IBM data experts made their final recommendations Friday after three weeks of studying Pittsburgh's transit systems and transit infrastructure. The city was one of 33 recipients of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant, which allowed Pittsburgh City Planners to work with analysts to further the city's transportation initiatives. City spokeswoman Joanna Doven said the over-arching theme was that the city's six transit agencies - from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to the Port Authority - do a better job of working cooperatively, "a lot of the time we're competing for the same thing, the same funding source, how can we all be on the same page and share the same data and have the same strategy for how we're going to improve transportation in the region?"
IBM's recommendations include:
- Giving transit users more resources like apps, interactive software and online accounts to help them plan travel, share tips and learn about transit advisories.
- Using traffic pattern data to adjust traffic signals to save drivers time and reduce emissions.
- Coordinating communication between the region's 6 transit agencies - creating a "super-agency" that can set goals and priorities, as well as apply for funding and measure outcomes.
More information can be found at www.smartercitieschallenge.org.