U.S. Department of Transportation Offers Webinars on the Smart Columbus Program's Prenatal Trip Assistance Concept of Operations and Event Parking Management System Requirements Specification

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is hosting two upcoming free webinars on the status of the Smart Columbus Program's projects. The first webinar focuses on the Prenatal Trip Assistance (PTA) project and is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM ET. The second webinar  on the Event Parking Management (EPM) project's System Requirements Specification (SyRS) is scheduled for Thursday, November 15, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.


Through the USDOT's Smart City Challenge, in 2016, the Department selected Columbus, OH, to define what it means to be a "smart city" and serve as a model for other cities wishing to fully integrate innovative technologies--such as automated vehicles, connected vehicles, and applications--into the transportation network. The goal of the Smart Columbus program is to connect people by creating opportunity for city residents to better access jobs and services while improving the overall safety and efficiency of the city's transportation network. The Smart Columbus program is comprised of nine individual projects covering three themes--enabling technologies, emerging technologies, and enhanced human services.


Prenatal Trip Assistance (PTA) Concept of Operations Webinar

The PTA project seeks to impact Columbus' rate of pre-term birth, a contributing factor to infant mortality, by improving transportation to pre-natal healthcare appointments. From 2013 to 2015, Ohio's infant mortality rate was 7.13 deaths per 1,000 live births. Nationally, the rate was 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births; and in Franklin County, the rate was 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. From October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, the infant mortality rate in Franklin County was 8.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. These statistics have drawn the attention of the City of Columbus leadership, and they are focused on making changes that are necessary to impact this issue.

The project recognizes transportation as a piece of a complete puzzle that can influence pregnancy outcomes, especially when it comes to more vulnerable populations. Safe and reliable transportation to prenatal care appointments remains a constant challenge for women living in poverty in our community. Bus passes are often outside women's budgets and the bus stops are not always conveniently located to women's homes and/or prenatal care providers. Most women living in poverty in Greater Columbus have their medical care paid for by a Medicaid Managed Care Plan offered by a managed care organization (MCO). While these plans do provide transportation to and from medical appointments during pregnancy, services may present challenges and cause women to use another option.

The PTA project aims to streamline the existing, mainly call center based, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services delivered by MCOs today. It will improve the process for accessing these services and make them more flexible and easier to use. It will offer a variety of ways for travelers to access the services, adding web and smartphone applications to the current call center model. The solution will integrate the disparate entities involved in delivering these services (MCOs, transportation brokers, medical offices, and travelers). The PTA solution will take in requests to schedule NEMT trips through a smartphone application, web portal, or call center. The transportation broker and NEMT mobility provider will then process reservation information to render services.

Webinar Details

This webinar will focus on the ConOps developed by the City of Columbus. The ConOps conveys a high-level view of the system to be implemented from the viewpoint of each stakeholder. It frames the overall system, sets the technical course for the project, and serves as a bridge between early project motivations and the technical requirements. Finally, the ConOps provides stakeholders the opportunity to provide input as to how the proposed system should function, which will help build consensus and create a single vision for the system moving forward.

This webinar is the eighth in a series of webinars focusing on ConOps and trade studies developed as part of the Smart Columbus program.

Event Parking Management (EPM) System Requirements Specification (SyRS) Webinar

Parking in a downtown or popular tourist area can be challenging even for the most experienced residents and visitors. The EPM project intends to improve the experience. The project will focus on providing more parking information to the public, including prepayment for parking in available garages and lots in the downtown and Short North areas. The EPM will also show predictive analytics related to the availability of parking meters citywide.

The EPM application, which will also be available on the web, will allow users to research parking options in advance. Users will be able to identify parking locations and check pricing, hours of operation, and specialty parking availability such as handicap, electric vehicle charging, and oversized vehicles. Some parking garages and lots will also offer payment in advance allowing travelers to avoid a last-minute hunt for a parking space. The application will also use historical parking meter data and probe vehicle data to predict the availability of a parking meter in a preferred area.

Webinar Details

This webinar will focus on the EPM SyRS developed by the City of Columbus. The SyRS is intended to communicate the requirements of the EPM to the technical community who will specify and build the system. The SyRS is a "black box" description of what the EPM must do, but not how it will do it. It also contains descriptions of inputs, outputs, and required relationships between inputs and outputs. The City of Columbus will accept comments on the SyRS for the EPM project from November 8 to November 22, 2018. The SyRS will be available on the Smart Columbus website one week in advance of the webinar.

This webinar is the third in a series of webinars on SyRS presented in a walk-through format.

To be notified about upcoming webinars, sign up for the Smart Columbus newsletter at: https://smart.columbus.gov/connect/.


Title: Smart Columbus Prenatal Trip Assistance Concept of Operations Webinar
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/hyZFiFvvFI4zQjnp1

Title: Smart Columbus Event Parking Management System Requirements Specification Webinar
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET
Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/DKWaJ5XvYafilOfB3

For more information on the Smart Columbus program, please visit the City of Columbus's website at: www.smart.columbus.gov.