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Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization Pilot of the Data Business Plan for State and Local Departments of Transportation: Data Business Plan

Chapter 1. Introduction

The Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for establishing a comprehensive transportation planning process to guide transportation funding in Hillsborough County, Florida. This includes establishing priorities to meet short-term (next five years) and long-term (20+ years) multi-modal transportation needs for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and unincorporated Hillsborough County.

To support this process, the Hillsborough MPO maintains a Multimodal Transportation Database to store information on the highway, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit networks within Hillsborough County. The database includes roadway travel mobility data (hereafter called "mobility data") collected by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and regional planning partner agencies. Mobility data is defined as traffic volume, speed, lane occupancy, or connected vehicle data for vehicle, freight, bicycle/pedestrian, and transit modes. The MPO uses the database to calculate multimodal Level of Service (LOS), develop traffic volume reports, and to create, store, and track scenarios for the development of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) update.

Currently, there are opportunities for increased regional collaboration on mobility data collection and management. Data is not integrated across the region, which limits the MPO's ability to conduct analyses for planning and to add value for its customers. The MPO wants to collaborate with regional partner agencies to identify additional sources of mobility data for the database. For example, they need data to support calculation of Florida DOT performance measures, such as travel time reliability and return on investment for projects. The MPO also wishes to incorporate national datasets such as the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS)/HERE (formerly Navteq) data, as well as connected vehicle data to enhance transportation analysis for the region. However, adding other mobility datasets to the database introduces a number of challenges related to data systems, technology, and governance:

  • Data Systems: Data from private vendors such as NPMRDS/HERE are difficult to manipulate due to the large file size and network conflation challenges. Data integration is a challenge and will require improvements to the Multimodal Transportation Database structure.
  • Technology: Manipulating mobility data using traditional database software (e.g., Microsoft Access) is difficult due to file size limitations. Agency staff have limited knowledge of specialized software tools such as Statistical Analysis Software (SAS).
  • Governance: There is a need for regional data collaboration, as the MPO does not know what types of mobility data are available from partner agencies. In addition, there is no systematic process or platform in-place for sharing data with partner agencies.

To address these concerns, the MPO developed this Data Business Plan (DBP) to better understand what mobility data are collected by their regional planning partners, how the data could support mobility planning, operations, and performance measure activities, and identifying responsible personnel for managing and updating the data. This DBP was developed through participation in the U.S. DOT Roadway Transportation Data Business Plan (DBP) project, in which the MPO pilot tested a guide document to help State DOT and local agency staff charged with mobility data-related responsibilities to develop, implement, and maintain a tailored data business plan for mobility data.

The MPO's goal is to integrate travel time and speed data into the Multimodal Transportation Database to support performance based planning and make it available to their planning partners in the region. As the lead agency for the data business planning effort, the MPO sees their role as one of coordination and pulling mobility data sources available to support regional planning efforts. The objectives for the DBP are to:

  • Increase knowledge of partner agencies' current and future data sources available to support performance based planning.
  • Develop a data management plan that promotes collaboration and sharing of data sources needed to calculate Florida DOT performance measures, including but not limited to:
    • Speed.
    • Travel-time reliability.
    • Return on investment for projects.
    • Connected vehicle outputs.
  • Develop a plan for integrating partner agency data into existing databases to achieve the desired outputs for performance based planning.

The expected outcome of the DBP is a framework for partner agencies to share travel time and speed data for roadway users and freight within the tri-county region for planning purposes. The DBP would also help simplify the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) process by developing a process to streamline various data used by regional planning partners.


For the purposes of this pilot, mobility data is defined as traffic volume, speed, lane occupancy, or connected vehicle data for vehicle, freight, bicycle/pedestrian, and transit modes, although the MPO may add other modes and data collection technologies/sources to the DBP later. The geographic scope of the DBP is limited to the three core urban areas in the tri-county Tampa Bay region, which include Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.


The remainder of the DBP is organized as follows:

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