July 21, 2010 By News Report
CIOs representing some of the biggest transit agencies in the U.S. have formed a consortium that will expedite collaboration, education and the sharing of technology solutions.
The first-ever Transit CIO Consortium began in June. Its members will collaborate on topics like asset management systems, cloud computing, customer communications, closed circuit TV, data security, enterprise architecture, enterprise resource planning, IT consolidation, governance, payment card industry compliance, smart cards and fare collection.
"The consortium is a smart way for individual transit agencies to save money and time," Vice President Allan Steele, CIO of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, said in a news release. "By pooling our intellectual capital, we all become smarter, and by sharing experiences, we can avoid missteps and accelerate delivery of innovative technology across the industry and individual properties."
Represented by more than 30 transit properties in the U.S., the consortium expects to save its members tens of thousands of IT dollars annually by sharing best practices and successful programs.
The organization's leadership is comprised of 12 founding board members and four elected founding officers from the four quadrants of the country, including First Vice President John Vasilj, senior vice president of program management and technology of the Chicago Transit Authority; Second Vice President Steele; and Secretary Ravi Misra, department manager of IT for San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit.
The founding board members are:
o John Duque, IT manager of Virginia Railway Express;
o Clair Fiet, chief technology officer of the Utah Transit Authority;
o Gary Foster, chief technology officer of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority;
o Sidney Gellineau, vice president of Technology & Information Services, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit;
o Joel Golub, CIO of New Jersey Transit;
o Dave Hinrichs, CIO of the Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit, Minneapolis-St. Paul;
o Vincent Mezzanotte, CIO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Island Rail Road;
o Ron Nizer, IT director of the Maryland Transit Administration;
o David Sullivan, senior vice president of technology at Hampton Roads Transit;
o Steven Teal, CIO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North Railroad;
o Fred Wedley, retired CIO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Island Rail Road; and
o William Zebrowski, senior director and CIO of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Agency's IT department.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.