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Monday, April 3, 2000

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  • Bernie Wagenblast
    Transportation Communications Newsletter Monday, April 3, 2000 -- ISSN: 1529-1057 ... 1) Cameras Designed to Cut Speeding Cameras in UK will be used to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2000
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      Transportation Communications Newsletter
      Monday, April 3, 2000  --  ISSN: 1529-1057

      1) Cameras Designed to Cut Speeding
      Cameras in UK will be used to ticket drivers traveling four miles per hour over 30 mph speed limit
      Link to story from The Northern Echo
      2) Metropolitan ITS Deployment Tracking: Extract of Data-on Traffic Signals (March 2000)
      This report is now available online through US DOT's Electronic Data Library
      3) FBI Investigating 911 Virus
      Virus can erase hard drive and cause PC to dial 911
      Link to article from ZDNet
      4) New Canadian Railway Radio Spectrum Licensing Agreement in Effect
      One license for radio spectrum will replace some 4,900 individual licenses.
      [company news release]
      5) RideBoard.com Launches Matching Service for Road Travelers
      Service will match drivers and passengers with similar travel plans
      [company news release]
      6) Georgia DOT Rolls Out Work Zone Safety Campaign
      [agency news release]
      7) American Airlines Unveils New Passenger-Oriented Gate Information Display System at O'Hare International Airport
      [company news release]
      4) New Canadian Railway Radio Spectrum Licensing Agreement in Effect
      Industry Canada has completed the streamlining of its radio licensing process
      for Canada's railways. One license for the radio spectrum -- used to manage
      and operate the nation's freight and passenger railways -- will be issued
      tomorrow (April 1) to the Railway Association of Canada, replacing some 4,900
      individual licences.

      The RAC's 52 members represent more than 98 per cent of the railways
      operating in Canada today. To ensure essential radio frequency coordination,
      the railway industry will utilize Canada's advanced information highway
      infrastructure and all transactions associated with spectrum licencing and
      management will be conducted over the Internet.

      "This is the first time that the regulator, Industry Canada, has issued an
      industry-wide spectrum license. The RAC/Industry Canada agreement is a model
      that Industry Canada expects to use with other radio users," said RAC
      President Bob Ballantyne.

      "Issuance of one spectrum license will substantially reduce the
      administrative burden associated with the licensing process in the past for
      both Industry Canada and the railways, and will facilitate implementation of
      advanced technology in future by Canada's railways," he said.

      The RAC will also be responsible for collecting all spectrum license fees
      from its members on behalf of Industry Canada. The new approach recognizes
      the importance of radio in all aspects of modern, safe railway operations and
      management through mobile units and fixed site installations in North

      Canadian and U.S. railroads are allocated some 94 frequencies which are used
      for train control, yards, maintenance of way, police, automatic equipment
      identification, end of train units, hot wheel bearing detectors and mid-train
      locomotives used on unit coal trains. Demand for mobile radio services has
      increased dramatically because of new services such as wireless data,
      cellular phones and new applications for existing functions.

      Canada's railways move approximately five million carloads and containers of
      freight traffic and some 45 million rail commuters and inter-city travelers

      For further information: Roger Cameron, The Railway Association of Canada,
      Tel. (514) 879-5846, e-mail: rogerc@...

      5) RideBoard.com Launches Matching Service for Road Travelers
      As Gas Prices Continue to Rise, Drivers and Drivers 
      Find People Going Their Way to Save Cash

      NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 3 -- Music fans in Sacramento looking to carpool it to -- and from -- the rock concert in San Diego.
      Penn State sophomore needs ride to New York for Easter -- is willing to pay for gas and tolls.

      Dallas-based salesman heading to Health Care conference in Nashville -- has room for two non-smokers.

      Announcing RideBoard.com (www.rideboard.com), where these folks -- and anyone else planning on traveling the highways and byways of America -- can find passengers or drivers who share similar road travel plans and are looking to share transportation.  Tight budgets, missed or outrageously-priced flights, last minute plans and lately, sky-high gas prices, are no longer barriers to travel.  RideBoard.com, the World's First Matching Service for Road Travelers, enables people to reach their destinations more easily and efficiently than ever before.

      RideBoard.com provides road travelers with a sophisticated yet user-friendly online environment in which to search or post messages for drivers or passengers, chat online with prospective travel partners, communicate via free Web-based email and utilize an extremely useful directory of online travel tools, resources, and e-commerce sites.

      "RideBoard.com makes travel possible for everyone -- college students, sports and music fans, cross-country adventurers -- by harnessing the power of the Internet to unite riders and drivers and provide them with a convenient, fun and economical way to plan their road travel," said Jordan Arnold, founder and CEO of RideBoard.com, Inc.  "RideBoard is a first-of-its-kind, must-stop Internet destination for any and all road travelers and is truly one of those classic 'What the Internet was made for' type of website."

      RideBoard.com allows users to preserve their privacy throughout the matching process.  The site offers free, Web-based email accounts so that users need not reveal their primary email addresses and makes the inclusion of user phone numbers in posted messages optional.  It is then up to the individual user to initiate direct contact with or accept communications from another user through email, in the RideChat online chat rooms, or by telephone.

      How It Works 

      RideBoard.com features eight primary road travel categories: college students, roundtrips, one-way trips, concerts, sporting events, business travel, carpools and moving truck space.  The site also offers "featured" road travel categories for special events, such as Spring Break 2000.

      A user, either a rider or a driver, selects one of the above categories and posts a message including first name, email address and/or phone number, departure and destination points, desired departure date, and any other pertinent information -- travel terms (e.g., split gas and tolls, share driving duties), gender requirement, smoking and music preferences, and preferred route/stops -- that will enable the user to find the most suitable travel partner(s).  Other users can then search the database either by individual states, by regions or by performing an advanced search, to find posted messages from fellow users with substantially similar road travel plans.

      About RideBoard.com, Inc.

      RideBoard.com, Inc., a privately held company, was founded in 1998 in Nashville, Tennessee, by Jordan Arnold, a Vanderbilt University law student and native New Yorker, who found a way to utilize the power of the Internet to revolutionize how people plan and carry out their road travel itineraries.  At the same time, Arnold recognized that unlike their air and rail travel counterparts, road travelers lacked a comprehensive, portal-like destination on the Web.  RideBoard.com fills this void by providing road travelers with a unique and incredibly useful collection of online travel tools and resources and is committed to continually improving and expanding its branded line of products and services.

      RideBoard.com firmly believes that thumbs were meant for wrestling, and not for obtaining means of transportation, and encourages people to exercise careful judgment in both planning and carrying out their travel, whether it takes them in the air, out to sea, over the rail, or on the road.

      6) Georgia DOT Rolls Out Work Zone Safety Campaign

      ATLANTA, April 3 -- The Georgia Department of Transportation today unveiled plans to implement a public awareness campaign designed to save lives and reduce injuries in work zones on Georgia roads and highways.
      The $1 million public relations and advertising campaign, using the slogan "Slow Down. It Won't Kill You," is designed to inform motorists of the dangers they face while driving through work zones, and of the danger speeding motorists present for construction and maintenance workers on Georgia's roadsides. The statewide radio campaign will begin in May.
      "We want motorists to understand the dangers that work zones pose to drivers and their passengers," said Georgia DOT Commissioner Wayne Shackelford, "and to increase the safety of our workers and contractors as they do their jobs. Research shows that at least three out of four fatalities in work zone accidents are motorists, not workers. And two-thirds of fatal work zone accidents occur when the zones are idle - when no workers are present."
      Shackelford, who is retiring June 1, was joined at a news conference by his successor, incoming Commissioner Tom Coleman. Shackelford noted that Georgia's campaign will be unlike any other state's effort because it focuses primarily on changing motorist behavior, while traditional campaigns have focused solely on worker safety.
      The campaign was announced on the first day of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. Governor Roy Barnes has declared April 3-7 Georgia Work Zone Safety Week.
      The most recent national statistics rank Georgia 48th in the nation in work zone safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 68 people died in Georgia work zones in 1998.
      "This is a significant national issue, but it is unacceptable for Georgia to rank near the bottom of the nation in work zone safety," Shackelford said. "The campaign goal is to improve safety so that Georgia eventually can declare it has America's safest work zones."
      Coleman announced that a series of roundtable discussions will be held around the state that will involve highway contractors, the trucking industry, auto clubs, law enforcement agencies and others in finding ways to improve work zone safety standards. The roundtables are a key element of the Department's effort, designed to strengthen partnerships with safety agencies and organizations throughout the state.
      "In the effort to reduce motorists' work zone safety violations, we are partners with the courts and law enforcement," Coleman said. "We are excited that Col. Robert Hightower of the Department of Public Safety has pledged the support of his agency."
      Coleman noted that the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation submitted by Georgia DOT this year which authorizes increased fines for work zone speeding violations.
      In addition, the Department is reviewing internal policies and practices to improve safety measures, including the use of advanced reflective materials on roadside signs and on safety vests used by employees and contractors.
      The launch event also introduced the campaign's large orange mascot, "Coneman," who resembles the orange cones that warn motorists when they are approaching highway work zones. Coneman will help bring attention to the safety campaign message and participate in school and community events statewide.
      7) American Airlines Unveils New Passenger-Oriented Gate Information Display System at O'Hare International Airport
      CHICAGO, April 3 -- American Airlines announced today that it has completed the installation of a new gate information display system at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The display system features two 36-inch monitors at each gate, which provide a wide range of information for passengers.
      ``As our customers have told us, they want clear, concise and timely information at the departure gates,'' said Bernie J. DeSena, American's vice president in Chicago. ``In an effort to satisfy the customers' requests, our airport automation personnel worked with new technology and created a visually appealing, state-of-the-art system that allows us to offer more information at our gates than ever before.
      ``The automated display system answers questions routinely asked of gate agents. Now customers can quickly obtain desired information without having to stand in line,'' DeSena added.
      The new two-screen display shows:
           -- Flight numbers
           -- Destination cities
           -- Departure times
           -- Aircraft type
           -- Flying time to the destination
           -- The destination city's weather and temperature
           -- The status of a standby list
           -- Information on the next flight arriving at the gate
      The new displays also depict codeshare partner's logos alongside the corresponding codeshare flight numbers.
      Passengers also can see text messages that specifically refer to their flight. For example, these messages might notify passengers that a gate change has been made or explain why a flight has been delayed.
      ``American has pledged in its Customer Service Plan to provide passengers at the gate with timely and frequent updates regarding known delays and cancellations,'' DeSena said. ``The new Gate Information Display system will help us do that.''
      The new display system has been installed as part of a $2.5 million gate renovation project at American Airlines' 48 gates in Terminal 3, Concourses H, K and L. The renovation project also included the installation of new gate counters and backdrops. New display monitors will be installed at all gates in Concourse G as it is remodeled. American Eagle's 18 gates will have a one- screen version of the new gate information display system.
      O'Hare is the first airport where American's new gate information display system has been unveiled. The system will be implemented in additional airports throughout the country in coming months.
      The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.
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      Bernie Wagenblast, at i95berniew@....    © 2000
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