Getting the Most from Your Transportation System Investments: Operating for Peak Performance
A safe, efficient, and reliable regional transportation system requires planning for and investing in strategies to manage and operate the existing multimodal transportation infrastructure. Although management and operations strategies address the causes of at least 60 percent of roadway congestion, they are often overlooked and underfunded. Their benefits are not widely recognized. However, these strategies can help to provide attractive travel options for the public - by improving transit system performance, for example. Strategies such as traffic incident management, traffic signal coordination, and real-time transit information can provide powerful, cost-effective ways to improve multimodal system performance, helping agencies and travelers get the most of out of the region's infrastructure investments.
By using an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to integrate management and operations into transportation planning, your region can ensure that the most effective strategies for maximizing transportation system performance are planned and funded.
"[We use] specific objectives for the performance of our regional transportation system to guide our planning and investment decisions. By focusing on specific performance improvements, we have made progress on things that our constituents care about like improved safety, accessibility, and mobility and reduced congestion."
– Barbara Wysocki, Champaign County Board Chair, District 9, Illinois, Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study
The Objectives–Driven, Performance-Based Approach
Diagram shows the Objective-Driven, Performance-Based Approach for implementing a metropolitan transportation plan. The process consists of 5 steps in an iterative cycle: 1) Regional Goals, 2) Operations Objectives and Performance Measures, 3) Management and Operations Strategies, 4) Transportation Improvement Program and Other Funding Programs; and 5) Implementation. A feedback loop labeled "Monitoring and Evaluation" connects the final step, Implementation, to the first step, Regional goals.
Advantages of Using an Objectives–Driven, Performance-Based Approach:
Management and Operations Strategies Deliver…
More free time:
Cleaner air and less wasted fuel:
Examples of Management and Operations Strategies Include:
Management and operations strategies combined with construction projects provide immediate benefits in congestion management and work zone safety.
U.S Department of Transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Benefits Database. Available at: http://www.itsbenefits.its.dot.gov.
Getting started: How to mobilize your region to use an objectives–driven, performance–based approach
Does our metropolitan transportation plan have regional objectives that define measurable operational performance outcomes?
Have we agreed to performance measures that will assess the attainment of our operations objectives?
Do our operations objectives and performance measures infl uence the selection and funding of operations programs and projects?
Does our region collect system performance data to track progress against operations objectives?
Does our MPO involve managers from transportation operating agencies in integrating operations into our plans and programs?
For more information:
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration have developed guidebooks, workshops, and training materials to help regions adopt an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to integrate transportation management and operations into the planning process. Visit http://www.plan4operations.dot.gov for more information.
Federal Highway Administration's Office of Operations
Federal Highway Administration's Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty
Federal Transit Administration's Office of Planning and Environment
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration