Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is the umbrella term for numerous technologies deployed to manage transportation networks. In the national parks, the availability of real-time information on delays from road construction, weather-related road conditions, and transit arrival times enable a more enjoyable visitor experience. They help travelers make informed decisions while increasing the efficiency and safey of traffic operations including:
- rerouting traffic to available parking areas and to alternative transportation options during times of congestion,
- directing visitors to less crowded entrances, attractions, and parking areas, and
- monitoring and reporting emergency incidents in order to clear them quickly and reroute traffic.
Some example of ITS technologies include traffic detectors, weather sensors, computer databases, variable message signs, and more. Many parks also use social media and website alerts to communicate important information related to traffic delays, detours, alternative transportation options and parking information.
Some parks go 'old school' and continue to employ AM radio Traveler Information Systems (TIS) to communicate real time information.
As new bus and shuttle alternative transportation systems come on board, ITS allows NPS units to provide real time scheduling information. Many urban parks also partner with local or municipal transportation authoritites to provide this information.