Sometimes the little things matter a great deal.
State departments of transportation have focused on accountability and transparency — two common catch phrases in our business — for as long as there have been departments. At least a dozen years ago or more state transportation agencies began focusing on how to communicate in a way that helps the public better understand where their money was being spent.
Posted in Communications, Measurement
Tagged accountability, Colorado, Colorado Department of Transportation, Departments of Transportation, gray notebook, Idaho Transportation Department, MAP-21, Michigan Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Transportation, Performance measures, reporting, State Departments of Transportation, state transportation agencies, Tracker, transparency, transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, Washington
Transportation departments of all shapes and sizes are becoming more seasoned at responding to unexpected incidents and activities. A road buckles, a hill side rolls away, or perhaps the snow storm of the century hits again — for the third time in three years.
Thousands of people every day visit transportation department web sites. Ever wonder how much those eyeballs are worth?
Transit agencies have dabbled in advertising to customers for years, but transportation departments rarely try to generate revenue from their online properties. In a time of declining revenue, what is the chance that states are sitting on a gold mine in the form of dedicated, regular web site visitors? One state DOT has been exploring that question over the last few years.
The interesting thing about transportation is that we have being doing it a long time. The way that we have traveled has changed, but the fact is that whether it has been by foot, camel, train or rocket, we have indeed been about the business of transportation for a very, very long time.
Despite that long history, it is still worth noting certain milestones. This week the Iowa Department of Transportation celebrated its 100th anniversary. The folks there have put together a wonderful history website that provides an excellent multi-modal trip back in time, exploring the people, the innovation and the changing ways in which we travel.
Happy anniversary, Iowa DOT!
Model T on the Lincoln Highway between Ames and Nevada, 1918. Photo courtesy: Iowa DOT
Many different organizations have tried to raise the general public awareness for the current state of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. In March, the American Society of Civil Engineers updated its infrastructure report card, giving the United States a D+ grade and projecting a $3.6 trillion investment need.
While this report cast a net far beyond just roads and bridges, it represents the kind of “things are falling apart and we can’t keep up” messaging that is often used when discussing transportation system investment needs.
Lately a different point of view is gaining traction in transportation circles. Instead of focusing on the need, focus on the role transportation plays in the nation’s economy and our overall quality of life. Continue reading
Posted in Communications
Tagged American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE, infrastructure, infrastructure report, investment need, messaging, Minnesota Department of Transportation, roads and bridges, system investment, Transport, transportation, transportation infrastructure
It is hardly revolutionary these days to argue that mobile devices are changing how people access information. It seems almost too obvious when we see that sales of smart phones and tablet devices have gone through the roof in the last couple of years. But a new report adds even more evidence by analyzing the kinds of devices that are accessing the internet.
The Local Search Association report, prepared by comScore, says that “the number of PC users accessing the Internet flat-lined for the first time (in 2012).” Meanwhile, the report finds that smart phones and tablet computers now account for 15 percent of web traffic, up from just 7 percent in 2011.