Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O) is a multi-modal traffic management program that uses innovative strategies and technologies to actively manage our roadways for the efficient movement of people and goods. TSM&O strategies include traffic management, incident management, traveler information, and others. These work together to keep traffic moving 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
The FDOT District TSM&O Program has installed Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies along the major roadways in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. These technologies include Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras, Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Roadway Detectors, and others. These devices communicate back to the Sunguide Transportation Management Center (TMC) through a fiber-optic communication network to help traffic managers monitor traffic conditions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. For a complete list of devices, click here.
The District Six TSM&O Program uses proven strategies to reduce traffic congestion and provide safer, more reliable roadways in southeast Florida. It uses advanced technologies to optimize the efficiency of our existing facilities system and reduce the need to build or widen our roadways in areas where there is limited right of way.
The District Six SunGuide Transportation Management Center (TMC) is operated by the Florida Department of Transportation to actively manage the roadways of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The TMC is a 32,000 square foot facility that has traffic control room, a multi-screen video, wall and 18 workstations that allows operations staff monitor the roadways 24/7.
The center also houses the Florida Highway Patrol’s Miami Regional Communications Center and Troop ‘E’ of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Greater Miami Expressway Agency (GMX), and other agencies.
The goal of the District Six SunGuide TMC is to provide safe and reliable roadways for the motorists of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. It aims to plan, manage, operate and maintain the District’s TSM&O Program and the services it provides 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
The goal is to serve as the region’s traffic management and command center that coordinates with other agencies to formulate the appropriate response to minimize delays and increase safety conditions.
Yes. The SunGuide TMC houses partner agencies such as Florida Highway Patrol Troop ‘E’, Greater Miami Expressway Authority, and others. The collocation of these agencies promotes a collaborative and seamless approach to traffic management in the region.
The Road Ranger Service Patrol Program provides incident management and motorist assistance services along the major roadways of Miami-Dade County. They are dispatched by operations staff at the SunGuide Transportation Management Center and work alongside emergency responders to maintain reliable conditions along our regional transportation system.
The Road Ranger Service Patrols perform the following services along the major roadways of Miami-Dade County:
Yes, Road Ranger Service Patrols provide assistance to the public at no cost. This includes their their incident management and motorists assistance services.
The Road Ranger Service Patrols may only tow vehicles to the nearest and safest FDOT Right of Way to move stranded drivers out of harm’s way. They are not authorized to tow vehicles to non-FDOT designated areas or private locations.
The Road Ranger Service Patrol Program provides motorist assistance and incident management services on the following highways:
The 511 Traveler Information System is a service provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). It is the statewide service that provides real-time traffic reports through its website or phone system. For more information on how to use the new system, click here.
Travel time messages provides motorists with estimated travel time information. These messages are published on the 511 Traveler Information System, Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), and other services to allow drivers to plan their trips. These travel time estimates are based on real-time information provided by roadway detectors that collect traffic volumes and speeds.
Combined with the traveler information services available through 511, travel time estimates can provide useful information to motorists and assist in route planning and selection. By diverting a small number of drivers away from congested corridors, travel time messages can also assist with the management of congestion.
There are DMSs posting travel times on the following roadways:
According to state policy, travel times messages are going to be posted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when other more priority levels messages are not displayed.
Traffic data is collected by roadway detectors that are spaced about 1/3 of a mile apart. They gather speed and volume 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. the SunGuide software analyzes this data to generate the travel time messages.
Ramp Signals are an important traffic management technique designed to keep traffic flowing on the highways and help reduce crashes. They change from red to green lights to regulate the rate which vehicles enter the highway to reduce the disruptions caused by traffic merging at the entrances. They are serving to improve traffic flow on the mainline and are helping motorists enter the highway safely and more efficiently. Ramp Signals work based on real-time traffic conditions and are typically activated during the weekday rush-hour period to ease congestion during times of heavy expressway use.
Generally, many cars try to merge onto the highway all at once. Drivers on the mainline slow down to let the cars enter, and these slower speeds quickly cause backups. If cars enter the highway in a spaced, controlled manner, they merge easier and with less disruption to mainline traffic. A short wait on the ramp allows drivers to increase their average expressway speed and shorten expressway travel times. By regulating the flow of traffic entering the highway during peak traffic hours, the overall flow of traffic on the expressways will be smoother. This regulated flow means we can accommodate more vehicles per hour on the highway, improve commute times and provide a higher degree of safety.
Ramp signals operate at different hours according to real-time traffic conditions. This means that the signals are turned on based on their need to control unregulated ramp traffic from disrupting the mainline, particularly during times of heavy expressway use. For example, on Interstate 95, northbound ramp signals are typically turned on during the afternoon rush-hour period and southbound ramp signals will be typically turned on during the morning rush-hour. However, the signals may also be activated during the “off-peak” hours in the case an incident or special traffic event affects regular expressway operations.
Yes, all ramp signals essentially operate in the same way. However, because of the different entrance point geometrical and operational characteristics, there are some modifications at certain on-ramps to ensure system effectiveness, such as allowing one or two cars to enter the highway per green light. Each on-ramp is clearly marked with specific directions and advanced warning signs with flashing beacons to let drivers know if the ramp signals are turned on.
Whenever you use any signalized on-ramp, remember to follow these three basics steps:
1. When the signal is red: Pull up to the marked white line on the pavement before the “Stop Here on Red” sign to activate the ramp signal light.
2. When the signal light turns green: One or two vehicles, as indicated by the signage on the ramp, should proceed and merge onto the interstate.
3. Motorists should remain patient. A short wait on the ramp will help reduce travel times and improve the overall commute along the mainline.
The red-green cycles varies from ramp to ramp. The green light is typically on for two seconds, and the red light may vary anywhere from two to thirteen seconds depending on the level of congestion on the highway. Ramp signals work according to “real-time” traffic conditions and cycle times will be adjusted to control traffic at that moment. Traffic sensors in the pavement indicate how heavy traffic volumes are on the highway. Lighter volumes will typically speed up the red-green cycle to let more cars enter the expressway. Similarly, if the sensors detect heavier traffic on the highway, the red-green cycles would be adjusted to space out merging traffic.
Waiting times will vary depending upon how many cars are ahead of you on the ramp. In the slowest situation— a thirteen-second red and a two-second green cycle – four cars each minute would be allowed to enter on a specific ramp; in the fastest situation, fifteen cars each minute could enter. For those traveling a good distance on the expressway, the time spent on the ramp is gained back – and more – with faster speeds on the highway itself. Depending on the location and time of day, if someone is only traveling a short distance during the peak period, it might be just as fast to use a local city street. Also, some signalized on-ramps will be used less frequently than others, and the wait may be shorter at those locations.
Over the years, every ramp signaling project in the United States has been subjected to extensive “before and after” tests. In Miami-Dade County, information gathered by FDOT revealed that Phase 1A of the Ramp Signaling System has increased average travel speeds by 6 mph during the afternoon rush-hour period. This increase in speeds is providing motorists with real-time improvements and is helping them save time and money on their weekday afternoon commute.
The Ramp Signaling System has worked to:
Overall, traffic congestion in metropolitan areas such as Miami-Dade County will continue to grow. However, ramp signals are helping to reduce the type of congestion known as “bottlenecking.” Whenever ramp traffic enters the highway – and then shifts left from lane to lane – it creates a slowing pattern behind that entrance zone and increases congestion. Ramp signals reduce this type of congestion by ensuring that vehicles enter the highway in a spaced and steady manner. They break up the groups of merging vehicles that create disruptions on the mainline and ensure there are enough gaps available for each car to fit. This type of traffic control mechanism manages the overall flow of the highway and helps to reduce congestion on the highway.
No, ramp signals do not create local congestion. Traffic sensors at the beginning of each ramp detect if traffic is backed up onto mainline city streets and alert the ramp signals to speed up the red-green cycle to avoid back-ups. Additionally, FDOT staff housed at Transportation Management Center (TMC) monitors the system visually (via Closed Circuit Television Cameras) and through the information received from the traffic detectors and may adjust cycle times if necessary as well. It is important to note, however, that if local congestion along city streets currently exists, it will not be eliminated by the signals. It is also important to remember that there is often a bit of confusion during the first few days of all signaling projects, which does cause a bit more traffic congestion near the ramps. As drivers become accustomed to the signals and adjust their travel patterns, this temporary congestion disappears.
No. There are two ways ramp signals can adversely affect adjacent city streets. The first is backing of ramp traffic onto mainline city streets. FDOT has addressed this by installing end of queue detectors in the ramp signaling system that will send alerts when back-ups are occurring and will speed up the metering rate to avoid back-ups onto the city streets. However, if back-ups currently exist, they will not be eliminated by the signals. It is also important to remember that there is often a bit of confusion during the first few days of all signaling projects, which does cause a bit more traffic congestion near the ramps.
As commuters become accustomed to the signals and adjust their travel patterns, this temporary congestion disappears. In cases where traffic continues to back up on the ramp, most problems can be handled by adjusting the signal timing. FDOT will closely monitor each signal as it is brought on-line and make adjustments as needed. The second instance where ramp signals may pose adverse affect is in the diversion of traffic to city streets due to backlog and wait times entering the freeway. This issue has been studied in extensively in their cities where ramp signals were installed show that in those cases where traffic has increased on city streets, the volume has not been significant enough to impact the operation of these streets.
No, in terms of return on investment, installing ramp signals is not expensive. The travel time savings provided to motorists as a result of the ramp signals outweigh the cost of installing the system.
No, it is not. Energy and air quality are improved by reducing the stop and go traffic often caused by merging vehicles at the highway entrance points. While vehicles burn some gas waiting on a signalized ramp, the increased travel speeds on the highway makes up for the gas emitted on the ramps. In terms of air quality, environmental experts have concluded that ramp signal program slightly reduces the quantities of nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and reactive hydrocarbons – the pollutants in smog. Again, this is a trade–off: while there might not be any measurable differences along the on-ramps themselves, with decreased expressway stop-and-go driving and smoother flow, the overall air quality actually improves.
The ramp signals are considered traffic control devices and failure to obey a traffic control device are subject to the same rules of enforcement and fines. In Miami-Dade County the cost of receiving a citation for failure to obey a traffic control device will range from $123 up to $183 or more. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) will be responsible for enforcing the ramp signals.