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45 Other Examples of Revenue Generating Business Models Avoid technology changes without a clearly defined need for the change Each year, the use of traveler information websites and 511 Technology upgrades almost seem like a race at phone systems increases. Therefore, business models that times, where new technologies replace old tech- attempted revenue generation a few years ago now have the nologies regularly and considerable costs can be advantage of a larger user base and more familiarity with the required for each technology upgrade. product. Recently, two initiatives in California have begun Take advantage of technology changes that introduce revenue-generating business models: large cost savings VoIP is an example of a technology that may be In San Diego, California, video feeds from cameras are appropriate for many agencies and can deliver sub- available and the project team is seeking to establish stantial cost savings. relationships with one or more partners to disseminate Other examples of cost-saving technologies are the video to travelers while recovering costs through consolidated systems where operators enter event or revenue generation. The project is attempting to find incident summaries one time and the information is partners who will disseminate the video access without disseminated through several mechanisms. paying the partners, and hopes to recover a portion of Seek committed annual operations budgets the revenue that is generated by the partners. Many successful public traveler information sys- In Los Angeles County, the Motorist Assist Traveler tems have committed annual budgets for traveler Information System will provide a comprehensive information that allow the agency to negotiate long- traveler information system, including an automated term agreements for such things as voice hosting phone system, an operator answered phone system, and information data collection. and traveler information websites. The current initia- Committed long-term budgets also allow agencies tive will attempt to recover portions of the operations' to strategically plan a sequential deployment or costs through advertising sales on the phone system, expansion of services. websites, and transit and transportation infrastructure Choose services offered by public agencies wisely and (e.g., signs on buses and trains). seek private partners for the remainder of services Although public agencies may always deliver state- Although the amount of revenue generated by these two wide traveler information over the Internet and 511 examples of business models will be understood over the phone, new demands from travelers for information coming years, these examples illustrate that agencies are still delivery options (e.g., push technologies that deliver attempting to find business models that benefit from revenue information to travelers based on profiles, interfaces generation and attempt to offset operations costs. with in-vehicle navigation systems, and handheld devices) may be best delivered by private informa- tion service providers either on a fee-per-use basis Synthesis Of Real-Time Traveler Information or through advertising support. Delivery Business Model Best Practices Information service providers most definitely have a role to tailor information delivery according to a Based on the literature review and personal interviews with private business models. industry experts, the following best practices have been Make as much information available to private sector identified for business models for the operation of traveler information providers as possible information delivery systems: Many states now post traffic data, incident and con- struction event information, camera images, and Try to minimize public sector operations costs as much weather information for easy access by information as possible service providers. In some areas, large numbers Few examples of public sector information deliv- of information service providers are accessing the ery systems have generated any revenue (and the data, repackaging it, and delivering it to customers. net revenue generated has been minimal), therefore Each time this happens, more travelers are receiv- suggesting that operations budgets will most likely ing information without added expense to the public always be limited to public set-aside funds, which agencies. are limited and tend not to increase.