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Florida Department of Transportation

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Introduction

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is a decentralized state agency organized into seven districts, the Florida Turnpike Enterprise and the Florida Rail Enterprise. FDOT employs over 7, 400 employees statewide and is responsible for a $6.5 billion annual budget and a $33.8 billion five-year work program. FDOT coordinates its planning with the 26 MPOs operating in Florida and various state and local government agencies. Oversight of FDOT is provided by the Florida Transportation Commission, which reviews major transportation policy initiatives, the FDOT Work Program, and FDOT's operational and financial performance.

Using these elements, FDOT produces a constellation of performance reports and plans representing different perspectives (some program specific and others system-wide) and designed for different audiences. They include:

Approach

Performance measures have been applied in FDOT's approach to management and planning for over a decade. FDOT's approach to planning is multi-faceted. Performance measures are used across the agency and collected, analyzed and collated by several different offices within FDOT including the: Office of Policy Planning, Transportation Statistics Office, Systems Planning Office, the Traffic Engineering and Operations Office and Transit Office. These measures and reports follow the policy goals set forth in the long range policy plan but do not strictly align with those goals.

Strategic Planning for the Department has four integral parts: The Florida Transportation Plan (FTP), The Annual Performance Report, Annual Strategic Objectives, and Executive Board Initiatives. Progress is tracked through specific measures and periodic updates. The FTP is updated every five years and monitored annually. The Performance Report is updated annually. Strategic Objectives and Executive Board Initiatives are updated annually and monitored quarterly.

The types of data and information to be collected and measured by FDOT are determined by a variety of sources, including the need to satisfy a legal mandate (law, rule, regulation, etc.) and to respond to internal and external customer requirements. In general, the decision on what is to be measured is made by the Executive Board with input from upper-level managers.6 Overall progress is monitored by the Department's five Key Performance Measures (KPMs). The five KPMs are 1) Transportation System Safety; 2) Customer and Market Focus; 3) Production Performance; 4) Transportation System Performance; 5) Organizational Performance. Results from these indicators are presented through the department's automated performance measurement system, which displays monthly, quarterly and annual information in trend charts and graphs showing actual versus target measures or year-to-year comparisons. The system can show the "big picture" or the smallest detail about any selected measure.

FDOT's approach to transportation planning is distinct from but interrelated with its strategic planning efforts. As shown in Figure 9, the long range Statewide Transportation Plan establishes statewide transportation goals and policies. The Statewide Transportation Plan has a short-range component that operates over a 5 to 10 year horizon and describes actionable strategies and sets specific measurable targets in several goal areas. FDOT's Program and Resource Plan establishes financial and production targets for state transportation programs linking the Department's transportation planning process to the Department's budget and Work Program. The DOT Work Program is a 5-year listing of all transportation projects planned for each fiscal year, adjusted for the legislatively approved budget for the first year.

Visioning

FDOT has recently begun an update to the 2025 Florida Transportation Plan. The 2060 Florida Transportation Plan will describe a 50-year vision for the state transportation system through an extensive collaborative effort with FDOT partners across the state. The purpose of their visioning process is to identify long range goals, objectives and strategies to guide decision-making over the next 50 years. Their approach to the visioning process is not explicitly performance-based but it is informed by the various published performance reports described above. They regularly conduct trend analyses and establish measurable objectives.

Long Range Planning

FDOT's Office of Policy Planning is responsible for leading the collaborative development of Florida's statewide long range transportation plan. As shown in Figure 10 , the current statewide transportation plan, 2025 Florida Transportation Plan, was completed in 2005 and provides a policy framework for allocating over $161 billion in transportation funding between 2005 and 2025. The 2025 Florida Transportation Plan does not include specific policy performance measures, but it sets the goal of developing and monitoring quantifiable objectives in conjunction with the Florida Transportation Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council, and other partners.

Figure 9. FDOT Performance Measures Framework

Figure 9 depicts FDOT's performance measures framework as a pyramid. At the tip of the pyramid is the Florida Transportation Plan which sets 20-year Outcomes at the Policy-level. The next tier of the pyramid is the performance report, which report System-Level outcomes and outputs based on FDOT's 5-10 year planning objectives. The following tier is FDOT's Program and Resource Plan which links FDOT's program to the budget and defines measures at the Program-Level. At the base of the pyramid is FDOT's Work Program which describes FDOT's planned projects and sets measures at the Project-Level. At the top of the pyramid the performance measures are more outcome-based. At the lower levels of the pyramid the performance measures are more output-based.

Source: Florida Transportation Plan: Short Range Component, p.49

Programming

FDOT's capital program is elaborated in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and FDOT's Work Program, a five-year listing of all transportation projects planned for each fiscal year. FDOT has chosen to focus its investments on facilities identified as part of the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS). The designation of the Strategic Intermodal System represents an effort by FDOT to more closely tie transportation policies and investments to the state's economic development strategy. The aim of the SIS is to focus attention on those transportation facilities that support large numbers of international, interstate and interregional trips where investments are anticipated to have the greatest impact on the state's economy and quality of life.

FDOT has developed objective criteria and thresholds for designating facilities as part of the SIS and conducts annual system-wide reviews of all transportation and economic data associated with the criteria and threshold to assess the composition of the SIS. Thresholds established for inclusion of facilities in the SIS include minimum size and traffic levels. Non-quantitative criteria applied to facility selection include consideration of: connectivity; community livability, character and function; land use; and air quality. Prioritization of projects included in the SIS continues to be a combination of "'top down', statewide analysis and 'bottom up' regional and local input." FDOT's Office of Policy Planning is in the process of developing a performance report for this system that should be published later this year that will report on measures associated with: connectivity, congestion reduction, mobility, economi development, energy and climate change, and national defense and emergency response.

According to the newly updated SIS Strategic Plan, seven year of implementation of the SIS has led to: greater emphasis on non-highway modes; more attention on intermodal connectors and interregional corridors; and strengthened partnerships. The shifts in emphasis are summarized in Table 12.

Table 12. SIS Provides a New Approach to Transportation Decision Making

From... To...
Planning and investment decisions oriented toward... Individual modes and facilities; individual jurisdictions Complete end-to-end trips; economic regions and trade corridors
Standards based on... Facility design User service
Potential investments evaluated based on... Design capacity, travel time, and cost Reliability, operational performance, and economic impacts
Partners involved in how transportation... Accommodates economic growth and mitigates community and environmental impacts Proactively supports economic, community, and environmental goals
Transportation investment viewed as... Annual funding of localized priorities Strategic, long term investment

Source: Florida's Strategic Intermodal System Strategic Plan, 2010, p.18

Implementation

Implementation of FDOT's Work Program is assessed by the Florid Transportation Commission (FTC) annually. The Florida Transportation Commission Annual Performance and Production Review assesses the FDOT's performance through a variety of indicators covering topics including: project delivery, system operation and maintenance performance, operational efficiency, safety, financial management and infrastructure condition.

The most recent report encompassing 2008-2009 reviews 20 performance measures. Each metric is briefly described in the report with an explanation of avoidable and unavoidable circumstances that contribute to each measure and department-wide results for the current year. Additionally, time series comparisons for the last fiv years and comparisons by district are also provided. Finally, the assessments include reasons for failures to perform (e.g., specific projects that exceed their schedules).

In addition, FDOT develops a Program and Resource Plan to establish financial and production targets for state transportation programs that helps to link the transportation planning process to program and funding decisions. The FDOT Executive Board establishes the proposed funding levels, policies, an objectives for the Ten-Year Program and Resource Plan and a Five-Year Finance Plan (including a thirty-six month Cash Forecast Balanced Plan).

Performance Reporting

Progress toward the long-term policy-level goals and objectives identified in the 2025 Florida Transportation Plan is assessed in the department's Performanc Report. Most recently published in December 2009, the Performance Report describes the department's short-term objectives and strategies for achieving the long-term goals outlined in the statewide transportation plan. The Performance Report uses bot qualitative and quantitative methods to describe progress towards objectives in five goal areas (see Table 13).

Table 13. FDOT Performance Report Goals and Objectives

Goal Example Short Term Objective
Safety and Security Through 2015, reduce by 5 percent annually, the highway fatality and serious injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Quality of Life and Environmental Stewardship Short term objectives are not defined.
Maintenance and Preservation Ensure that 80 percent of pavement on State Highway System and 90 percent of FDOT- maintained bridges meets department standards.
Mobility and Economic Competitiveness Increase transit ridership at twice the average rate of population growth
Sustainable Investments Allocate up to 75 percent of discretionary capacity funds to the Strategic Intermodal System

The Florida Transportation Trends and Conditions (T&C) process, prepared jointly by FDOT's Office of Policy Planning and the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, provides perhaps the most comprehensive inventory of quantitative indicators of system-wide performance and needs. The various reports detail indicators of trends and conditions for travel demand, system performance and condition, transportation impacts, and costs and expenditures. The transportation impacts section, for example, describes the impact of transportation on safety, the environment, land use, and the economy. The reports are used as a source of information about key factors and emerging issues both within FDOT and by external partners (see Table 14). FDOT and its partners use the analysis the T&C process provides to guide them in their planning and decision making.

Table 14. Florida Transportation Trends and Conditions Indicators

Impact Area Example Indicators
Environment Per Capita Energy Consumption by Economic Sector (BTUs)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector (MMtCO2e)
Use of Recycled Asphalt Pavement (tons)
Annual Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT)
Land Use Average Travel Time to Work
Percentage of Jobs within Proximity of Central Business District
County Population Density and Building Permits Issued
Economy Transportation Carriers Share of State Gross Domestic Product
Transportation Spending by Industry Group by Mode
Share of Visitors Arriving by Air and Non-Air
Safety Traffic Crash Injuries, Fatalities and Fatality Rate
Florida Safety Belt Use
Pedestrian, Bicyclist and Motorcyclist Injuries and Fatalities in Florida
Rates for Motor Vehicle Incidents at Public Crossings;
Rail Incidents in Florida
Florida Fixed Route Transit Incidents
Hazardous Material Incidents in Florida
Recreational Boating Accidents in Florida

Discussion

Benefits and Challenges of Using Performance Measures

FDOT's approach to performance measures has evolved over the past decade. The drive for greater accountability from the Executive Office of the Governor and FDOT executive leadership has led to a proliferation of efforts to measure and report the performance of the transportation system and the work of the department. These efforts are reinforced through published plans and reports that are consistently revised and updated and management processes that ensure the review of current performance. As a result, FDOT has long been considered a leader among states in the use of performance measurement as a management practice.

FDOT continues to face challenges in the use of performance measures to assess progress towards certain long range goals. In particular FDOT has found it difficult to define measures for the goal identified in the FTP of "Enriched quality of life and responsible environmental stewardship." The assessment of progress in this area remains qualitative. FDOT participated in the development of the Energy and Climate Change Action planning process in 2008 that set statewide goals for reduction of greenhouse gases and has utilized trends in greenhouse gas emissions to frame discussions in its 2060 Transportation Plan outreach activities. FDOT has also faced difficulties in integrating performance data from various modes. Each modal agency maintains proprietary control over its own performance data.

Assessing the Planning Process

FDOT has not defined specific measures for the planning process, but it has made progress in identifying useful measures for its long range objective to "Provide opportunities for early and continuing proactive public involvement in the transportation decision making process, including easily understood and complete information, timely public notice, and full public access to key decisions." FDOT's biennial customer satisfaction surveys reached over 7,000 FDOT customers, providing direct feedback to decision-makers on the perceived performance of the FDOT service and FDOT's transportation system performance. The survey assesses customer satisfaction in areas including: visibility of road signs and markings; construction zone management; travel times and traffic; the need for bike lanes and sidewalks; safety; and access to transit. Using the feedback, the department has identified areas for improvement and developed action plans. The districts have implemented and followed up on the plans. Responsible offices have built those improvement areas into their business models. Through trend analysis, the Customer Satisfaction Champions will re-examine the improvement areas and recommend new targets for implementation after each customer survey cycle.

In addition, FDOT with the assistance of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida has identified performance indicators for four key objectives of public involvement.7 Examples of those indicators are included in Table 15.

Table 15. Public Involvement Performance Indicators

Area Objective Indicator
Equity Provide equitable access to transportation decision-making % of events accessible by transit
% of participants by age, race, income, gender and employment characteristics that reflect the demographics of the affected area
Information Inform the public early, clearly, and continuously % of participants that felt that the information provided by the Department is clear and adequate
Methods Use a variety of methods to involve and engage the public % of affected parties who felt they had an opportunity to participate
Responsiveness Carefully consider public input in transportation systems % of Agency partners who felt their input was considered

Source: Performance Measures to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Public Involvement Activities in Florida

FDOT also sees improved coordination and consistency of Florida's statewide, metropolitan and local long range transportation plans as an indicator of success of the planning process. By starting from the same assumptions, it makes it easier to compile a statewide assessment of needs, revenues and shortfalls. To support the implementation of the 2025 FTP, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council has adopted guidelines for developing needs and costs assessments and forecasts for long range plans and the financial reporting of those plans.

Perspective on National Performance Measure Efforts

FDOT planners are apprehensive of Federal efforts to define national performance measures. Their concern is that Federally determined performance measures may be applied or measured inconsistently; fail to take into account exogenous factors including unique circumstances in each state, or present only a narrow perspective on performance. When applied without due consideration of these factors, measures can create misleading impressions of states' relative performance and unduly influence policy or programmatic considerations. That said, FDOT planners believe in accountability and performance reporting and support a general Federal requirement for states to monitor and report performance. FDOT planners have found that Federal research into best practices and support of peer exchanges have been useful in promoting the evolution of a performance-based approach to planning at FDOT.

Observations and Insights


6 http://www.dot.state.fl.us/businessmodel/MeasurementAnalysis&KM.shtm

7 "Performance Measures to Evaluate the Effectiveness o f Public Involvement Activities in Florida," www.dot.state.fl.us/emo/pubs/public_involvement/PIPMFinalReport06-26.pdf

Updated: 10/22/2013
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