Integrating Operations into Planning and Programming

Communicating TSMO

Analysis and Performance Measurement

Regional Collaboration and Coordination

Organizing for Operations

Mainstreaming TSMO

Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) Plans

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

How Does TSMO Relate To ...

All Resources

Resource Type

Resources Helpful to ...

Policy and Regulations

Performance-Based Planning

Designing for Operations

Regional ITS Architecture and ITS Strategic Plans

Systems Engineering and ITS Project Development

Livability and Sustainability

Traffic Signal Programs

Corridor Management

Active Transportation and Demand Management

Transportation Demand Management

Traffic Incident Management



Establishing Operations-Related Goals

An important first step to integrating management and operations (TSMO) into planning is to establish goals that focus on the efficient and reliable management and operation of the transportation system. A goal is a broad statement that describes a desired end state. In the metropolitan or statewide transportation planning process, goals stem from the values inherent in the area’s vision. A transportation plan may identify an overarching TSMO goal or a set of TSMO goals that are broad but address different aspects of transportation systems management and operations, such as transportation system reliability, efficiency, quality of service, and travel options. The plan also may identify a wide range of other goals relating to issues such as improving transportation safety, security, and the environment.

Sample operations-focused goals include:

  • "Improve the reliability and safety of the transportation system" – 2030 San Diego Regional Transportation Plan
  • "Reduce congestion by making the transportation infrastructure more efficient." – Destination 2030, Long Range Plan for the Delaware Valley

Setting Operations Objectives

Operations objectives are critical components of integrating management and operations (M&O) into the planning process. They describe what needs to occur to accomplish a regional or statewide goal and what stakeholders plan to achieve concerning the operational performance of the transportation system. Objectives also help to determine selection of strategies and investments.

An operations objective should have "SMART" characteristics – Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, and Time-bound – and should be regional or multi-jurisdictional in nature. The process for setting operations objectives relies heavily on stakeholder participation and an understanding of the needs and desires of the public as they relate to congestion. Operations objectives typically place a focus on issues of congestion, reliability, safety and security, incident management, and work zone management, among other issues.