Web site, intranet smooth service in Allegheny

The Port Authority that serves Pittsburgh and the surrounding county has

increased efficiency for workers and commuters by using a network established

last year.

Using Enterasys Networks' Gigabit Ethernet solutions, the Port Authority

of Allegheny County set up a World Wide Web site in the fall. This month,

it completed an intranet that connects the department's 10 remote offices

with applications for human resources, payroll, scheduling and dispatching.

The Web site is geared to keep commuters informed of all information about

the transportation system, such as scheduling, construction, delays — and

even allows users to view Web cams of typically congested areas.

"It gives us efficiency in cost savings and size, so we can hopefully keep

fairs at a minimum cost," said Maureen Bertocci, chief technology officer,

"and the Web site gives commuters info in real time so they can plan ahead."

The site also has announcements about delays, capital projects, detours,

snow emergency routes, and other information.

The county manages a transportation system that has 260,000 daily, weekday

riders using 1,000 buses operating 230 routes, and 55 light rail vehicles.

Bertocci said the system has saved $4.8 million in overtime for operators

by automating the scheduling system. She said they will also save money

by cutting down paper use. The Port Authority cut down use of 350,000 sheets

since September, Bertocci said.

The department also wants to incorporate a Global Positioning System into

the network. Bertocci said it is being tested on rail lines, with LED signs

flashing how long before the next train arrives. Eventually, the system

will allow users to log on to the Web site to track movements of the system.

Another proposed project includes putting kiosks in airports and other major

locations so commuters can pick a destination and a map with several routes

can be displayed. The system may also allow a commuter to choose a restaurant

and see if a bus stop is nearby.

Enterasys Networks, headquartered in New Hampshire, provides network solutions

focusing on enterprise customers.

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