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Performance Management Questions & Answers

Posted 9/25/2012, Updated 3/21/2014

Question 1: Please describe the process that USDOT will utilize to solicit input in the establishment of performance measures?

Answer 1: USDOT is planning to provide opportunities for stakeholders to contribute their input regarding the measures required under 23 U.S.C. 150(c) (newly-established by section 1203 of MAP-21). Information will be provided on the USDOT and FHWA websites soon with more information on these opportunities. In addition, stakeholders can provide their input regarding the required measures by contacting Francine Shaw Whitson by phone at (202) 366-8028, by email at FSWhitson@dot.gov, or mail at Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, D.C.20590.

Also, for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), 23 U.S.C. 150(c)(2) requires the Secretary to provide no less than 90 days for the public to comment on the NPRM.The Secretary is also required to take into consideration any comments relating to a proposed regulation received during that comment period.

Question 2:Are States required to set performance targets? If so, when are they due?

Answer 2: States are required to establish targets that reflect the measures established by the USDOT under 23 U.S.C. 150(c), where applicable.A State may, as appropriate, provide for different targets for urbanized and rural areas.To ensure consistency, States must, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate with the relevant MPO and with providers of public transportation in an urbanized area not represented by an MPO. The State must establish these targets within than 1 year after the USDOT final rule on performance measures. (23 U.S.C. 135 & 150)

Question 3:Are MPOs required to set performance targets?If so, when are they due?

Answer 3:Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) are required to establish targets for each measure established in 23 U.S.C. 150(c), where applicable.MPOs are required to establish targets in coordination with the relevant State/s and, to the maximum extent practicable, with providers of public transport transportation no later than 180 days after the date on which the relevant State/s or the provider of public transportation establishes their performance targets. (23 U.S.C. 134)

Question 4:MAP-21 sets forth a limited set of areas in which USDOT can establish performance measures.Does USDOT have authority to establish measures for other areas?

Answer 4:USDOT is limited under MAP-21 to establishing national measures on which the States must report to only those listed in the new 23 U.S.C. 150(c).

Question 5:When are the national performance measures expected to be provided?

Answer 5:Under 23 U.S.C. 150(c), USDOT is required to establish national performance measures and standards, through rulemaking, no later than 18 months after the October 1, 2012, date of enactment of MAP-21.

Question 6:Have any nationwide performance measures been established in the Act or will these follow as USDOT rulemaking?

Answer 6:The national performance measures will be established through rulemaking by USDOT in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 150(c).In addition to those measures, MAP-21 requires the use of the following items to carry out provisions in the National Highway Performance Program and the Highway Safety Improvement Program:

  • "total deck area of bridges in the State on the National Highway System" under the National Highway Performance Program (23 U.S.C. 119(f)(2));
  • fatalities on high risk rural roads; traffic fatalities and serious injuries for older drivers; and fatalities and serious injuries at railway-highway crossings under the Highway Safety Improvement Program (23 U.S.C. 148(g)&(h)).

Question 7:How will USDOT determine if a State is making significant progress toward achieving targets?

Answer 7:USDOT will be issuing more information in the form of questions and answers, guidance, or regulation to outline how this requirement will be administered.Input from stakeholders on this topic can be provided through the USDOT and FHWA websites and/or sent to Francine Shaw Whitson by phone at (202) 366-8028, by email at FSWhitson@dot.gov, or mail at Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE, Washington, D.C.20590.

Question 8:Under 23 U.S.C. 119(e)(7) a State is required to document the actions they will undertake if they do not achieve or make significant progress toward achieving the targets of the State for performance measures described in section 150(d) for the National Highway System for 2 consecutive reports.When will the assessment of target achievement occur and what period of time will the assessment address?

Answer 8:23 U.S.C. 150(e) requires States to submit an initial version of this report to USDOT no later than 4 years after the October 1, 2012, date of enactment of MAP-21, and every 2 years thereafter.Under 23 U.S.C. 119(e)(7), States are required to achieve ormake significant progress towards the achievement of targets for 2 consecutive reports, which is a total period of 2 years after the first performance report that is required under 23 U.S.C. 150(e).

Question 9:Is a project eligible for NHPP funds if it does not support progress toward achieving one of the national performance goals (improving infrastructure condition, safety, mobility, or freight movement) on the National Highway System (NHS)?

Answer 9:No.23 U.S.C. 119(d)(1)(A) requires that proposed projects support progress toward achievement of the national performance goals for infrastructure condition, safety, mobility, or freight movement on the NHS in order to be eligible for NHPP funds.Projects that do not support at least one of these four listed national goals are not eligible for NHPP funds, even if the project type is listed in 23 U.S.C 119 (d)(2).

While 23 U.S.C. 150(b) sets out other national performance goals of environmental sustainability and reduced project delivery delays, these were not included in the list of goals identified in 23 U.S.C. 119(d)(1)(A) for NHPP eligibility.Projects that address these goals are not eligible for NHPP funding unless they can also be shown to support the infrastructure, safety, mobility and freight movement goals.For purposes of this provision, the congestion reduction and system reliability goals listed in 23 U.S.C. 150(b) are considered part of the 23 U.S.C. 119(d)(1)(A) mobility goal.

For instance, 23 U.S.C. 119(d)(2) lists "environmental restoration and pollution abatement in accordance with section 328" as an eligible activity for NHPP funds.However, environmental restoration and pollution abatement work is only eligible for NHPP funds if it is part of an otherwise eligible project that is found to support the infrastructure condition, safety, mobility or freight movement goals.Stand-alone environmental restoration and pollution abatement projects are not eligible for NHPP funds since these projects by themselves do not support progress toward the infrastructure condition, safety, mobility or freight movement goals.

FHWA Division Offices must ensure that projects proposed for NHPP funding support progress toward achievement of the national performance goals for infrastructure condition, safety, mobility, or freight movement on the NHS.Divisions can do this in several ways.First, they can make a determination that the project furthers one of the four specified goals.Second, Divisions can determine that the project is part of a program limited to projects that further at least one of the four specified goals.For example, MAP-21 established several programs such as the program of projects required as part of an asset management plan under 23 U.S.C. 119(e), the highway safety improvement program under 23 U.S.C. 148, and a State freight plan under section 1118 of MAP-21.Projects included on any of these programs would further one of the four specified goals.Additionally, the State could delineate in the STIP how NHPP funded projects meet at least one of the specified goals.

States can also establish a unique listing of projects, such as a listing of projects to improve a specific corridor or to support one of the four specified performance goals.In these situations involving unique listings, the division should work with the State to ensure that the projects included on these list(s) meet at least one of the four specified national performance goals.

Question 10: What actions will USDOT undertake to implement the MAP-21 performance requirements?

Answer 10: The MAP-21 includes several provisions that, collectively, will transform the Federal surface transportation program to be focused on the achievement of performance outcomes. These provisions are contained in different sections of MAP-21 and administered by different agencies within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Thus, USDOT will take a number of separate but related actions to fully implement these new requirements. 
USDOT is implementing the new MAP-21 performance requirements through eleven rulemakings to be released in several phases.

  1. First Federal-aid Highway Performance Measure Rule (Safety)
    1. Propose and define national measures for fatalities and serious injuries for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)
    2. State and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) target establishment requirements for Federal-aid highway program
    3. Determination of significant progress toward the achievement of targets for the HSIP
    4. Performance progress reporting requirements and timing
    5. Discuss how the DOT intends to implement all MAP-21 performance related provisions.
  2. Second Federal-aid Highway Performance Measure Rule (Pavement and Bridge Condition)
    1. Propose and define national measures for the condition of National Highway System (NHS) pavements and bridges
    2. State and MPO target establishment requirements for Federal-aid highway program
    3. Determination of significant progress toward the achievement of targets for the National Highway Performance program (NHPP)
    4. Performance progress reporting requirements and timing
    5. Minimum standards for Interstate pavement conditions
  3. Third Federal-aid Highway Performance Measure Rule (System Performance)
    1. Propose and define national measures for performance of the Interstate system, performance of the non-Interstate National Highway System, freight movement on the Interstate system, congestion and on-road mobile source emissions
    2. State and MPO target establishment requirements for Federal-aid highway program
    3. Performance progress reporting requirements and timing
    4. Provide a summary of all three performance measure proposed rules
  4. Update to the Metropolitan and Statewide Planning Regulations
    1. Supporting national goals and general purposes in the scope of the planning process
    2. Coordination between States, MPOs, and public transportation providers in setting performance targets that address FHWA and FTA performance measures
    3. Discussion in Metropolitan and Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs documenting how the programs are designed to achieve targets
    4. New performance reporting requirements in the Metropolitan transportation plan
  5. Updates to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Regulations
    1. Integration of performance measures and targets into the HSIP
    2. Strategic Highway Safety Plan updates
    3. Establishment of Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) Fundamental Data Elements
    4. HSIP reporting requirements
  6. Federal-aid Highway Asset Management Plan Process Rule
    1. Contents of asset management plan
    2. Certification of process to develop plan
    3. Minimum standards for pavement and bridge management systems
  7. FTA Transit Asset Management Rule
    1. Define state of good repair and establish state of good repair performance measures
    2. Require transit providers to set targets and report on progress
    3. Transit asset management plans
  8. FTA National Public Transportation Safety Plan Rule
    1. Define transit safety performance criteria and standards
    2. Asset Management and State of Good Repair
  9. FTA Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Rule
    1. Transit safety plan content and reporting requirements
    2. Target setting requirements for recipients and States
    3. State Preparation and Certification for Rural Operators
    4. State Preparation and Certification for Small Urbanized Area Operators
    5. Operator Fatigue
  10. FTA Safety Management Systems
    1. Safety Policy
    2. Hazard Analysis & Safety Risk Management
    3. Safety Assurance
    4. Safety Promotion
  11. Highway Safety Program Grants Rule (NHTSA Interim Final Rule issued January 2013)
    1. Highway safety plan content and reporting requirements
    2. State performance measures and target establishment
    3. Approval of highway safety plans

The USDOT has organized the performance related provisions within MAP-21 into six Performance Management elements to more effectively communicate the efforts underway to implement these requirements.  These six Performance Management elements are listed below.

National Goals

MAP-21 establishment of goals or program purpose to focus the Federal program into specific areas of performance.

Measures

The establishment of measures by USDOT to assess performance/condition in order to carry out performance-based programs.

Targets

Requirements for Federal fund recipients to establish targets for future performance.

Plans

Requirements for Federal fund recipients to develop plans to document how they intend to carry out strategies and/or programs to address performance needs.

Reports

Requirements for Federal fund recipients to develop reports to document progress toward the achievement of performance targets.

Accountability and Transparency

Requirements for states and MPOs to demonstrate or report whether they are making progress toward the achievement of their targets.

The table below provides a reference showing the six Performance Management elements listed above as well as the specific MAP-21 performance related provisions that fit within each of these six Performance Management elements. 

National Goals

23 USC 150(b)

National goals for federal-aid highway program

49 USC 5301

General policy and purposes of public transportation program

49 USC 5329(b)(1)

Goal of the National Public Transportation Safety Plan

23 USC 167(b)

National freight policy goals

23 USC 134(h)(2)(A)
23 USC 135(d)(2)(A)
49 USC 5303(h)(2)(A)
49 USC 5304(d)(2)(A)

Consideration of the federal-aid highway national goals and public transportation general purposes in the scope of the planning process.

23 USC 119(d)(1)(A)

Funding eligibility consideration for the NHPP as they relate to the federal-aid highway national goals

23 USC 119(e)(2)

Consideration of federal-aid highway national goals in state Asset Management Plans.

Measures

23 USC 150(c)

Measures to assess performance/condition and used to carry out several federal-aid highway programs.

49 USC 5326(c)(1)

Measures based on transit state of good repair standards

49 USC 5329(b)(2)(A)

Minimum safety performance criteria

23 USC 402(k)(4)

Highway safety measures to be included in Highway Safety Plans

Targets

23 USC 134(h)(2)
23 USC 135(d)(2)
49 USC 5303(h)(2)
49 USC 5304(d)(2)

Requirement for MPOs and States to establish targets within the scope of their planning process

23 USC 150(d)

Requirements for States to establish targets for Federal-aid highway measures established by USDOT

49 USC 5326(c)(2)

Requirements for public transportation Federal fund recipients to establish targets for measures established by USDOT based on the state of good repair standards.

49 USC 5329(d)(1)(E)

Requirements for public transportation Federal fund recipients (or the State) to include targets based on the safety performance criteria and state of good repair standards established by USDOT

23 USC 402(k)(3)(A)(ii)

Requirements for states to establish targets for the performance measures required to be included in the State’s Highway Safety Plan

Plans

23 USC 134(j)(2)(D) 23 USC 135(g)(4)
49 USC 5303(j)(2)(D)
49 USC 5304(g)(4)

Requirements to include discussion in the metropolitan and statewide improvement program as to how the planned program will achieve the targets set by the State and MPO.

23 USC 119(e)

Requirement for States to develop an asset management plan for NHS pavements and bridges

23 USC 148(d)

Requirement for States to update their strategic highway safety plan

23 USC 149(l)

Requirement for MPOs serving a large Transportation Management Area (TMA) to develop a new Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) performance plan

MAP-21 Sec. 1118

Option for States to develop a State Freight Plan

49 USC 5326(b)(2)

Requirement for recipients of public transportation Federal funding assistance to develop transit asset management plans

49 USC 5329(d)(1)

Requirement for recipients or States to develop a transit safety plans

23 USC 402(k)

Requirement for States to submit an annual highway safety plan

Reports

23 USC 134(i)(2)(C)
49 USC 5303(i)(2)(C)

Requirement for MPOs to include a system performance report in the transportation plan to document progress

23 USC 148(h)

Requirement for States to annually report on highway safety improvement projects

23 USC 149(l)

Requirement for MPOs serving a large TMA to describe progress made in achieving performance targets set for measures to carry out the CMAQ program

49 USC 5326(c)(3)

Requirement for direct recipients of public transportation Federal funding assistance to report on progress in achieving transit targets

49 USC 5329(e)(4)(A)(vii)

Requirement for public transportation State safety oversight agency to produce an annual report on the status of the safety of the State rail fixed guideway public transportation systems it oversees

23 USC 150(e)

Requirement for States to report biennially on condition and performance, the progress they have made toward the achievement of targets, the effectiveness of investments, and how they are addressing key freight bottlenecks.

49 USC 5310(h)

FTA must submit a report making recommendations on the establishment of performance measures for the Formula Grants for Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program.

49 USC 5326(b)(3) and 5335(c)

Transit providers must report information on asset inventories and conditions to the National Transit Database, FTA will issue guidance updating the NTD Reporting Manual to implement this reporting requirement.

23 USC 402(k)(3)(E)

Requirement for States to annually report on progress in meeting safety performance targets in the highway safety plan

Accountability and Transparency

23 USC 134(l)
49 USC 5303(l)

Requirement for USDOT to report to Congress evaluating the extent to which MPOs have achieved or are making substantial progress toward the achievement of their targets, and whether MPOs are developing meaningful targets.

23 USC 135(h)(1)
49 USC 5304(h)(1)

Requirements for USDOT to evaluate the effectiveness of the performance-based planning process of States, considering the extent to which States are making progress toward achieving their targets and whether the States are developing meaningful targets.

23 USC 135(h)(2)
49 USC 5304(h)(2)

Requirements for USDOT to report to Congress on evaluating the effectiveness of the performance-based planning process of States.

23 USC 119(e)(7)

Requirement for States to achieve or make significant progress toward the achievement of targets set under the NHPP

23 USC 148(i)

Requirement for States to achieve or make significant progress toward the achievement of targets set under the HSIP

23 USC 402(n)

Requirement for NHTSA to submit biennial reports to Congress evaluating each State’s performance with respect to the Highway Safety Plan and performance targets, and any recommendations the Secretary may have for improvements to activities carried out under the Highway Safety Plan.

 

Page last modified on March 21, 2014.
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