By GCN Staff

Electronic tolling set go live in Massachusetts

Electronic tolling set go live in Massachusetts

Taking another step toward all-electronic tolling (AET), Massachusetts announced its system would go live on Oct. 28 and made plans to completely demolish toll plazas along the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Tobin Bridge and Boston tunnels by the end of 2017. 

Gantries have been installed and equipped with sensors that will electronically register toll charges as vehicles pass under them. For vehicles with E-ZPass transponders, the toll will be automatically charged to the owner’s E-ZPass account. For those without an E-ZPass transponder, cameras mounted on the gantry will photograph the vehicle’s license plate and the registered owner will be sent an invoice.

AET data will be protected under the same law that covers the existing E-ZPass system, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is in discussions with public safety officials about the very limited circumstances in which an  AET-generated “hot hist” or other information could be used in the case of public safety emergencies. 

Raytheon won the contract for the AET system in 2014.

Posted on Aug 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM0 comments

Harrisburg PA

Pennsylvania wades into open data

Pennsylvania launched its open data portal with 12 datasets  --  the foundation of the state’s central repository for open data in a machine-readable format.

The data currently available on OpenDataPA supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s three governing objectives -- education, employment and government services --  includes prison population numbers, school performance profiles and summary information on well inspections. The state also plans to release datasets from other state agencies on the site.

The portal is built on the Socrata cloud platform, which also supports open data sites for Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and other states, and local and federal government agencies, including those of the White House and San Francisco.

The administration’s main goals for releasing this data is three-fold: accountability, modernization and innovation.  The portal will allow citizens to keep track of government projects, find this information in one place and use if to “make data-driven decisions.”

Posted on Aug 26, 2016 at 11:07 AM0 comments

FedRAMP upgrades its marketplace dashboard

FedRAMP upgrades its marketplace dashboard

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program upgraded its marketplace dashboard to make it easier for agencies to find more information about cloud service providers and third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs).

FedRAMP Marketplace was developed three years ago, and as activity in the marketplace has increased, the General Services Administration added categories such as FedRAMP Ready, In-Process and Authorized – but the site still wasn’t easy enough to navigate. The marketplace needed an easy-to-use interface and user-centric design, according to a blog post by FedRAMP Director Matt Goodrich.

The Marketplace now offers a search box with filters so users can easily find what they’re looking for. They can see products, agencies or assessors and sort data by vendor name, agency or the number of authorizations.

The dashboard also compares information, like the number of CSPs authorized by one agency versus another. The marketplace will even predict when a provider is expected to reach authorization, which can be helpful for agencies looking to use a service already being processed by another agency.

Additionally, the program office included more details about the services offered by CSPs and 3PAOs, with the ability to download marketplace data in CSV format to be used offline.

The dashboard was built with the help of True Tandem LLC in eight weeks, using weekly sprints and user testing. The vendor, a technology and management consulting firm, was chosen by FedRAMP and 18F through the Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement process, which allows vendors to compete for software acquisition contracts.

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 at 1:47 PM0 comments

Boston upgrades emergency notification system

Boston upgrades emergency notification system

Boston is making it easier to send relevant, timely and tailored emergency alerts to residents.

Based on feedback from city residents, the Office of Emergency Management upgraded AlertBoston, the city’s emergency notification system, so that the city can broadcast messages via phone, text or email. The new system’s tailored outreach feature is able to send messages only to those in areas directly affected by an event, based on a user’s geographic location. And to accommodate the city’s diverse population, the city will broadcast alerts like severe weather warnings, parking bans and street closures in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.

AlertBoston is provided by CodeRED, a provider of alert systems to cities throughout the United States. Residents who subscribe to AlertBoston receive notifications directly to their personal cell phone whether at home, on the road, or traveling around the country. An app is also available.

Posted on Aug 19, 2016 at 8:43 AM0 comments

Virginia to host cyber-physical systems summit

Virginia to host cyber-physical systems summit

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will host a two-day cybersecurity event in Newport News that will bring together public- and private-sector experts to discuss autonomy, the Internet of Things, cyber-critical infrastructure as well as the security of medical devices and motor vehicles.

The Sept. 20-22 Cyber-Physical Systems Summit will feature several roundtable sessions that are being held in conjunction with the National Governors Association's “Meet the Threat” initiative (McAuliffe is this year’s NGA chairman).

“This type of collaboration is essential to staying on top of growing trends in this fast-moving industry and staying ahead of criminals across the globe who are working every day to undermine the security of our technological resources and our communities,” McAuliffe said in a press release.

Karen Jackson, the secretary of technology for Virginia, said on Cyber Virginia’s website that the state faces 200,000 “incurable” cyber-attacks every day.

McAuliffe’s office also announced recently that it would be offering scholarships to students studying cybersecurity at Virginia institutions. The scholarship recipients have to commit to working for a state agency after graduation.

Posted on Aug 19, 2016 at 10:08 AM0 comments