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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Appendix A: M&O in the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process - Getting Started

  1. Making the case to MPO decisionmakers (see Appendix B for further discussion)
    1. Identify the key regional challenges (e.g., congestion)
    2. Identify the constraints (e.g., funding, environmental) on traditional capital investment
    3. Gain policy agreement on pursuing M&O options for MTP and TIP
  2. Developing internal MPO leadership and advocacy for M&O
    1. Design a structure appropriate to your MPO that establishes advocacy within the decision making process (e.g., an M&O Policy Committee and/or an M&O Technical Committee)
    2. Ensure the full range of necessary stakeholders are at the table and invested in the effort
    3. Develop a mechanism to allow for continual participation in the iterative process, which can help institutionalize the consideration of M&O
  3. Gaining regional participation in integrating M&O into planning
    1. Coordinate with transportation operators in the region to develop an M&O subcommittee or group that will build consensus on the direction for operations in the region
    2. Utilize regional actors to obtain operations data to support development and evaluation of M&O strategies in order to identify what data is currently being collected in the region and what data collection devices are available
  4. Incorporating M&O into regional transportation goals and objectives
    1. Engage key operations participants in the region in developing the regional goals and objectives during the MTP process, including State DOT, local DOT, transit, public safety, etc.
    2. Ensure objectives meet the "SMART" criteria: specific, measurable, agreed-upon, realistic, and time-sensitive
    3. Include measurements of actual system performance, like travel time, reliability, and incidence of non-recurring congestion, in the planning process to inform decision-making
  5. Incorporating M&O objectives-based performance measurement into the planning process
    1. Conduct assessment of operations data collection
    2. Decide on operations objectives through the regional M&O group based on current data availability
    3. Develop procedures for measuring performance
    4. Utilize the CMP, if applicable to your MPO, to inform performance measurement
    5. Identify strategies for achieving operations objectives and include objectives in long-range plan
  6. Evaluate regional progress towards M&O goals and objectives
    1. Collect baseline data for new objectives.
    2. Identify and use tools to evaluate the impacts of operations improvements.
    3. Develop a method to allocate funding to M&O projects. This may be done by competing M&O projects against all other types of projects or the M&O projects may compete against each other for funding allocated through a line item reserved for M&O projects.
    4. Be sure to include discussion of M&O strategies that are funded by state, regional and local transportation agencies, even without use of Federal funding, in the MTP.

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