The Strategic Use of Information Systems in Urban Transportation

by Jonathan L. Gifford, Carnegie Mellon Univ, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Managing Urban Transportation as a Business


Computer information systems have been used by many private firms to improve the quality and change the character of the products and services they provide. Such uses of computers are distinct from those oriented towards increasing internal efficiency, which have characterized most computer applications in urban transportation. Several examples of information systems that improved the quality or changed the character of urban transportation facilities and services demonstrate the breadth of opportunity for such strategic applications. The intangible benefits of such applications are likely to outweigh the tangible benefits in most cases, however, making it difficult for their development to win approval from managers who are oriented towards reducing costs, suggesting that such proposals need special consideration. Although executive decisions to develop applications that would change the character of urban transportation services and facilities may infringe on legislative prerogatives, executives may appropriately - and should - inform the public and the legislature of alternatives by demonstrating such applications, especially as both may be ignorant of the alternatives and fail to see to potential utility of proposed systems.

Subject Headings: Information systems | Urban areas | Computer software | Legislation | Information management | Urban development | Systems management | Quality control

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