Connect with MnDOT
The RTMC's staff confirms traffic incidents with 450 Closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras posted along 340 miles of metro-area freeway. Information on incident location and resulting traffic back-ups are relayed to travelers via Traffic Radio, Traffic TV, various Internet sites and a telephone service. The RTMC provides traffic information to local radio and television traffic reporters as well. Travelers are also alerted to traffic problems via 85 electronic message signs placed throughout the freeway system.
RTMC staff also uses cameras to verify that the ramp meters are responding to real-time traffic conditions. The RTMC's 4,500 loop detectors (traffic sensors) give computers the information needed to determine ramp meter timing. Loop detectors also measure traffic speeds, which are displayed on a graphics map on traffic TV and various Internet sites.
FIRST locates, assists and removes stalled vehicles to minimize congestion. Through coordination with the Minnesota State Patrol and FIRST, crashes and incidents are managed and cleared as efficiently as possible.
The RTMC is involved with providing research and development for its operations. Projects include analyzing the effectiveness of traffic management tools, collecting traffic flow information and developing new traveler information products.
The RTMC is also involved with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects.
Spending on transportation as a portion of Gross State Product has actually decreased as use of the transportation system has grown. To address this, the Minnesota Department of Transportation began its traffic management efforts in the early 1970s. With the development of those systems, Mn/DOT saw a need for a central control facility. Mn/DOT built the original Traffic Management Center in 1972 to manage the freeway system in the Twin Cities metro area. It is one of the most successful and comprehensive facilities of its kind in the country.
Mn/DOT's goal is to provide motorists with a faster, safer trip on metro-area freeways.
The primary purpose of the facility is to integrate Mn/DOT's Metro District Maintenance Dispatch and Mn/DOT's Traffic Operations with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's State Patrol Dispatch into a unified communications center. The integration provides the communications and computer infrastructure necessary for coordinated transportation management on metro freeways during normal commuting periods, as well as during special events and major incidents.
The RTMC's traffic management systems help optimize the use of available freeway capacity.