Transportation budget eyes intelligent roadways

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2001

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The Transportation Department has good news for traffic-weary motorists: It plans to spend $338 million on smart road projects in fiscal 2001, an 84 percent increase compared with the $184 million budgeted for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Initiative in fiscal 2000.

ITS projects backed by this increase in funding include technologies to enhance the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation infrastructure, such as "smart tags" that automatically record a car's nonstop passage through a toll booth and deduct the charge from a prepaid or credit card account.

The ITS funding package also covers continued deployment of what the administration called an "intelligent infrastructure," including interactive traffic signals and traveler information systems, such as electronic signs or automated AM radio stations that broadcast updated travel advisories.

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