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Relationships Between Asset Management and Travel Demand:
Findings and Recommendations from Four State DOT Site Visits

Appendix C: State DOT Interview Guide
Interview Guide

Preliminary Schedule

Day One

SESSION 1: Meet individually with asset management Primary Contact.

Obtain Overall Understanding of Asset Management Program

  • Structure and role within broader DOT organization
  • Goals and objectives
  • History / development
  • Capabilities
  • Future plans
  • Resources

Obtain Understanding of How Asset Management is Used To Address Travel Demand Issues

  • Collection of current and projected future travel demand measures
  • Uses of travel demand measures in support of asset management
  • Current operations and maintenance
  • Programming
  • Long-term financial planning
  • Strategic transportation planning
  • Inter-modal, interstate, and international traffic flow considerations
  • Conversely, how does asset management process inform infrastructure and financial plans?

SESSIONS 2+: Meet individually with Secondary Contacts in other functional DOT teams with asset management and/or travel demand measurement and forecasting responsibilities (e.g., data collection, travel modeling, strategic planning, short- and long-range programming/budgeting, maintenance, operations). Discuss each division's asset management roles individually:

  • Asset management roles and responsibilities
  • Interactions with asset management program
  • Collection and/or uses of travel demand data
  • Successes and opportunities for improvement
Day Two

Complete agency staff interviews and any supplementary data collection

  • Meet with Secondary Contacts not covered on day one
  • Follow-up meetings and data collection as required
  • Wrap-up meeting with Primary Contact (or group of TAM staff) to confirm understanding of DOT TAM program and relation to travel demand

General Module

This section is intended to provide a general understanding of each person/group interviewed and their specific roles and responsibilities with respect to TAM and travel demand measurement and analysis.

  1. State:
  2. DOT Name:
  3. DOT Division:
  4. Division Contact(s) Interviewed (name, position, contact information):
  5. Division Function and Staff Count:
  6. Transportation Asset Management (TAM) Roles and Responsibilities:
  7. Number of Division Staff Dedicated to TAM activities (FTEs):
  8. From what other divisions do you obtain asset management-related information?
  9. To what other divisions do you provide asset management-related information?
  10. Does your division collect, report, forecast or utilize asset management data?
  11. Do you use or produce travel demand related data in support of your asset management roles and responsibilities?
  12. Do you use or produce any other system data such as current or forecast assets, usage, and performance in support of your asset management roles and responsibilities?
  13. How is your agency addressing the issue of projected growth in travel demand?
    1. Additional lane miles?
    2. New capacity?
    3. Technology / ITS?
    4. Regulatory?
  14. Lessons Learned: What changes would you make to your current TAM practices to better improve program coordination and program success?
  15. Lessons Learned: Are there ways your agency could be making better use of travel demand data (either current or forecast) to better manage your assets (i.e., maintenance, operation, re-investment, network capacity improvements)?

Transportation Asset Management (TAM) Primary Contact Module

This section is intended to provide a basic understanding of your state's current transportation asset management (TAM) program. This section will only be completed by/with the Primary Contact.

Organization, Personnel, and Resources
  1. Contact information for your division, other related divisions, and key people involved in TAM and/or travel demand measurement & forecasting across the DOT:
  2. Is there a single person (or group) that holds primary responsibility for the day-to-day management and coordination of your asset management functions? If so, please identify the person, their title and group/division.
  3. Does your asset management program have dedicated resources (e.g., staff and budget)?
  4. Do you have examples of reports/materials/analyses produced by or for your asset management function (including any documentation on your asset management program)?
Asset Management Program History
  1. Please provide a brief outline of the development history of your TAM program:
    1. When was the program first implemented?
    2. Please provide rough implementation dates for major program components
    3. Please identify any future proposed development initiative for your TAM program.
Coverage & Treatment
  1. What facilities / assets are covered by your asset management program/systems (by roadway ownership)?
    1. State highway agency-owned miles
    2. County/town/township/municipal-owned miles
    3. Other jurisdiction-owned miles (non-federal)
    4. Federal agency-owned miles
    5. Bridges and tunnels
    6. Other transportation facilities (e.g., operations centers, VMS, traffic signals, etc.)
    7. Other transportation-related facilities (e.g., travel centers, rest stops, drainage, parks, etc.)
    8. Facilities serving non-highway travel modes (rail, ports, air, transit)
  2. Alternatively, are the facilities that are included in the asset management program treated differently based on their ownership?
    1. State highway agency-owned miles
    2. County/town/township/municipal-owned miles
    3. Other jurisdiction-owned miles (non-federal)
    4. Federal agency-owned miles
    5. Bridges and tunnels
    6. Other transportation facilities (e.g., operations centers, VMS, traffic signals, etc.)
    7. Other transportation-related facilities (e.g., travel centers, rest stops, drainage, parks, etc.)
    8. Facilities serving non-highway travel modes (rail, ports, air, transit)
Relation to Other Programs/Divisions
  1. Does your DOT's TAM program have linkages with other DOT divisions or groups (e.g., planning, programming, and maintenance)? If so, please characterize these linkages.
    1. What type of data, information, materials, resources, guidance, or other items are shared between your TAM program and these other divisions?
    2. Is the linkage and sharing of information explicit or implicit (e.g., formalized?)?
  2. Does your DOT's TAM program have:
    1. An organization-wide asset management strategy?
    2. An integrated mission across divisions / functions?
  3. Does your DOT's TAM program have:
    1. Specific policy guidance or objectives relating to current or projected future travel demand (e.g., relating to acceptable levels of congestion, roadway wear or truck sizes/configurations)?
    2. Do you have specific performance standards or targets that incorporate highway demand measures or impacts (e.g., max VMT per lane mile)?
    3. Other guidance or overall program objectives or policies relating to travel demand (e.g., fuel tax revenues).
Communications
  1. How are asset management activities coordinated across multiple divisions / groups? Periodic meetings, e-mail distribution lists, intranet site, periodic reports?
  2. How is asset management information disseminated to DOT management (executives, division heads, section and modal heads?) Periodic reports, news letters, intranet, e-mail? Is there are a formalized process for reporting this information to management?
  3. How is TAM information disseminated to legislators? Is it incorporated into reports intended for the state legislature?
Information Technology and Data Collection
  1. Please identify which of the following information technology systems are used to support your asset management program. For each system please identify the platform/software, its function and the division/group responsible for operating and maintaining the system, and the divisions/groups that utilize the system. Finally, please indicate whether the IT system utilizes travel demand data - current or forecast - as an input and, if so, how.
    1. Maintenance management system (e.g., bridge and pavement)
    2. Performance measurement system
    3. Asset inventory (fixed assets listing… see also question 15)
    4. Budgeting/Financial
    5. Decision Support Tools (capital needs, investment tradeoffs, GIS)
    6. Project cost estimating and tracking
    7. Other(s)
  2. Does your state maintain a detailed asset inventory of highway infrastructure (e.g., number of lane miles, bridges, maintenance facilities, fleet vehicles)? Please describe:
    1. Who is responsible for collecting and maintaining this data?
    2. The types of assets included in the inventory (lane miles, bridges, maintenance facilities, admin facilities, vehicles)
    3. What information does the inventory record (asset type, quantities, age, location, utilization)?
    4. Does your system monitor asset condition (e.g., pavement)? If so, how is condition measured, rated and recorded?
    5. Does the inventory record utilization (travel demand) measures? Alternatively, are the asset inventory records tied in any way (e.g., through analyses or relational databases) to travel demand measures? Is this information used to estimate maintenance needs?
    6. How frequently is this asset inventory data updated?
    7. What divisions have access to this information? / How is asset inventory data (e.g., condition) disseminated within DOT and to whom?
    8. Is the asset inventory data incorporated into the budgeting process and, if so, how?
Miscellaneous
  1. Capacity Expansion: How are current and future projections of travel demand used to identify needed investments in capacity improvement (e.g., lane widening, additional lanes, bridge improvements and reinforcement)?
  2. Design and Materials: How are current and future projections of travel demand incorporated into the design of new facilities or upgrades to existing facilities? (e.g., design capacity and materials)

Secondary Contact Module: Statewide Travel Demand Modeling

Please describe your state's statewide travel model (e.g., statewide freight flows, forecasts for inter-city travel, and integration of regional models with statewide models) and other measurement and forecasting efforts.

Statewide travel model
  1. Does your state DOT perform a statewide travel demand model/forecast? If not, does your state DOT have plans to perform statewide travel demand modeling in the future?
    1. How mature is your statewide model (e.g., geographic coverage, availability and quality of data inputs, reliability and utility of outputs)?
    2. What travel demand measures does your model produce? Do you forecast other measures separately and, if so, what are they (e.g., vehicle ownership, VMT, freight ton-miles)?
    3. Who is responsible for producing those models and forecasts?
    4. How (i.e., using what methods?)?
    5. Who makes use of your model and/or forecast data?
  2. Does your state DOT utilize regional travel demand forecasts produced by other government entities in your state (e.g., MPO models)? If so, please describe and list your sources of travel demand forecasts. What specific measures do these organizations provide (e.g., VMT, traffic counts, ton-miles, other)?
    1. What travel demand measures do you obtain?
    2. Who is responsible for producing those forecasts?
    3. Who makes use of these forecasts?
  3. Are travel demand forecast data incorporated into your state's long-range infrastructure and financial planning processes?
    1. How are they utilized?
    2. Who conducts this analysis?
    3. Which travel demand measures?
  4. How else are outputs incorporated into your asset management program?
  5. Are travel demand forecasts used to predict future performance levels under different investment scenarios (including no investment)?
    1. How are they utilized?
    2. Who conducts this analysis?
    3. Which travel demand measures?
  6. How are your travel demand forecasts segmented (alternatively, what groups are travel demand levels forecasted for)?
    1. By type of vehicle?
    2. By vehicle size/weight?
    3. By roadway category (highway, arterial, etc.)
    4. By commodity type / value?
    5. Do the forecasts include interstate / international origin/destination traffic?
Collection and analysis of other data
  1. Does your state maintain/report measures of highway infrastructure utilization and performance? What specific performance measures do you monitor/report (e.g., VMT, VMT per lane mile, traffic counts, ton-miles, pavement condition, congestion delay, etc.)? Which of these measures relate directly or indirectly to travel demand?
  2. Are there specific performance standards associated with each measure? If so, what are these standards and how were they selected (and by whom)?
  3. Who collects these data?
  4. How are travel demand and performance data collected, where (for what facility types) and with what frequency (monthly, annual, biennial, "as-needed", other)?
  5. How is the information reported / disseminated and to whom? How are these data utilized by other groups within DOT? (Please provide copies of related reports).
  6. Does your organization have/utilize decision support tools that model / evaluate / rank the performance of highway segments / categories? Do these tools incorporate measures of travel demand and, if so, how?
  7. If you use performance standards, how do you report performance failures? Who are these failures reported to and what course of action is required to address this failure (if any)?
  8. Does your existing asset management program utilize current measures of highway travel demand (e.g., VMT, traffic counts, ton miles, other)? If yes:
    1. What specific measures?
    2. How is this information used and by whom (operations, maintenance)?
  9. Do you collect/utilize travel demand data for competing or complementary modes to highway (e.g., transit, freight rail, ports)?

Secondary Contact Module: Statewide Strategic Transportation Planning

Please describe your state's long-range transportation infrastructure planning program and process (e.g., who prepares the plan, how often is it updated, what is the planning horizon, and how are the recommendations of the plan used?).

  1. What division holds primary responsibility for identifying long-term investment needs?
  2. What additional divisions contribute to the investment needs assessment process and how?
  3. How are long-term investments (i.e., for expansion and capacity improvements) identified?
  4. How are travel demand forecasts incorporated into long-range planning?
  5. How often is the long-term plan updated / revised?
  6. What project evaluation processes do you use to select between alternate investment options? Do you have a formal process? If so, what is it?
    1. Benefit-Cost / cost-effectiveness ranking?
    2. Investment priority?
    3. Inter-division discussion?
  7. How is the long-range infrastructure plan incorporated into (or driven by) your state's asset management program?
  8. Does your state have any non-attainment zones? If so, has your state identified strategies for managing current and projected future travel demand on your most congested roadway segments within these zones (e.g., HOV lanes, tolls, congestion pricing, VMS)?
  9. Does your state conduct analyses/projections of the travel time, economic, environmental and/or safety impacts of roadway congestion? Are these analyses used to help identify/evaluate future investment needs?
    1. Travel time?
    2. Economic impact?
    3. Environmental?
    4. Safety (crashes, fatalities)?

Secondary Contact Module: Programming/Budgeting (short-term, e.g. TIPs)

  1. What division holds primary responsibility for programming and budgeting (short-term)?
  2. What additional divisions contribute to the programming and budgeting process and how?
  3. How are current measures of highway travel demand used to allocate budget resources to various uses such as capital expansion, operations, and maintenance/preservation?
  4. Are current travel demand or projected future travel growth used to determine staffing or skills requirements within your agency?
  5. Is current or projected future travel demand data used to plan the locations or distribution of DOT programs, services, or field locations?
  6. How has asset management been used to support the allocated between/among highway uses (i.e., operations, maintenance, construction)?
  7. Do travel demand considerations play into the allocation process?
  8. Please describe any other ways in which forecasts of future travel demand (at the state and/or regional levels) and your asset management program are incorporated into your financial program (e.g., TIPs). If there is no integration, please describe any needs or efforts your state has identified in this area and your judgment of the benefits such integration could deliver.

Secondary Contact Module: Programming/Budgeting (long-term)

  1. What division holds primary responsibility for long-range programming and budgeting?
  2. What additional divisions contribute to the long-range programming and budgeting process and how?
  3. How are travel demand forecasts incorporated into the long-range program/budget?
  4. Are current and future measures of highway travel demand used to predict fuel tax revenues?
  5. How often is the long-term program plan updated / revised?
  6. How are highway funds allocated between/among highway uses (i.e., operations, maintenance, construction)?
    1. Who conducts these analyses / participates in this process?
    2. What process is used / what methods are used to allocated funds (historical, projected ranking, ROI)?
    3. How is information presented to decision makers?
  7. How does your state's asset management program inform the long-range financial plan (and vice versa)?

Secondary Contact Module: Maintenance

  1. What division holds responsibility for roadway maintenance?
  2. Please distinguish those activities included in maintenance versus those included in construction (i.e., where does the break between maintenance and construction activities lie? Does maintenance only include some level of resurfacing?).
  3. Does this division participate in the asset management program?
  4. How are travel demand measures used to determine roadway maintenance needs? If so, what measures are used?
  5. Does your agency have a process of estimating unconstrained investment needs for the maintenance, rehab and replacement of existing highway infrastructure?
    1. Engineering assessments?
    2. Targeted condition standards based on facility type / traffic volumes?
    3. Decision support tools?
    4. Other(s)?
  6. How does your agency currently budget for the upkeep (maintenance, rehab and replacement) of existing highway infrastructure (roads, bridges, facilities, fleets)?
    1. Budget to allocated funding capacity?
    2. Engineering assessments of immediate / highest priority needs?
    3. Targeted condition standards based on facility type / traffic volumes?
    4. Decision support tools?
    5. Other(s)?
  7. Does your agency have/utilize decision support tools to model rehab and replacement needs for your existing highway infrastructure (roads, bridges, facilities, fleets)?
    1. If yes, which division holds responsibility for operating/maintaining this tool?
    2. Was the tool developed "in-house" or was it developed by a contractor(s)
    3. What principles / methodologies do these tools use to estimate capital needs?
    4. Are these tools applied to all asset types?
    5. Do these tools use measures of current travel demand (VMT, traffic counts, ton-miles) as a measure of asset utilization/deterioration?

Secondary Contact Module: Operations

  1. Which division is primarily responsible for daily roadway operations?
  2. Please identify the primary responsibilities of the operations group
  3. Does this division participate in the asset management program?
  4. What techniques do you use to manage travel demand in the short-term (e.g., VMS, other ITS)?
  5. How are real-time (or near real time) data used to support highway operations?
  6. How are longer-term data such as travel demand and freight forecasts used to support highway operations tactics and strategies?

Secondary Contact Module: IT

  1. Which division is primarily responsible for IT?
  2. Please identify the primary responsibilities of the IT group
  3. Does this group participate in the asset management program?
  4. What asset management systems/databases is the IT group responsible for? Please describe each system and the sources and uses of data (including who uses these data).
  5. Please identify all databases and systems that house or utilize current measures of travel demand (e.g., VMTs, AADT, ton miles, other). Who has access to and who utilizes these data?
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Updated: 11/06/2012