The Houston TranStar consortium is a partnership of four government agencies that are responsible for providing Transportation Management and Emergency Management services to the Greater Houston Region. The following agencies have signed an interlocal agreement to share their resources and find solutions for providing these services to the citizens of the region.
The Texas Department of Transportation
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
The City of Houston
The Houston TranStar center is part of a national effort to establish an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) throughout the nation. Many state-of-the-art technologies are in use to help managers at the state-of-the-art center improve transportation conditions in the region. These technologies include: Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Synchronized Traffic Signals, Speed Sensors, Highway Advisory Radio, and other high-tech devices.more
Houston TranStar is also a partnership of agencies that streamlines emergency response. When emergency conditions occur such as hurricanes, floods, industrial explosions or terrorist attacks, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) housed at Houston TranStar is activated. Representatives from all four partner agencies come together to coordinate a quick and efficient response. Some of the technologies employed to address emergency situations include the Automated Flood Warning System, Doppler Radar Imagery, Satellite Weather Maps, Road Flood Warning Systems, HAM Radio, the Regional Incident Management System (RIMS) and much more. more
Houston TranStar houses professional representatives from several departments of each agency including engineering, law enforcement, information technology and emergency management. Each agency has brought systems to the center in order to control their individual functions. These resources are available to assist and advise other partner agencies.
Several innovations developed at the state-of-the-art center are being considered for use throughout the world. For example, Houston TranStar was the first center in the nation to combine Transportation and Emergency Management centers. Houston TranStar was one of the first to develop and adopt a common traffic signal controller (Advanced Transportation Controller) and common center software (ICONS) for joint use among several controlling jurisdictions.
The Houston TranStar partnership of state and local public transportation agencies, recognized nationally and internationally, serves as a model for agencies combining resources across modal and political jurisdictional boundaries in management centers worldwide.
The benefits attributed to Houston TranStar?s Transportation Management activities include a net reduction in travel times, fuel consumption and the promotion of a cleaner environment by reducing the amount of exhaust emissions. The Emergency Management activities have reduced the number of injuries, deaths, and extensive property damage caused by floods and other weather-related and/or man-made events.