On Thursday, November 12, 2015, the Port Authority announced the launch of its new Agency Operations Center (AOC) at the Port Authority Technical Center in Jersey City.
The AOC will help to achieve a key agency objective of enhancing the regional transportation network for goods and people. Traveler safety will be increased and congestion will be reduced by increasing the efficiency of operations and incident responses across the Port Authority’s entire cross-Hudson transportation network.
Working around-the-clock, AOC staff will use camera feeds, travel-time detectors, and other equipment to monitor traffic of vehicles and passengers at all Port Authority facilities in real time. Monitored facilities include those at the Port of New York and New Jersey, but also extends to Port Authority tunnels, bridges, bus terminals, airports, and PATH rail system.
When traffic incidents or rail system problems occur, AOC representatives will work with staff at the impacted Port Authority facility and regional partners – including state and city transportation departments and transit authorities — to redirect travelers and manage congestion.
The centralized information provided by the AOC’s technology will allow staff at all facilities to manage traffic through variable message signs and traffic signals, while increasing incident response times where possible. Overall, the new center should enable the Port Authority’s on-scene staff to focus more directly on the immediate tasks of maintaining and restoring safe conditions, and clearing traffic obstructions.
The AOC will also coordinate with the Port Authority’s logistical and public alert planning for events expected to impact traffic regionally, such as long-term road construction projects or the recent visit by Pope Francis.