Transportation is one of the most important drivers for social and economic development. The lack of good transportation infrastructure, from basic all-weather roads to modern control and management systems, significantly hinders the development of any country. Transportation investment is a key component of government budgets worldwide and subject to regulation from economic development advisory agencies.

Microsoft and its partners provide intelligent solutions that help public sector organizations meet the transportation challenges they face every day. Benefits can include:

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  • Improved healthcare—According to the World Bank, better roads can reduce maternal death by as much as 75 percent by enabling faster access to healthcare.
  • Better-educated citizens—The World Bank also points out that students can attend schools more easily with improved road conditions, tripling education rates.
  • Stronger economies—Reduced transportation costs along a modernized, international corridor can unlock growth potential, create jobs, and bring wealth to countries, cities, and local communities.
  • Less traffic congestion—By easing gridlock—a common problem in most cities—governments can improve citizen and environmental health, reduce the costs of products and services, and improve their ability to compete at local and national levels.

Traffic gridlock is a major problem for cities worldwide, reducing quality of life while increasing the costs of goods and services. Each day, millions of citizens waste valuable time stuck in traffic, while economies suffer from lost productivity. Microsoft technology is helping city governments manage public transportation more efficiently to reduce gridlock and improve mobility. Solutions include:

  • Electronic tolling systems—Using technologies such as RFID and artificial vision software, automatically recognize license plate numbers and adjust toll fares based on traffic demand. The solution provides incentive for drivers to schedule trips during less-congested hours.
  • Intelligent traffic lights—Optimize traffic flow with lights that automatically sense and adjust to road conditions, as well as give preference to emergency vehicles.

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Electronic tolling systems and intelligent traffic lights are just two examples of nearly limitless traffic management capabilities that Microsoft and its partners are delivering worldwide.

Public transportation is a critical service provided by cities, and buses are the most common form of conveyance. Managing bus operations is a daunting task, whether it's small fleets with hundreds of buses or huge agglomerates with thousands of vehicles. Asset and fleet management solutions from Microsoft and its partners can help you reduce complexity and optimize operations. For example, you can:

  • Improve efficiency—Reduce the complexity of operational and maintenance logs.
  • Gain better insight—Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor fuel and tire consumption and the condition of thousands of parts.
  • Optimize service—Improve scheduling to ensure that buses are on time and service is uninterrupted.
  • Strengthen compliance—Meet service level agreements and government regulations more easily.

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Asset and fleet management solutions give you a 360-degree view of operations. As a result, you can improve service and safety, while reducing environmental impact with lower fuel and tire consumption. Cities can then pass the savings on to citizens with lower transportation fees.

The increased urbanization of the past century has become one of the major issues for sustainable economic growth. In addition, the availability of accessible land transport is one of the main challenges for today and in the future. Citizens are increasingly demanding higher-quality, greener transportation options, which challenges city leaders to provide more reliable and energy-efficient alternatives.

Based on technology from Microsoft and its partners, electronic fare collection or eTicketing can help public transport and mass transit providers meet these demands and form the cornerstone for an efficient fare management system. The use of smartcards helps provide a safer, easier transportation experience for passengers.

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Microsoft solutions enable mass transit operators to gain a 360-degree view of customer activities. As a result, they can improve service and efficiency while controlling costs. As technology evolves, transit providers can also use near-field communications to deliver information and handle transactions through mobile phones and contactless bank cards. By enabling touch-free access to information and services, transit providers can reduce infrastructure costs. They can also benefit from joint marketing and other collaborative ventures with banks and telecommunications companies.

Finding a parking space is a problem shared by city drivers worldwide. City infrastructure is often limited and unable to effectively cope with population growth and the increasing numbers of cars circulating in urban areas. While trying to find parking, drivers waste time, burn fuel, and elevate pollution.

With intelligent parking management solutions from Microsoft and its partners, city governments can meet multiple challenges. Benefits include:

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  • Simplified parking—Using smartphones, drivers can easily locate nearby parking, get driving directions, and pay parking fees as well as receive alerts when parking time nears expiration.
  • Reduced costs—Cities can implement new services with minimal infrastructure investment while increasing revenue with more efficient fair collection and ticketing enforcement.
  • Rapid implementation—By reducing the time and money required to implement new services, cities can provide parking management solutions faster and more easily.
  • Increased citizen satisfaction—Efficient parking management helps drivers save time and money, and it improves quality of life by reducing traffic congestion and pollution.

Advanced transportation solutions include a broad set of applications based on Microsoft technologies designed to provide individual citizens and businesses a better experience. For example, with advanced transportation solutions you can intelligently:

  • Arrange transportation—By using a smartphone with global position services (GPS), you can request a ride from a carpool service company with a single click. Based on personalized data including the passenger's current location, preferences, calendars, and destinations, the system will automatically locate the closest car.
  • Coordinate traffic—Install smart traffic lights that sense road conditions and automatically adjust to optimize traffic flow and privilege emergency vehicles.

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  • Improve infrastructure management—Take advantage of Microsoft cloud technologies integrated with feeds from multiple sensors to enable real-time, big data analytics. These capabilities form the backbone for advanced transportation solutions, which provide city managers with the key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to run transportation infrastructure safely and efficiently.

Airports, train depots, and bus stations are important infrastructure components of any city. These transportation hubs are vital elements for social and economic development both locally and regionally.

To keep cargo and passengers moving safely and on time, information systems must be efficient and reliable, and communications must work across all devices. Today, airport passengers want to receive real-time and accurate information about flight departures and arrivals on their smartphones.

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Workers at shipping ports and airports use their mobile devices to easily identify containers and move cargoes faster to their final destinations, improving supply-chain efficiency and making a city much more competitive in a globalized world. By taking advantage of these technologies to provide better services to passengers and businesses, cities can modernize and simplify travel and trade, thereby supporting the growth of local economies and promoting quality of life for their citizens.

Microsoft, together with its different partners around the world, has created a portfolio of solutions to help city governments respond to the complex needs and requirements from airport, railway, and port operations.

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Bill Mitchel

Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft

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Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft

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Michele Bedford Thistle

Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

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Bill Mitchel

Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft

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Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft

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Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft

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Senior Director, World Wide Public Sector, Microsoft