Montana State University

MSU's WTI launches new traveler website for Montana, Rockies region

November 14, 2014 -- MSU News Service

The One-Stop Shop for Traveler Information (OSS), which was developed at MSU’s Western Transportation Institute and sponsored by Caltrans, offers travelers a website that integrates weather and road information from multiple Western states that does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries. Combined with real-time weather information, the OSS provides motorists with a seamless decision-making tool for maintaining and enhancing traveler safety and mobility.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu

BOZEMAN – As Montanans prepare for the winter holiday travel season, a website developed at Montana State University is set to provide motorists in the Rocky Mountain region with up-to-the-minute information on weather and road conditions.

The One-Stop Shop for Traveler Information (OSS), which was developed at MSU’s Western Transportation Institute and sponsored by Caltrans, offers travelers a website that integrates weather and road information from multiple Western states. Unlike websites for state transportation departments, the OSS provides travelers with current road information that does not stop at jurisdictional boundaries. Combined with real-time weather information, the OSS provides motorists with a seamless decision-making tool for maintaining and enhancing traveler safety and mobility.

While the award-winning website has been in operation since 2011 for routes in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, the WTI team working on the project have now added Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

Doug Galarus, senior research scientist and manager of WTI’s Systems Engineering, Integration and Development Program, said the pioneering effort at integrating information from various agencies will be a major asset to motorists in the Rockies, where winter driving can be particularly hazardous.

“During a storm that hit California over the Halloween weekend, we had nearly 2,000 user sessions and showed over 87,000 roadside camera images to users mostly in California and Nevada,” Galarus said. “With the expansion to other states, including Montana, and with winter having just started, we really think the site will take off.”

With its mission to make rural transportation systems safer for everyone, Galarus said that OSS is the kind work that WTI was meant to do.

WTI is a collaborative research partnership involving MSU’s College of Engineering, the Montana Department of Transportation and California’s Caltrans, which serves the nation’s most populous state. Now celebrating its 20th year, the Western Transportation Institute at MSU was established to provide innovative solutions to transportation problems at all levels, from local to international. More information about the WTI is available at www.westerntransportationinstitute.org.

Contact: Doug Galarus, (406) 994.5268 or dgalarus@coe.montana.edu.