Integrating Operations into Planning and Programming

Analysis and Performance Measurement

Regional Collaboration and Coordination

Organizing for Operations

Congestion Management Process (CMP)

Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (RCTO)

How Does Planning for Operations Relate To ...

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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

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Active Transportation and Demand Management

Transportation Demand Management

Traffic Incident Management



Traffic signals along local street at night.

Local Transportation Agencies

Local agencies play a very important role in planning for operations because they are often the agencies that implement management and operations strategies. Management and operations activities may often occur within the scope of a local agency’s plan and budget. In those cases, multi-jurisdictional collaboration and coordination are key to ensuring seamless and efficient travel for people and goods.

Because the participation of local transportation operating and planning agencies in the metropolitan and state planning processes is so vital, it is important for local agencies to understand the objectives-driven, performance-based approach to planning for operations.

The Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations desk reference and guidebook provide the foundation for understanding and applying the objectives-driven, performance-based approach to metropolitan planning for operations.

  • 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).

This resource specifically addresses the integration of transportation demand management at the local planning level.

  • 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).

The following publications support collaboration and coordination among local agencies in the context of planning for operations.

  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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).

Resources to increase consideration of management and operations at a local level include:

  • 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).
  • 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).

Recent webinars focused on aspects of planning for operations particularly important to local agencies including inter-agency collaboration.

  • National Transportation Operations Coalition (NTOC) Webinar Recordings and Transcripts
    • 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
    • February 7, 2012 - Role of Management and Operations in Supporting Livability and Sustainability