Ga. transportation officials track crews with GPS

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Department of Transportation is now using a GPS-enabled system to monitor where road maintenance crews are in real time.

The system, called the Verizon Field Force Manager, allows state transportation officials to see where crews are in relation to salt barns and maintenance facilities in each district. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/1dIwVwj ) reported Wednesday that the department is also using the system to pinpoint potential problem areas based on information from the Jan. 28 storm.

“Since the last storm, we’ve been looking at options to track and dispatch vehicles more efficiently because we could not get out to the accidents,” said GDOT Chief Information Officer Jeff Hill. He said the department was considering several systems that required purchasing GPS-enabled devices and a subscription that would cost about $3,000 or more per vehicle. However, the application the department uses costs about $15 per month for each of the 200 phones that it has been installed on.

The same program can be used to help the state manage evacuations by cross-referencing traffic volume and speed data with information on where crews are located, Hill said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation was supposed to train workers on the program Thursday, but officials expedited its introduction Monday when it became clear that snow and ice were approaching the area.

Employees participated in a training session by Tuesday afternoon and each road treatment crew that was dispatched had at least one phone that was equipped with the application.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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