Transportation Asset Management Case Studies
Data Integration: The Pennsylvania Experience
PENNDOT has adopted a "Maintenance First" philosophy that focuses on preserving the functionality of its existing assets.
Pennsylvania is a large State in terms of transportation assets. PENNDOT is responsible for the fifth-largest State highway system in the United States. It owns and operates more miles of roadway than New York, New Jersey, and New England combined. PENNDOT also administers one of the largest mass transit, rail, and aviation grant programs in the country. The agency has nearly 12,000 employees and an annual budget of over $4 billion.
Pennsylvania's transportation network consists of these facilities:
- 119,000 miles of roadway (PENNDOT is responsible for 40,500 miles)
- 31,800 bridges (25,000 are owned by PENNDOT)
- Three ports-Port of Erie, Port of Pittsburgh, and Port of Philadelphia
- The Nation's 5th largest (Philadelphia) and 14th largest (Pittsburgh) transit systems
- 32 intermodal facilities
- 90 miles of rails-to-trails (most in the Nation) and more than 1,000 total miles of pedestrian trails
- 148 public access airports (one of which is State-owned)
- 5,600 miles of railroad (moving more than 190 million tons of freight annually)
Despite its size, the population of Pennsylvania is projected to be relatively stable compared to national trends. PENNDOT anticipates a 20 percent growth rate from 1999 to 2025 (compared to 29 percent nationally).
In response to this combination of a large transportation network and moderate population growth, PENNDOT has adopted a "Maintenance First" philosophy that focuses on preserving the functionality of its existing assets. Strategic expansion of the system will still occur, but growth is not the primary focus. In the near term, the department has established 80/20 as the target split between maintenance and expansion expenditures. In the long term, the agency expects to meet the vast majority of expansion needs by 2025.
Organizationally, PENNDOT has moved to a more decentralized structure, although headquarters retains an oversight function. The central office provides the districts with the flexibility and resources to develop new solutions, adopts success stories as best practices, and disseminates these experiences throughout the State.
PENNDOT has also shifted recently toward greater participation by local and regional parties in transportation planning and management activities. For example, through its Agility Program, PENNDOT shares maintenance and operations resources with over 1,500 local partners through simple agreements that trade services of similar value.