Issues Related to the Emergence of the Information Superhighway and California Societal Changes

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Issues Related to the Emergence of the Information Superhighway and California Societal Changes


The Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy Studies (IISTPS) at San José State University (SJSU) conducted this project to review the continuing development of the Internet and the Information Superhighway. Emphasis was placed on an examination of the impact on commuting and working patterns in California, and an analysis of how public transportation agencies, including Caltrans, might take advantage of the new communications technologies.

The document reviews the technology underlying the current Internet “structure” and examines anticipated developments. It is important to note that much of the research for this limited-scope project was conducted during 1995, and the topic is so rapidly evolving that some information is almost automatically “dated.” The report also examines how transportation agencies are basically similar in structure and function to other business entities, and how they can continue to utilize the emerging technologies to improve internal and external communications. As part of a detailed discussion of specific transportation agency functions, it is noted that the concept of a “Roundtable Forum,” growing out of developments in Concurrent Engineering, can provide an opportunity for representatives from multiple jurisdictions to utilize the Internet for more coordinated decision-making.

The report also included an extensive analysis of demographic trends in California in recent years, such as commute and recreational activities, and identifies how the emerging technologies may impact future changes.

  • Dr. Jan L. Botha, Professor of Civil Engineering
  • Dr. Roger Salstrom, Associate Professor, Organization & Management
  • Dr. R. Benjamin Knapp, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • Shirley Chan, Research Assistant
December 1996
Information transfer
Organization structure
Technology transfer



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