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Federal planning regulations are codified in 23 CFR 450. According to §450.208(e), each State may apply asset-management principles and techniques in establishing planning goals, defining statewide Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) priorities, and assessing transportation-investment decisions, including transportation-system safety, operations, preservation, and maintenance. Likewise, with the metropolitan transportation-planning process under §450.306(e), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), States, and public-transportation operators may apply asset-management principles and techniques in establishing planning goals, defining TIP priorities, and assessing transportation-investment decisions. These include transportation-system safety, operations, preservation, and maintenance, as well as strategies and policies to support homeland security and to safeguard the personal security of all motorized and non-motorized users.
There are various management approaches used by organizations to manage their assets. Asset management is an efficient and cost-effective approach that strategically targets resources. The concept of asset management covers a broad range of activities and functions. It touches nearly every aspect of the business functions of a transportation agency, including planning, engineering, finance, programming, construction, maintenance, and information systems. Asset management includes investment decisions, prioritization, relationships with different stakeholders and partners, long-range transportation planning, capital-project development, and more.
|TAM covers a broad range of activities and functions. It touches nearly every aspect of the business functions of a transportation agency, including planning, engineering, finance, programming, construction, maintenance, and information systems.|
Many State departments of transportation are beginning to integrate asset management into their business practices. They are moving from a program philosophy of being reactive to developing a more strategic approach. As State transportation agencies continue to deal with limited funding, they are moving toward performance measures for budgeting and capital programming to focus their resources on key strategic business plans or goals and to improve their accountability to the traveling public. Several States even have legislation that requires the implementation of performance-based goals associated with asset management.
When programming and planning transportation, investment opportunities must occur in a coordinated and collaborative manner. The challenge for any organization is to ensure that it has sufficient funding to preserve the road system, while still meeting the infrastructure needs of the region it serves. The selection of different projects to be included in a planning budget is constrained by available funding and usually requires some type of prioritization. By linking strategic performance measures to assets, operations, and maintenance, a connection between the policies and plan implementations can be established. The condition data and future performance data provide feedback and updates to the decisionmaking process and verifies whether the system satisfies transportation and land-use goals or requires major capital improvements.
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