BOZEMAN – As travelers venture out onto the Rocky Mountain region’s snowy highways this holiday season, engineers with the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University continue to offer an online tool for motorists looking for up-to-the-minute information on weather and road conditions.
The One-Stop Shop for Traveler Information (OSS), which was developed in 2014 at the Western Transportation Institute and sponsored by Caltrans, gives 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.
The OSS website has seen record traffic recently. In November alone, OSS received over 30,000 user sessions, with over 8,000 user sessions alone in the two days preceding Thanksgiving. Users from all 50 states viewed over 1.5 million camera images in November. And with winter hitting the entire west over the last few weeks, December is shaping up to be an even bigger month, with nearly 40,000 user sessions and over 2 million camera images displayed. The National Weather Service, trucking and recreational vehicle groups, broadcast meteorologists, chambers of commerce and numerous local, state, and federal government entities have linked to the One-Stop-Shop. 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 and award-winning effort at integrating information from various agencies will be a major asset to motorists in the Rockies, where winter driving can be particularly hazardous.
“It’s a tool to help travelers be more informed when they hit the road, especially during the busy holiday travel season and particularly in rural areas,” Galarus said.
Contact: Doug Galarus, (406) 994-5268, firstname.lastname@example.org