RITIS Introduction

An Introduction to RITIS

RITIS is the leading big data aggregation and dissemination platform for solving challenging and complex transportation problems.

Its broad spectrum of advanced analytics – from comprehensive situational awareness to in-depth archived data evaluation – provides enhanced, multi-faceted insight of the transportation system across geographic and agency boundaries.

RITIS is used nationwide by thousands of decision-makers in planning, operations, research, the military and Homeland Security for developing smart, cost-effective mobility, safety and security solutions.

What is RITIS?

RITIS is a situational awareness, data archiving, and analytics platform used by transportation officials, first responders, planners, researchers, and more. RITIS fuses data from many agencies, many systems, and even the private sector—enabling effective decision making for incident response and planning. Within RITIS are a broad portfolio of analytical tools and features. Ultimately, RITIS enables a wide range of capabilities and insights, reduces the cost of planning activities and conducting research, and breaks down the barriers within and between agencies for information sharing, collaboration, and coordination.

How does RITIS work?

RITIS integrates any existing data from your transportation and public safety systems, the private sector, and military. The data is fused in a private, secure cloud, and then disseminated to credentialed users through interactive websites, applications, data feeds, and APIs. RITIS perpetually stores your data—meaning no information is ever destroyed or erased. A large team of 40+ software developers, network engineers, security experts, and IT specialists monitor RITIS 24/7/365—ensuring your data and tools are always accessible.

What types of data are in RITIS?

RITIS is constantly evolving to include the latest transportation-related data available from the public and private sectors. Here’s a list of some of the data that RITIS can ingest today:

Data Types Description
Traffic volume, speed, class, and occupancy from sensors (loops, RTMS, Video detection, Sensys pucks, etc.) Information collected by agencies and third parties from roadway sensors that could include inductive loops, side-fired sensors (acoustic, microwave, etc.), radar, and video.

This also includes data from probe-based systems—either agency-owned (Bluetooth) or third-party supplied (HERE Technologies, INRIX, TomTom.)

Event, work zone, and incident information Information entered by each agency into its own incident management system. Data typically include incident location, type, severity, information about the vehicles involved and their status, to whom are notifications made and which responders are on-scene, which lanes are closed, response plans or detours, and messages on dynamic message signs (DMS) or Highway Advisory Radio (HAR).
Crowdsourced Waze data Data provided by public users of the popular waze application can supplement data produced by DOT ATMS platforms and public safety CAD systems. These data include the location of collisions, disabled vehicles, debris, congestion, and other events that impact traffic flow and traffic safety.
Weather data Weather alerts, temperature, precipitation types and rates, wind speeds, radar data, and other information from the National Weather Service, third parties, the media, etc. Also includes weather and pavement surface conditions that agencies gather from their roadway weather information systems (RWIS).
Device operational status Data on the operational status of roadway devices from each agency, including traffic detectors, DMS, traffic signals, HAR, roadway weather information systems, and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, where available.
Managed lane status Data on when high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) restrictions are in effect, direction of reversible lanes by time of day, and price of high-occupancy toll lanes by time.
Surveillance video Live CCTV feeds focused on roadways, assets, or pedestrians.
Transit alerts Transit alerts, service disruptions, and other information transmitted by transit providers—both public and private.
Automated vehicle locations (AVLs) The locations and status of freeway service patrols, transit vehicles, or other assets equipped with AVL hardware.
Signal status Operational status of signals at intersections or ramp meters, such as operational, maintenance mode, flashing, or offline.
Signal timing plans Signal Phase and Timing plans (SPAT), current or future timing schemes, HD Signal data (at 10 hz or higher)
Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) information Data from public safety CAD systems, such as fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement. Can include dispatch requests, incident types, severity, responder requests, or even lane status.
Static, descriptive information Any information on roadway infrastructure, evacuation routes, business locations, permanent asset locations, or transit characteristics. For transit, this includes schedules, routes, and stops. For roadways, it includes information such as number of lanes, weight and height restrictions, speed limits, evacuation routes, and location of intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices. It can also include the location of schools, businesses, and other points of interest like dams, fueling stations, etc.
Decision-support response plans The various actions that the departments of transportation (DOTs) are likely to take to help minimize congestion impacts and clear roads more quickly. Could include pre-programmed DMS messages, signal timing plans, traveler information strategies, detours, etc., that are grouped together into a single, cohesive “plan of action” ready to implement. The sharing of these response plans can help agencies to better coordinate so that one agency’s response plan is not in conflict with another’s.
Parking data Location of parking facilities, number of spaces occupied and available, time and duration of parking space utilization, current fees, restrictions, and data on how to reserve a space.
Travel time Often a derivative of speed data, travel time data represent the number of minutes it takes a person to travel from one location to another. Travel times are often divided into road segments where the start and end point of the segments are intersections or key features such as bridges or tunnels. Vehicle travel time data can be derived from point sensor speed data. It also can be directly measured by probes, such as license plate recognition, toll tag transponders, Global Positioning Systems, and cell phone tracking. Alternatively, it can be estimated and predicted from other data sources.
Freight movements Mixture of data related to the origin-destination (O-D) of various shipments or types of shipments, statistics on the type of goods being shipped, the mode by which the goods are shipped, value of the goods, quantity of goods, type of shipping container, and safety records.
O-D and Trip data Tells operations personnel and planners where trips begin; where they end; and, sometimes, the routes that are taken. These data can be valuable for planning purposes and are useful for real-time operations when trying to measure the impact of various traveler information strategies and the impact of incidents on arterials and other secondary roads. Private data aggregator services routinely make O-D data anonymous.
Routing data Data that can be used by both emergency first responders and the traveling public to determine the fastest route, shortest path, etc., from one point to another. Comprised of road network data, turning restrictions, speed limits, and other information related to route types and distances.
CV/AV Data Data can include Basic Safety Message (BSM) data related to braking, trajectory, etc. data. Can also include more detailed vehicle event data including—ABS engagement, traction control engagement, air bag deployment, wiper use, headlight use, emissions information, fuel consumption, seatbelt use, and more.

Where is RITIS available?

Anywhere! While RITIS began in the Nation’s Capital as a way to help coordinate the real-time operations between Maryland DOT, Virginia DOT, D.C. DOT and WMATA, the system has rapidly expanded to other states and other countries. There are currently over 8,000 users of RITIS in every state exchanging tens of billions of transportation-related measurements and data points every day. RITIS is even available in other countries.

What date ranges are available for analysis?

RITIS is available on the web 24/7/365. Users can see data from as recently as one minute ago to as long ago as 1995 in some cases. All data provided to RITIS is perpetually archived. That means that once data is integrated into RITIS, it is never deleted unless an agency specifically requests that it be deleted. While some datasets in RITIS go back as far as the early 1990s, traffic speeds and travel time data for all US Interstates and major arterials go back as far as 2010. If your agency has a large data set from decades ago that you want integrated into RITIS, we will work with you to make that happen.

When can RITIS analyze traffic conditions?

For any time period that RITIS has uploaded or accumulated databases -- for example, RITIS can analyze speeds on U.S. interstates back through 2010.

Who can benefit from RITIS?

While originally meant for transportation operations, RITIS is benefiting many disciplines today. Example users include
  • DOTs (Federal, State and Local)
  • Consultants working on behalf of DOTs
  • Transit providers
  • MPOs
  • Emergency Management Agencies (State, Local, and FEMA)
  • Military (US Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, US Joint Forces Headquarters, NorthCom)
  • Law Enforcement (State, Local, US Secret Service, Pentagon Force Protection, US Capital Police, Park Police, etc.)
  • US Office of Personnel Management
  • 3rd Party Traveler Information Providers
  • University Researchers

RITIS by the numbers

Why do so many transportation professionals use RITIS?

Because of its ability to support the core functions of their agencies or organizations. These people may need to:
  • Plan, monitor, execute, review and report on operations activities
  • Maintain situational awareness beyond local coverage areas
  • Understand how transportation impacts law enforcement activities and vice-versa
  • Collaborate with and share information among peer agencies
  • Measure progress toward achieving goals or hitting performance targets
  • Perform credible benefit-cost analyses for proposed investments
  • Build consensus for and confirm projects for long range plans
  • Maintain credibility with the public and provide timely information
  • Collect evidence and make the case for more program funding
  • Demonstrate competent stewardship of public funds
  • Drill deeply to discover insights hidden inside today’s ‘big’ databases
  • Test new data, decision support concepts, or other
“Analysis that used to take an entire year to accomplish with one or two full-time employees now takes only 10-minutes, and I don’t need an entire IT staff to support it.”

— MPO Senior Transportation Analyst

“The [Probe Data Analytics] Suite represents a quantum leap in capabilities for problem identification, problem confirmation, and communicating with the public.”

— DOT Planner

“The amount of funding we have to ask for from our DOT program manager has decreased as a result of access to these tools. They are saving money, and we are more nimble.”

— DOT Consultant

“We are making better informed decisions about which ops centers to keep open, where to deploy patrols, and what type of economic impact we are having on the traveling public. We’ve never had this type of insight into operations before.”

— DOT Operations Manager

“Someone finally understands how to display operations data in a way that makes sense and doesn’t make me rely on 10 different systems on 5 different computer terminals. And it’s fast! I’m simply blown away!”

— Center Operations Engineer

“This is amazing! We can tell some really compelling stories to the public about our impact, and it’s so easy!”

— Private Sector Public Information Officer and Media Relations for a DOT

What RITIS Can Do for You

Whatever your function, RITIS can help your team accomplish more in less time with better results.

Planning for Operations

Active Operations

Long-Range Planning and Capital Programming


Executive Leadership

Traveler Information

More about RITIS

Since its inception, RITIS was envisioned as “customer-centric” – that is, the vision, product portfolio and strategic direction are primarily guided by our transportation partners.

Top Six Reasons to Become a RITIS Agency

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