MeTriS : Metropolitan Transportation Information System : applying space based technologies for freight congestion mitigation.
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MeTriS : Metropolitan Transportation Information System : applying space based technologies for freight congestion mitigation.

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  • Abstract:
    Port operations are at the heart of some of the most dynamic metropolitan centers in the

    world: London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong, to name a few. Ports are

    critical cogs in national and local economies, but their operations are associated with slow,

    heavy trucks and trains, congestion and pollution. The negative impacts on their

    surroundings hinder growth, jeopardizing sustainability of the economic benefits.

    The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are perfect examples of these forces at work.

    They receive more than 40% of U.S. containerized imports, and support 3 million jobs

    nationwide. They also account for 50% of emissions in the Los Angeles basin. A 3× growth

    forecast for imports over the next decades raises doubts about the ports’ capacity to

    accommodate further escalation in traffic. Expansion of port facilities requires tens of billions

    in infrastructure investment, and is opposed by neighborhood organizations that cite elevated

    cancer rates, noise, vibration, light pollution and traffic congestion.

    This project set out to address this problem set in the national supply chain. A vision of a

    Metropolitan Transportation Information System (METRIS) was proposed by members of

    this research consortium in 2004, in which real-time data on the transportation system

    would create live information products, and in conjunction with optimization models and

    decision support systems, would streamline transportation operations, also addressing

    environment and security. Funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT)

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) supported an implementation of

    METRIS in the San Pedro ports of metropolitan Los Angeles.

    The Consortium was led by the University of California, Santa Barbara, with Digital

    Geographic Research Corporation, the University of Washington, the California Marine and

    Intermodal Transportation Systems Advisory Council (CALMITSAC), and consultants Patty

    Senecal and John Glanville. A Steering Committee, consisting of experts in port operations,

    highway operations, geographic information systems (GIS), and large scale tracking, assisted

    with strategic guidance. Private and public agencies signed up as cost-sharing partners.

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