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A Prototype Decision Support System for Optimally Routing Border Crossing Traffic Based on Predicted Border Crossing Times
The economic vitality of the “Golden Horseshoe,” a densely populated and industrialized region which encompasses Ontario and parts of New York State including the Buffalo-Niagara Region, is heavily dependent upon the ability to move goods freely and efficiently across the Canadian-US border. This highlights the critical importance of the Niagara Frontier borders, which in fact is one of the busiest international crossings in the United States. In recent years, and as a result of the continued increase in travel demand across the border coupled with the need for tighter security and inspection procedures after September 11, border crossing delay has become a critical problem with tremendous economic and social costs. The purpose of this project is to develop a prototype system for border crossing traffic management system, whose ultimate goal would be to direct the Niagara Frontier border-destined traffic in an optimal fashion that would maximize system efficiency and minimize the negative impacts of border crossing delays. The proposed prototype consists of two components. The first component is a predictive tool to forecast the short-term border crossing travel times and delays at three key border crossings in the region (i.e. the Peace Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge). The second component is a Decision Support System (DSS) for optimally routing border-destined traffic based on the predicted border crossing travel times derived from the predictive tool. Data for building the predictive model will be obtained from the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC), a coalition of fourteen different agencies in Western New York and Southern Ontario region that employs the latest Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies to monitor and manage regional traffic.