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Improving Transportation Systems Management and Operations and fostering more reliable travel times through business and organizational solutions.

Organizing for Reliability Tools (L06/L01/L31/L34)

Challenge

Transportation agencies know that improving traffic systems management and operations, particularly when addressing nonrecurring events such as inclement weather or crashes, can improve safety, increase efficiency, and reduce the cost of congestion for drivers, freight operators, and other users. Agencies need to evaluate their programs for continual improvements and have standardized tools and operating procedures in place to improve travel-time reliability of their systems.

Solution

SHRP2 provides an opportunity to improve travel-time reliability and traffic operations in a systematic way on a national scale. SHRP2 has developed a series of tools that help agencies assess their traffic operations programs and implement process changes to their technical and business processes in order to enhance their ability to manage unexpected congestion. Agencies can use these products to better assess and organize their structures to address systems operations and management, resulting in improved safety, mobility, and customer relations.

The SHRP2 Solution includes:

A self-assessment tool to help agencies improve system management and operations.

This web-based guide helps agencies perform a detailed self-assessment to identify ways to more effectively execute operations programs to improve travel-time reliability. Users complete a self-assessment to receive agency-specific advice to systematically improve operations. This product also provides a framework for using many other reliability-related SHRP2 Solutions including a Guide to Integrating Business Processes to Improve Travel Time Reliability (below) and others currently in development.

Case studies for successful business practices to improve traffic operations and reliability.

These case studies demonstrate how agencies have successfully changed business processes to address five of the major causes of nonrecurring congestion. They also share success stories and lessons learned from peers to give agencies ideas and tips for how to address their own challenges.

This suite of products will also include an outreach program to key DOT decision makers (L31) and an e-tool (L34).

Benefits

With this series of reliability solutions, agencies can evaluate their current organizational ability to improve operations and then determine what steps to take to reach the next level of organizational effectiveness, and further improve over time. These tools give transportation agencies a structured means to review organizational and business process issues related to traffic operations. Improved operations can lead to fewer secondary crashes from initial crashes, less congestion and associated fuel consumption, and improved travel-time reliability.

This product was also part of Round 1 of the Implementation Assistance Program. Additional information is available in a recorded webinar about Reliability products within the program.

Guide to Organizing Transportation Agencies to Advance Systems Operations and Management (L06)

Challenge

Congestion management remains a pressing issue for transportation agencies. To meet the challenge of reducing congestion, state DOTs and transit agencies require tools to evaluate their current organizational capabilities, and a roadmap for when and how to successfully implement process improvements.

Solution

SHRP2 has developed a systematic approach for agencies to evaluate their current organizational capacity and determine their ability to manage unexpected congestion. The materials include an institutional capability matrix model, an evaluation tool to assess capabilities in six key areas, and a template for developing systematic action plans, as well as guidance from FHWA and AASHTO experts.

Benefits

Evaluating capabilities and making essential improvements to traffic operations and business processes moves an agency closer to organizational excellence. This will enable an agency or state DOT to successfully execute programs that effectively manage and reduce congestion.

Guide to Integrating Business Processes to Improve Travel-Time Reliability (L01)

Challenge

Traffic congestion and motorist delay that adversely impact travel-time reliability are caused by any number of nonrecurring events such as bad weather, vehicle crashes, special events, and roadway construction. A growing number of transportation agencies are looking for ways to improve travel-time reliability on highway networks through advances in system management, traffic operations, and organization. However, they need standardized and systematic solutions to assess and manage their organizational capabilities.

Solution

SHRP2 has developed a report and guide that identify ways that transportation agencies can change their business practices to improve traffic operations, address nonrecurring traffic congestion, and improve travel-time reliability. Case studies present successful approaches to improving traffic operations and guidelines to help agencies integrate the approaches into standard business operations. The guide also includes a detailed introduction to a business process mapping tool, a useful approach for automating business processes.

Benefits

The report and guide enable agencies to identify staff skill sets; provide staff training; and establish operation guidelines, standard procedures, and protocols, incorporating them into agency polices, vision, mission, goals, and objectives. State DOTs and other entities will use this material to evaluate the effectiveness of their business processes in supporting highway operations, and can use the process mapping tool to change their organization in a positive and lasting way.

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