Welcome to the latest issue of The Districts, where we chronicle the people, issues and activities impacting special districts across the U.S.
Special Districts Summit Northeast: The Highlights
Speakers and panelists at the Special Districts Summit Northeast tackled topics ranging from modernizing and protecting critical systems to eliminating paper and leveraging real-time data. The day-long event, held in Philadelphia on June 25, drew leaders from more than 30 special districts across the region. Here are a few important takeaways:
2019 Northeast Award Winners
Three special districts and three special district executives received Technology Innovation Awards at the Northeast Summit. The awards program recognizes visionary leadership, as well as innovative use of technology to strengthen internal operations and improve citizen services. Honorees included leaders of micro-transit deployments, mobile payment projects, data analytics initiatives and more. Meet them all here.
Next Stop: Orlando
Register now to attend our next live summit in Orlando on Aug. 1. The Special Districts Summit Southeast features a full slate of special district leaders and experts who’ll cover critical policy and technology issues. Cybersecurity Advisor Klint Walker, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will cover the latest cyber-threat trends and provide information on free security assessments available to special districts through the DHS Cybersecurity Advisor Program. You’ll also hear how your peers are supporting mobile workforces, eliminating paper processes and managing increasing complexity.
VIA Metropolitan Transit, the transit authority serving San Antonio, is upgrading its data storage technology to provide more accurate bus location data to its customers. VIA’s 500 buses currently report their location every 30 seconds at best, and that data is used to feed mobile apps used by riders. Steve Young, vice president for technology and innovation at VIA, says the authority intends to reduce the reporting interval to less than 10 seconds, a move which will give riders a better idea of when their bus will arrive, but also creates significant new storage demands.
To meet these demands, VIA will implement new flash storage arrays that will enable the authority to rapidly process a growing volume of data. Reporting the location of hundreds of buses every 10 seconds or less could quadruple the amount of streaming data the authority must handle, says Young.
“We have to be able to parse that extremely fast, and get it back out to customers,” he says. “That’s where this ultra-high-density storage really becomes critical.”
More Articles Worth a Read
Here are the latest stories from special districts around the country. Share your own news with us for inclusion in the next newsletter
Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority introduced the region’s first autonomous shuttle last month. The pilot project will test a six-passenger self-driving vehicle on a one-mile route on the Texas Southern University campus.
The Houma-Terrebonne Airport Commission in Louisiana received a $1.3 million federal grant to advance its unmanned aviation system. The project includes building a new 40,000-square-foot hangar, access road and taxiway to support the use of unmanned aircraft in the Gulf Coast oil and gas industry.
Hackers are targeting small Florida cities and demanding big payouts. In June, hackers attacked computer systems and held hostage city files and data in Lake City and Riviera Beach, demanding a combined $1 million in ransom.
Finding Innovation in Power
November 11, 2019
2019 Midwest Recap (Chicago)
September 25, 2019
Special Districts Summit Southwest: Three Takeaways
September 24, 2019
2019 Southwest Recap (Houston)
September 9, 2019
4 Takeaways from the Special Districts Summit Southeast
September 5, 2019
Plug into the Special Districts Program and you’ll be the first to hear the latest news in our monthly newsletter, The Districts.