Integrating Operations into Planning and Programming

Analysis and Performance Measurement

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Organizing for Operations

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO)

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U.S. Department of Transportation


  • Business Process Frameworks for Transportation Operations – To continue the emphasis on capability maturity and to provide program-level guidance, FHWA developed six frameworks that focus on improvement actions for specific Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) program areas. These frameworks are designed for agencies and regions to assess the current strengths and weaknesses and to help develop a targeted action plan for the program area. Agencies can use the tools available on the website to walk through the framework for the following TSMO Program Areas: Road Weather Management, Planned Special Events, Traffic Incident Management, Traffic Management, Traffic Signal Management, Work Zone Management.
  • Organizing for Reliability – Capability Maturity Model Assessment and Implementation Plans Executive Summary (HTML, PDF 743KB)
  • Incorporating Travel-Time Reliability into the Congestion Management Process (CMP): A Primer (HTML, PDF 6.5MB) – Incorporating Travel-Time Reliability into the Congestion Management Process (CMP): A Primer provides guidance and potential opportunities for using products developed through the SHRP 2 Reliability focus area. The Primer has been developed, in part, to support and advance the Congestion Management Process (CMP) and the Planning for Operations program as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process. (Publication number: FHWA-HOP-14-034, February 2015).
    • Incorporating Travel-Time Reliability into the Congestion Management Process (CMP): Informational Brief (HTML, PDF 1.5MB) (Publication number: FHWA-HOP-14-035, February 2015).
  • Improving Transportation Systems Management and Operations – Capability Maturity Model Workshop White Papers – These white papers focuses on the six critical dimensions of capability identified in the SHRP2 research as necessary to support effective Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O). They summarize the TSM&O state-of-the-practice in each dimension based on the workshops and subsequent implementation plans developed at 23 sites selected by FHWA and AASHTO as part of the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) Implementation Assistance Program.
  • Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach – A Guidebook (HTML, PDF 977KB) – This guidebook presents an approach for integrating management and operations (M&O) strategies into the metropolitan transportation planning process that is designed to maximize the performance of the existing and planned transportation system. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-026, February 2010).
  • Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: The Building Blocks of a Model Transportation Plan Incorporating Operations - A Desk Reference (HTML, PDF 2.1MB) – This publication is a resource designed to enable transportation planners and their planning partners to build a transportation plan that includes operations objectives, performance measures, and strategies that are relevant to their region, that reflect the community's values and constraints, and that move the region in a direction of improved mobility and safety. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-027, April 2010).
    • Brochure: Advancing Metropolitan Planning For Operations: Set Objectives | Measure Progress | See Results (HTML, PDF 2MB) – Companion brochure to promote the desk reference. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-060, 2010).
  • Advancing Transportation Systems Management and Operations Through Scenario Planning (HTML, PDF 1.2MB) – The intent of this primer is to inform planners, operators, and other transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O) partners on the potential use of scenario planning to advance TSM&O. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-16-016, October 2015).
  • Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation for Traffic Incident Management Applications (HTML, PDF 2.9MB) – To support modeling and evaluation of TIM strategies, this document provides a synthesis of analysis, modeling, and simulation (AMS) methods for incident impacts. (Publication number: FHWA-HOP-12-045, July 2012).
  • Applying Archived Operations Data in Transportation Planning: A Primer (HTML, PDF 11.9MB) – The purpose of this primer is to assist transportation planners in effectively using archived operations data for developing, analyzing, and evaluating transportation plans and programs.
  • Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration and Coordination: A Primer for Working Together to Improve Transportation Safety, Reliability, and Security (HTML, PDF 5.0 MB) – The document provides guidance on the five key elements that are associated with successful regional operations collaboration and coordination activity—structure, process, products, resources, and performance measures to gauge success. Regional operations collaboration and coordination is a deliberate, continuous, and sustained activity that takes place when transportation agency managers and officials responsible for day-to-day operations work together at a regional level. (Publication Number: FHWA-OP-03-008, 2003).
  • Applying a Regional ITS Architecture to Support Planning for Operations: A Primer (HTML, PDF 8.7MB) – This primer offers transportation planners and operations managers a menu of opportunities for applying the regional ITS architecture to enhance planning for operations. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-001, February 2012).
  • Applying Analysis Tools in Planning for Operations (Brochure) (HTML, PDF 1.6MB) – The intent of this brochure, and four accompanying case study brochures, is to help planners and operations professionals use existing transportation planning and operations analysis tools and methods in a more systematic way to better analyze, evaluate, and report the benefits of needed investments in transportation operations, in order to make the overall transportation system work better. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-001, September 2009).
    • Case Study #1 - Operations Strategy Impact Reference and Deployment Guidance (HTML, PDF 1.4MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-002, September 2009).
    • Case Study #2 - Incorporating Highway Capacity Manual Procedures into Long-Range Transportation Planning (HTML, PDF 1.4MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-003, September 2009).
    • Case Study #3 - Using Archived Data As a Tool for Operations Planning (HTML, PDF 2.8MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-004, September 2009).
    • Case Study #4 - Application of Microsimulation in Combination with Travel Demand Models (HTML, PDF 1.6MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-005, September 2009).
  • The Collaborative Advantage: Realizing the Tangible Benefits of Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration (HTML, PDF 2.9MB) – This manual uses nine collaborative efforts across the U.S. to illustrate the tangible benefits gained through key strategies such as sharing resources and expertise, performing joint operations, using common operations procedures, and exchanging real-time information. The manual includes a six-step process to allow agencies to estimate their benefits of collaboration. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-08-001, August 2007).
  • Congestion Management Process Guidebook (HTML, PDF 3MB) – The guidebook is designed to provide information on how to create an objectives-driven, performance-based congestion management process (CMP). It describes a flexible framework of 8 actions that should be included in the development of a CMP. (Publication Number: FHWA-HEP-11-011, April 2011).
    • Case Studies of the Congestion Management Process (HTML) – This series of in-depth case studies is a companion to the guidebook and focuses on the Congestion Management Process (CMP) at seven metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) around the country.
  • Creating an Effective Program to Advance Transportation System Management and Operations: Primer (HTML, PDF 3.1MB) – The purpose of this primer is to raise awareness of the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of State and local transportation system management and operations (TSM&O) activities. The primer provides high-level guidance focused on key program, process, and organizational capabilities that are essential to the development of more effective TSM&O strategy applications. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-003, January 2012).
  • Designing for Transportation Management and Operations: A Primer (HTML, PDF 2.2MB) – This primer is focused on the collaborative and systematic consideration of management and operations during transportation project design and development. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-13-013, February 2013).
  • Developing Decisionmaker Support for Management and Operations at MetroPlan Orlando, Case Study (HTML, PDF 1.6MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-056, November 2010).
  • Getting More by Working Together - Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations: A Reference Manual (HTML, PDF 5MB) – This resource guide is designed to help planning and operations managers understand the value of working together and realize the benefits of pursuing management and operations strategies at the regional scale. (Publication Number FHWA-HOP-05-016, November 2004).
  • Getting the Most from Your Transportation System Investments: Operating for Peak Performance (HTML, PDF 1.1MB) – The brochure, Getting the Most from Your Transportation System Investments: Operating for Peak Performance, is designed to promote performance-based planning for operations among senior decision makers and elected/appointed officials.
  • The How: Case Studies Advancing Planning for Operations – Best Practices Illustrating the Benefits of Planning for Operations. A strategic approach to planning for operations that is guided by specific objectives and regular performance measurement will help ensure that the most effective operations strategies are incorporated into transportation plans. In many regions around the country, agencies are already applying elements of this approach in a variety of ways. The case studies below are just some of the examples of where this is being done.
    • Capital District Transportation Committee Albany, New York, Case Study (HTML, PDF 323KB) – Placing the Congestion Management Process in the Context of Metropolitan Transportation Planning Goals and Objectives (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-043, April 2009).
    • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Philadelphia Metropolitan Region, Case Study (HTML, PDF 305KB) – Planning for Congestion Management and Tracking Progress (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-044, April 2009).
    • The Denver Region Traffic Signal System Improvement Program Case Study (HTML, PDF 324KB) – Planning for Management and Operations (Denver, Colorado area) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-046, April 2009).
    • Metropolitan Transportation Commission San Francisco Bay Area Case Study (HTML, PDF 455KB) – Developing Regional Objectives and Performance Measures to Improve System Operations (San Francisco Bay Area, California) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-047, April 2009).
    • Pima Association of Governments Case Study (HTML, PDF 402KB) – Regional Concept for Transportation Operations Fosters Planning For Operations in the Tucson Metropolitan Area (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-048, April 2009).
    • Wilmington Area Planning Council New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland Case Study (HTML, PDF 340KB) – A Performance-Based Approach to Integrating Congestion Management into the Metropolitan Planning Process (Newark, Delaware area) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-045, April 2009).
  • Improving Business Processes for More Effective Transportation Systems Management and Operations (HTML, PDF 2.5MB) – This primer presents business processes across several TSMO areas, including traffic incident management, planned special event traffic management, road weather management, work zones, and freeway traffic management. Case studies in each area illustrate where agencies have made concerted changes to their respective business processes, and modified aspects such as contracting, training, resource allocation, planning and other business processes. The primer also highlights available tools and resources to help assess business processes, provides strategies for engaging the right stakeholders, and provides a guide to next steps. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-16-018, February 2016)
  • Integrating Demand Management into the Transportation Planning Process: A Desk Reference (HTML, PDF 31MB) – The document has been developed to serve as a desk reference on integrating demand management into the transportation planning process. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-035, August 2012).
  • Making the Connection: Advancing Traffic Incident Management in Transportation Planning (HTML, PDF 2MB) – The intent of Making the Connection: Advancing Traffic Incident Management in Transportation Planning primer is to inform and guide traffic incident management (TIM) professionals and transportation planners to initiate and develop collaborative relationships and advance TIM programs through the metropolitan planning process.
  • Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference (HTML, PDF 4.16MB) – This desk reference is intended to meet the needs of a wide range of practitioners looking to conduct benefit/cost analysis of operations strategies. The guidance provided in the desk reference includes basic background information on benefit/cost analysis, including basic terminology and concepts and also describes some of the more complex analytical concepts and latest research in order to support more advanced analysts in conducting their analysis. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-028, May 2012).
    • FHWA Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference: Real-World Examples of Application of the Guidance (HTML, PDF 610KB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-13-006, November 2012).
    • FHWA Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference: Conducting Benefit/Cost Analysis of Strategies Impacting Non-Typical Traffic Conditions (HTML, PDF 244KB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-13-005, November 2012).
    • FHWA Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference: Providing Guidance to Practitioners in the Analysis of Benefits and Costs of Management and Operations Projects (HTML, PDF 1.1MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-13-004, November 2012).
  • Outcomes-Based, Performance-Driven Planning at Metro Portland, Case Study (HTML, PDF 2.5MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-055, November 2010).
  • Planning for Transportation Systems Management and Operations Within Corridors: A Desk Reference (HTML, PDF 8.1MB) – This Desk Reference is designed to equip State, regional, and local transportation operations and planning professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively plan for and implement transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) within a corridor. Its purpose is to support transportation planners and operations staff to plan for and apply TSMO activities within corridors to achieve a more reliable, efficient, and livable outcome from their existing and planned transportation infrastructure. This document highlights a planning for operations approach at a corridor level to focus on issues, such as mobility, reliability, and safety, from a multimodal perspective and provides a variety of tools to advance TSMO within corridors.
  • Planning for Transportation Systems Management and Operations within Subareas: A Desk Reference (HTML, PDF 3.1MB) – This desk reference is designed to equip State, regional, and local transportation operations and planning professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively plan for and implement transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) within a subarea context. Its purpose is to support transportation planners and operations staff in planning for and applying TSMO activities within subareas to achieve a more reliable, efficient, and livable outcome from their existing and planned transportation infrastructure. This desk reference highlights a planning for operations approach at a subarea level to focus on issues (e.g., mobility, reliability, and safety) from a multi-modal perspective and provides a variety of tools to advance TSMO within subareas.
  • Private Sector Data for Performance Management – Final Report (HTML, PDF 293KB) – This report examines and analyzes technical and institutional issues associated with the use of private sector travel time and speed data for public sector performance management. The primary data needs for congestion performance measures are outlined, and core data elements and various metadata are introduced as a way to ensure consistency among private sector data providers. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-11-029, July 2011).
  • Programming for Operations: MPO Examples of Prioritizing and Funding Transportation Systems Management & Operations Strategies (HTML, PDF 1.4MB) – The Programming for Operations: MPO Examples of Prioritizing and Funding Transportation Systems Management & Operations Strategies report discusses how metropolitan planning organizations have incorporated transportation systems management and operations projects into the programming phase of transportation investment decision making in metropolitan areas.
  • Regional Concept for Transportation Operations: The Blueprint for Action – A Primer (HTML, PDF 5MB) – A Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO) is a management tool to assist in planning and implementing management and operations strategies in a collaborative and sustained manner. The purpose of this document is to explain what an RCTO is, the development of its elements, and its applicability. (Publication Number FHWA-HOP-07-122, June 2007).
  • The Regional Concept for Transportation Operations: A Practitioner's Guide (HTML, PDF 2.4MB) – This practitioner’s guide is a collection of the observed successes and lessons learned from four metropolitan regions as they developed Regional Concepts for Transportation Operations. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-11-032, July 2011).
  • Regional Concept for Transportation Operations: A Tool for Strengthening and Guiding Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration and Coordination (HTML, DOC 205KB) – This paper focuses what a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations is, what it can look like, its benefits, and its important role in creating an opportunity for regional transportation operations collaboration and coordination to flourish. (August 2004).
  • Regional ITS Architecture Guidance - Developing, Using, and Maintaining an ITS Architecture for Your Region (Updated 2006 Version) (HTML, PDF 6.9MB) – The Regional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture Guidance Document is written for those involved in the development, use, or maintenance of regional ITS architectures. It describes a process for creating a regional ITS architecture with supporting examples of each product and discusses mainstreaming ITS into the planning and project development processes. This update expands upon the topics of Using and Maintaining a regional ITS architecture. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-06-112, July 2006).
  • The Role of Transportation Systems Management & Operations in Supporting Livability and Sustainability: A Primer (HTML, PDF 5.7MB) – This primer describes the role of transportation systems management and operations (M&O) in advancing livability and sustainability. The document highlights the connections between M&O and livability and sustainability objectives and the importance of a balanced, comprehensive approach to M&O in order to support those objectives. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-12-004, January 2012).
  • Showcasing Visualization Tools in Congestion Management: A Guidebook (HTML, PDF 2.1MB) – This publication is a summary report describing visualization practices used as part of the congestion management process (CMP), and is a supplement to the CMP Guidebook. These visualizations include maps, charts, graphs, photographs, videos, and computer illustrations and simulations. (Publication Number: FHWA-HEP-11-015, April 2011).
  • Statewide Opportunities for Integrating Operations, Safety and Multimodal Planning: A Reference Manual (HTML, PDF 1.8MB) – This publication is a reference manual designed to provide "how to" information to assist transportation professionals in taking actions to integrate these activities. It identifies and describes opportunities at various levels of decisionmaking – statewide, regional, corridor, and project – and the benefits of these approaches. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-028, May 2010).
  • Statewide Opportunities for Linking Planning and Operations – A Primer (HTML, PDF 6.4MB) – This primer is designed to raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities for coordinating planning and operations activities within State DOTs, targeted at mid-level DOT planning and operations staff. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-08-028, June 2008).
  • Systems Engineering for Intelligent Transportation Systems (HTML, PDF 2.7MB) – A handbook that provides an introduction for transportation professionals a basic understanding to system engineering. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-07-069, January 2007).
  • Tool for Operations Benefit Cost Analysis (TOPS-BC) (HTML) – The FHWA Office of Operations is pleased to make available Version 1.0 of the Tool for Operations Benefit-Cost Analysis (TOPS-BC V 1.0). TOPS-BC is a sketch-planning level decision support tool developed by the FHWA Office of Operations. It is intended to provide support and guidance to transportation practitioners in the application of benefit/cost analysis (BCA) for a wide range of Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) strategies.
  • Transit and Congestion Pricing: A Primer (HTML, PDF 4.39MB) – Examines the interrelationships between congestion pricing and transit operations and use. Provides an overview of the key elements of congestion pricing, illustrates the multidisciplinary aspects and skill sets required to analyze and implement congestion pricing, and provides an entry point for practitioners and others interested in engaging in the congestion pricing and transit dialogue. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-09-015, April 2009).
  • Transit at the Table I: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Decisionmaking (HTML, PDF 4.71MB) – Explores how transit agencies in larger metropolitan areas (more than 200,000 in population) could be more effective partners with MPOs in the metropolitan transportation planning and programming process. (Publication Number: VA-90-1004-04-1, December 2004).
  • Transit at the Table II: A Guide to Participation in Metropolitan Transportation Decisionmaking for Transit Agencies in Small- and Medium-Sized Metropolitan Areas (HTML, PDF 4.21MB) – Explores how transit agencies in smaller metropolitan areas (populations between 50,000 and 200,000) could be more effective partners with MPOs in the metropolitan transportation planning and programming process. (Publication Number: FTA MD-27-1004, June 2010).
  • Transit at the Table III: A Guide to Effective Participation in Statewide Decisionmaking for Transit Agencies in Non-Urbanized Areas (PDF 2.84MB) – Explores how transit agencies in non-urbanized and rural areas can be more effective partners with state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other entities in the statewide transportation planning and programming process. (Publication Number: FTA-MA-27-1013, March 2011).
  • Transportation Planning For Operations: Quick Guide to Practitioner Resources (HTML, PDF 940KB) – The Transportation Planning For Operations: Quick Guide to Practitioner Resources brochure lists the resources available for transportation professionals. The resources were created with the input of transportation professionals across the country to help improve planning for the management and operation of transportation facilities.
  • Understanding the Communications and Information Needs of Elected Officials for Transportation Planning and Operations (HTML) – This white paper is to help the readers understand how local elected officials (and senior appointed officials) perceive transportation planning and operations and the role they play in stimulating planning and operations. (January 2005).
  • The Use of an Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach at the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (HTML, PDF 1.6MB) (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-054, November 2010).
  • The Use of Operations Objectives and Performance Measures in Private and Public Organizations (HTML, PDF 82KB) – This paper examines lessons and insights from private companies and public organizations that may apply to agencies in the United States working to advance transportation planning for operations using a strategic approach. (Publication Number: FHWA-HOP-10-029, February 2010).

Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP 2)


Transportation Research Board


State, Metropolitan, and Local Governments


National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC)


  • National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC) Webinar Recordings and Transcripts
    • June 12, 2012 – Sustaining Regional Collaboration in Planning for Operations
    • April 4, 2012 – Benefit-Cost Analysis for Operations
    • February 29, 2012 – Leveraging a Regional ITS Architecture in Planning for Operations
    • February 7, 2012 – Role of Management and Operations in Supporting Livability and Sustainability
    • January 10, 2012 – Gauging Progress Toward Operations Objectives: The Role of Monitoring and Evaluation
    • December 6, 2011 – Applying Analysis Tools in Planning for Operations
    • November 29, 2011 – Developing and Reaching Agreement on Operations Objectives
    • November 1, 2011 – Regional Concept for Transportation Operations: Practitioner Experiences
    • August 16, 2011 – Forming Interagency Agreements for Regional Transportation Operations
    • August 2, 2011 – Statewide Opportunities for Integrating Operations, Safety, and Multimodal Planning
    • June 9, 2011 – Active Transportation and Demand Management: International Perspectives

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)