Smart Cities & Innovation Committee

Download SCIC May 9 Meeting Package

Meeting Minutes – May 9, 2019

The Smart Cities and Innovations Committee (SCIC) convened at 12:15 pm on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

Commissioners in attendance:

Chairperson, Commissioner Andria McClellan (Norfolk)
Commissioner Keith Parnell (Norfolk)
Commissioner Dr. Patricia Woodbury (Past Chair) (Newport News)
Commissioner Jimmy Gray, TDCHR Hampton
Commissioner Aaron R. Rouse, TDCHR, Virginia Beach
Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson (Portsmouth)
Alt. Commissioner Tara D. Reel (Virginia Beach)

Hampton Roads Transit Staff in attendance:

Alesia Cain, HRT Chief Information Officer & Chief Technology Officer, SCIC HRT Representative
Ray Amoruso, HRT Chief Planning & Development Officer
Brian Smith, HRT Chief of Staff
Gene Cavasos, HRT Director of Marketing & Communications
Kamlesh Chowdhary, HRT Director of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
Ron Hodges, HRT Director of Business Development, Planning & Development
Shelia Gulledge, HRT Technology Project Manager, SCIC Secretary

Additional Attendees:

Susan Vitale, TDCHR, Chesapeake
Janice Taylor, Paratransit Advisory Committee (PAC)
Mecit Cetin, Old Dominion University

The SCIC meeting package for May 9, 2019 contained the Agenda and Meeting Minutes from April 11, 2019. It was distributed electronically to all Commissioners in advance of the meeting and posted to Hampton Roads Transit’s SCIC website.

AGENDA – May 9, 2019

  1. Approval of April 2019 Smart Cities & Innovation Committee Minutes
  2. Old Business
    1. Action Item Review
  3. New Business
    1. Local Smart City Initiatives and Current Regional Projects
      • Regional Connectivity Ring (RCR)
      • Portsmouth progression of the municipal fiber network
      • Newport News Smart Cities Readiness Workshop
      • Virginia Beach Smart Cities Committee
      • Others
    2. Working Group Break-out Sessions
      • Data & Analytics (Alt. Commissioner Tara Reel, Lead)
      • Fare Collection (Alt. Commissioner Carl Jackson, Lead)
      • First Mile/Last Mile (Commissioner Aaron Rouse, Lead)
      • AV/EV/Alternative Transportation (Commissioner Andria McClellan, Lead)
      • Partnerships (Commissioner Keith Parnell, Lead)
  4. Adjournment

Opening Remarks

Commissioner McClellan opened the meeting with a review of the April 2019 Meeting Minutes. Three amendments requested and executed:

  • Attendance of Dr. Woodbury and Ron Hodges not reflected in minutes; they were in attendance but not on the sign-in sheet. Updated to reflect their participation
  • Mr. Cetin noted minor corrections to the April Action Item #3, which were incorporated:
    • Remove “Technical” from the title of the Transportation Research Institute
    • Modify “signals, sites, systems” to “signal systems”
    • Edit “mission learning” to “machine learning”
  • Under Action Items, the reference to “VTA Forum” was changed to “Transportation Innovation Forum” (same due date)

A motion to approve the April 2019 Meeting Minutes was then made by Commissioner Woodbury and properly seconded by Commissioner Parnell. The April 2019 Meeting Minutes, as amended, were approved by a unanimous vote.
Transportation Innovation Forum

Old Business

  1. Action Item Review
    • Updates on Transportation Innovation Forum (May 28th, at Renaissance Portsmouth)
      • Brian Smith circulated a sign-up sheet for members to note plans to attend;
      • An ad will be coming in the next issue of “Inside Business”; marketing staff are working on social media outlets and other promotions, including through event partners like the Chamber of Commerce
      • Commissioner McClellan will work with Gene Cavasos to help produce a press release that includes verbiage from the SCIC Mission Statement
    • Ms. Cain will be participating in the APTA Transit Mobility Conference, May 19-22, in Louisville, KY
    • Ron Hodges continuing work with military liaisons

New Business

  1. Local Smart City Initiatives & Current Regional Projects
    1. Regional Broadband Initiative: Building the Foundation for Smart Region Development
      • Commissioner McClellan provided background and broad overview of the Regional Connectivity Ring (RCR)
      • RCR consists of transatlantic broadband cables that have connected to Virginia Beach originating initially in Spain with fastest speed internet into Camp Pendleton and VA Beach
      • RCR has a steering committee comprised of representatives of the five Southside cities (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach)
      • Each municipality will have their own underground fiber for municipal buildings, schools, etc., using a “middle-mile” strategy lowering barrier to entry for additional providers to support fiber connection
        • Additional cables are planned for South America, Africa
        • Phase 1 completed – 30% engineering stage with each city contributing
        • Future plans are to expand across the water as next step to include Northside and include 12 remaining cities; potentially transformative to the region in becoming a digital port
      • Additionally, the RCR is exploring a 103-mile high-speed fiber connection utilizing a GoVirginia grant to lower the barrier for other ISPs entry, significantly lower internet costs and create a much higher-speed internet to attract big data, advanced manufacturing, etc. and become the backbone of smart cities technology
      • Commissioner McClellan and Councilwoman Vitale will participate in the May 22 meeting presenting to the state broadband committee. In the future, the plan is to work with Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
      • Dr. Woodbury expressed a need to ensure rural areas of Virginia are included in future planning to acquire digital access as well
  2. Additional Smart Region Projects
    1. Portsmouth
      • Progression of the Municipal Fiber Network – Municipal fiber optic cable network will be starting construction this summer with 200 gigabit per second throughput; 18-24 months construction and will connect to network –
      • Storm Sensor Technology – to provide traffic diversion-based flooding alerts
      • Transportation Connected Corridor – to provide service to areas of digital divide looking at under-served communities
    2. Virginia Beach
      • Smart Cities Committee – Alt. Commissioner Tara D. Reel discussed the regional connected corridor initiative to provide connectivity throughout our roadway network and signal phase timing to equip vehicles with “intelligence” to speak with infrastructure and generate data which will further demonstrate the importance of the Regional Ring
      • Geospatial study to identify regional corridors of significance, such as Route 20 (Virginia Beach Blvd that runs between Virginia Beach and Norfolk) to explore more efficient options for roads and safety improvements. Understanding this data is helping create the foundation for automated vehicles.
      • Impetus for this is Strategy Transportation Innovation & Resiliency (STIR) aligning city initiatives with goals to improve the transportation system. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from legal, cultural affairs, broadband, consultants, autonomous vehicle expert and several data scientists have been brought together to meet with vendors and engage in a speaking tour.
      • VA Transportation Conference is providing a lot of momentum; Dr. Woodbury noted that Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick is very active in that
    3. City of Chesapeake
      • Councilwoman Vitale noted that Chesapeake wants to implement an all-digital water metering initiative and are working on that technology
    4. Hampton
      • Commissioner Gray discussed future plans using automated systems to identify things like missed solid waste pickup within a neighborhood; emulates work by companies such as Rubicon
    5. City of Norfolk
      • Commissioner Parnell noted that the City of Norfolk uses “parking passports” for meter collection but there is no public transit capability within that app; perhaps an initiative needs to begin to bring these technologies together
      • Alt. Commissioner Jackson discussed bundling a solution for all mobile ticketing needs; some VA cities (including VB and Norfolk) already use a “Passport” app
    6. Newport News Smart Cities Readiness Workshop
      • Ms. Cain advised that it is a pretty big workshop that pools regional and state governments, technology innovators, department heads, businesses, universities and community stakeholders. City of Newport News is working with Smart Cities Council to craft an action plan
SCIC Working Group Reports
  • Data & Analytics: Alt. Commissioner Reel, Lead
    Members: Kevin Curry, Mecit Cetin, Commissioner McClellan, Kamlesh Chowdhary, Ben Schoenfeld
    • Mr. Cetin mentioned that the regional connectivity ring and fiber connected cities opens opportunities to share data, especially data that is bandwidth-intensive, like video data, that is currently not processed for use. If we can begin to effectively share data, that can open doors to video analytics as well
      • A “one-stop shop” for mobility with a single app/website/portal to provide more real-time information on buses and routes will provide more mobility options
      • Commissioner McClellan added that there is now a part of Uber’s app that integrates transit information (Denver RTD) noting that when there is integration of payment systems, consumers are able to pay across various modes of transportation
  • Partnerships: Commissioner Parnell, Lead
    Members: Commissioner Gray, Brian Smith, Ron Hodges
    • Members of this working group convened with other areas to consider future partnership opportunities based upon the projects and planning soon to be underway
  • AV/EV/Alternative Transportation: Commissioner McClellan, Lead
    Members: Alesia Cain, Ray Amoruso, Sybil Pappas, Susan Vitale, Alt. Commissioner Reel
    • It was noted there is still interest on doing some form of micro-transit pilot project as an earlier RFP effort had to be cancelled for lack of resources
    • Awaiting funding sources by July 1 for 6-7 buses and charging stations
    • Autonomous Vehicle Consortium of 12 regions around the country will be working on State/Federal legislation and union issues. Working on identifying 5-6 test routes for autonomous vehicles (full-size buses). Expect to narrow from 5-6 routes to three over the course of the next couple of months and the specifications needed
    • Planning to attend 5/21 meeting at Naval Station Norfolk to discuss possible routes. Five routes have been identified for consideration
    • Related to development and deployment of autonomous vehicles, Brian Smith shared a white paper from the Eno Center for Transportation that he felt was a concise, balanced, thoughtful look at public policy implications at regional, state and federal legislation recommended for review – “Beyond Speculation 2.0
  • Fare Collection: Alt. Commissioner Jackson, Lead
    Members: Kisha Brown, Alesia Cain
    • Ridership analytics from the “Something in the Water” event demonstrated a successful, well-received, limited-scope mobile ticketing pilot using digital, on-board validators
    • A Fall pilot on the ferry scheduled to demonstrate account-based/stored value mobile ticketing.
      • Grants for initial pilot totaled $292K
      • Data from pilots will inform the decisions for expansion incorporating ideas to contain costs and provide funding opportunities in the future
    • Mr. Smith added that the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the Transit Strategic Plan processes will provide opportunities to identify and elevate technology investment needs

The July SCIC meeting has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts of the Chair and Vice Chair. The June 13 and August 8 meetings will continue as scheduled at HRT’s Norfolk location.


The meeting adjourned at 1:28 pm

The next meeting will be at 12:00 pm on Thursday, June 13, 2019
Location: HRT, 509 E. 18th Street, Norfolk, VA – 2nd Floor Board Room

Meeting Date

May 9, 2019 12:00pm

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