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34 CHAPTER FIVE AVAILABLE AND EMERGING DATA SOURCES Previous sections of this report have summarized traveler Interest in Additional Data Sources information dissemination approaches. However, traveler information dissemination is only possible because of data Twenty-six agencies responded to the question about their collection and information creation to supply the informa- interest in additional data sources as follows: tion. Adequate data sources are critical to deliver accurate and timely traveler information. · Nine agencies indicated they would be open to outside data sources if the data were provided free of charge. This section describes the feedback from the survey of · Nine agencies indicated they would be open to outside traveler information providers on their use and needs for data sources and may consider paying a fee for the data. data sources, and then describes feedback and insight gained · Eight agencies indicated they are not seeking or open from discussions with traveler information industry experts to the concept of outside data sources because their and through reviews of existing systems. current data sources meet their needs. Factors Contributing to Use of Outside Data Sources Current Use Of Data Sources And Additional Data Needs Responders to this study's survey were asked to identify the determining factors in selecting an outside data source (and Accuracy and Timeliness of Information Dissemination were allowed to select as many factors as they wished). The responders indicated that the following factors would deter- The quality and availability of data sources directly impacts mine their acceptance of an outside data source: the accuracy and timeliness of the information presented to travelers. Responders to this survey were asked whether they · Cost (23 of 27 responders) believed customers were satisfied with the accuracy of the · Reliability of data (21 of 27 responders) information disseminated (based on feedback received from · Quality assurance (19 of 27 responders) customers). Figure 20 presents the agencies' understanding · An ongoing commitment that the data will always be of customer satisfaction. available (13 of 27 responders) Current Sources for Traveler Information Comments from Survey Responders on Additional Data Source Needs In this study's survey of public agencies operating traveler information systems, responders were asked to describe Survey responders were asked to comment on additional their sources for traveler information data: data sources they wish they had: · Twenty-four of 26 agencies indicated that data sources · Responder from Mississippi indicated an interest in law are primarily owned and operated by the DOT (e.g., enforcement and emergency services (field information). loop detectors, weather stations, manual entry by · Responder from Montana indicated an interest in an personnel). information feed from the State Patrol. · Ten of 26 agencies indicated that they have some · Responder from North Carolina indicated that they are no-cost data feeds from external sources outside the considering purchasing congestion and flow data from DOT, including National Weather Service weather a third party and will be assessing the cost to purchase reports. the data compared with installing, owning, operating, · Four of 26 agencies indicated they use outside "priced" and maintaining the infrastructure, as well as the accu- data sources that may include a fee for service or barter racy, reliability, and timeliness of the data when reach- arrangements. ing the decision.