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Established in 1993, Houston TranStar is a partnership of four government agencies that are responsible for providing Transportation Management and Emergency Management services to the Greater Houston, Texas Region. TranStar provides management of the region’s transportation system and has evolved into a primary resource from which multiple state, county and local agencies respond to incidents and emergencies in Harris County, Texas and elsewhere. The following agencies are currently part of the Houston TranStar partnership:
Monitoring traffic incidents with more than 800 regional Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), staff at the TranStar center dispatch vehicles to remove debris or hazardous materials, communicate with emergency vehicles about the most direct routes to an accident scene, and send tow trucks to stalled vehicles. More than 1,280 direction freeway miles are equipped with speed sensors to monitor and broadcast real-time travel speeds on the Houston TranStar website. About 150 Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), deployed from Houston TranStar, inform travelers about expected travel times and traffic issues ahead. Synchronized traffic signals, Highway Advisory Radio, ramp meters and other devices are also put to use with the goal of keeping the region's traffic moving.
Emergency Management When emergency conditions arise such as hurricanes, floods, industrial explosions or terrorist attacks, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Houston TranStar is activated. Representatives coordinate from all four collaborating agencies—as well as such diverse entities as the U.S. Army, Salvation Army, Harris County Toll Road Authority, Amateur Radio Operator volunteers, the American Red Cross, and area local governments. The Automated Flood Warning System, Doppler Radar Imagery, Satellite Weather Maps, Road Flood Warning Systems and the Regional Incident Management System (RIMS) comprise some of the tools used to address the emergency.