea of managing freeway traffic to achieve the goal of reducing traveler commuting times, maximizing roadway capacity, and in the end providing a safer traveling medium for the general public,” said Dale Bonner, Secretary, California Department of Business, Transportation and Housing.
Bonner was joined by District Director Douglas R. Failing; Metro Board Chair Pam O'Connor; CHP Chief Gary Dominguez; Los Angeles County Fire Chief Gary Malais; CHP Deputy Commissioner Joe Farrow; and many other guests and dignitaries.
Working together, Caltrans and the CHP manage and monitor 42 freeways and highways totaling 1,188 freeway miles in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. An average of one hundred million vehicle miles are traveled daily on this system; that is the equivalent of over 4,000 trips around the globe. Both departments are dedicated to managing traffic incidents faster and more efficiently, relieving congestion, improving mobility and commute times and increasing road safety through the use of state-of-the-art transportation management technologies.
Caltrans and the CHP have combined their expertise to operate LARTMC as a working example of inter-departmental cooperation. The LARTMC is not just about moving cars. Caltrans mission is to improve the mobility of people, goods, services and information across California, as the CHP works to provide safety, service and security on state freeways and highways.
“This state-of-the-art Transportation Management Center is equipped with the latest technology to allow us to better serve the public by coordinating our resources to effectively manage traffic in the Los Angeles basin," said CHP Deputy Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Key components of the CHP mission are to ensure safe and efficient travel for the motoring public and commercial vehicles while minimizing delays and unsafe traffic conditions. This new LARTMC will help us accomplish these goals.”
A vital part of the LARTMC is the dissemination of information to the public and the media. The LARTMC provides an important public service in its role as the media’s source for real-time video and up-to-the-minute traffic reports. The LARTMC houses a studio for live CHP broadcasts for regional media outlets. CHP on-site media spokespersons are responsible for delivering news broadcasts; providing the most currently available information to the news media on freeway incidents and congested locations, weather-related advisories, planned and emergency lane closures.
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Richard "Dick" Murphy who spearheaded research on the first TOC. Murphy has been an employee of Caltrans for 60 years. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests were given guided tours and media interviews were conducted inside the new center.