AZTech Intelligent Transportation System


An Effective Practice


Maricopa County (Phoenix metro area) Arizona is the 2nd fastest growing metropolitan region in the United States. There are thirteen (13) separate transportation, transit, and emergency management systems in the region. Lack of integration within these jurisdictions was resulting in inefficient utilization of the region's transportation system. Urban sprawl with resultant congestion was not effectively addressed.

A strategic plan was developed to provide rapid deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiatives. The region's transportation jurisdictions, public safety agencies and private companies established the program named "AZTech", pooled resources, coordinated capital investments and integrated communications to implement the following priorities:

1. Interconnect the transportation systems of all communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Promote metropolitan-wide mobility by instrumenting numerous miles of the multi-jurisdictional arterial road network and transit buses to provide current and accurate conditions to traffic management agencies.

2. Use public/private partnerships to deliver advanced inter-modal traveler information services. Providing a 5% procurement advantage to minority/women/disadvantaged business (M/W/DBE) firms.

3. Establish a regional incident response system on arterial networks.

Goal / Mission

The AZTech Executive Committee set the following objectives:

1. Integrate the existing Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure (ITI) into a regional system.
2. Establish a regional integrated traveler information system for the multi-modal travelers.
3. Demonstrate the benefits of integrated community-based transportation systems to achieve system efficiencies.
4. Provide a showcase of how technology can improve the overall quality of life, conserve energy and reduce pollution.
5. Set a worldwide standard of excellence for deployment of ITS in a major economy.

Results / Accomplishments

AZTech has delivered transportation services and provides the technological backbone necessary for sustainable operations. The AZTech server facilitates sharing of real-time information among all 40 partners. It links the 42 miles of freeway and 150 miles of arterial network instrumented with detection devices, cameras and variable message signs at strategic locations and decision points. Traffic signals have been synchronized to improve traffic flow through arterial corridors. AZTech installed the GPS-based Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system on 96 buses. The success of the system has led the transit agency to expand the system to the entire fleet of approximately 600 buses.

Over the next 20 years the metropolitan area population is projected to increase 52 percent while employment will increase 61 percent. Anticipating this growth the regional transportation plan calls for a 75 percent increase in freeway lane miles, a 47 percent increase in street miles, and a doubling of bus services. With these improvements, average traffic speeds and the amount of travel that is congested is projected to remain about the same as today. Without the planned improvements, speeds will decline 18 miles per hour and the level of travel that is congested will increase to 28 percent from 6.9 percent.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Faisal Saleem, ITS Coordinator
2901 West Durango Street
Phoenix, AZ 85009-6357 USA
(602) 506-1241
Transportation / Personal Vehicle Travel
Transportation / Roadway Congestion
Environment / Energy & Sustainability
The AZTech Executive Committee
UN Habitat
Date of publication
Maricopa County, AZ
For more details

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