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OnTrackNorthAmerica, Cisco to co-lead transportation cost-benefit project

OnTrackNorthAmerica (OTNA) and Cisco Systems Inc. have agreed to work together to build the next generation of transportation life-cycle cost and benefit measurement tools.

The project's purpose is to develop clear, functional measures for future planning and investing in transportation infrastructure, leaders of the two organizations announced yesterday in a press release.

Once established, OTNA and Cisco will make the dataset and analytical framework available for use. The co-leaders are expected to present their draft list of measures for stakeholders during a series of "Intelliconferences" in fall.

To date, the development of measures and cost-benefit analysis in the transportation field has focused on the individual project level, not the whole system level, due to limited resources. For capital infrastructure to be "productive and profitable" for public and private use, a set of agreed upon measures and values to guide policies, planning and investments must be made available, the organizations' officials said.

"Applying a rational approach to measuring the life-cycle costs and benefits of transport systems, rail will finally be valued appropriately for its long-term return on investment," said OTNA President Michael Sussman. "By inviting stakeholders from business, government, and community, we intend to generate collective intelligence toward policies, plans, and investments that serve the country."

OTNA is a nonprofit transportation policy development organization in Philadelphia. Cisco focuses on the transportation industry through its Internet of Everything Vertical Solutions Group.

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