Regional Workshop on Performance-based Planning and Programming - Workshop Summary
2. Current Practices in the Southeast
This section describes some of the practices in performance-based planning and programming currently implemented by state DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies that participated in the workshop. This includes short summaries of the presentations from agencies participating in the workshop panel and a summary of other key practices identified by participants at the workshop.
Georgia DOT Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan Implementation Report
Rob Goodwin from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) discussed the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (SSTP) Progress Report that GRTA has developed for the Georgia DOT. Some of the key points from the presentation included:
- Both the SSTP and the performance management efforts are an outgrowth of an overall effort to develop a business case for "changing Georgia's transportation expenditures," called Investing in Tomorrow's Transportation Today (IT3).
- A Georgia State Senate law requires an SSTP Progress Report that describes current performance, identifies proposed investments, and describes how the SSTP is being implemented.
- The first report was published in February, 2012 and tracks 18 measures. Targets are in the process of being developed for many of these measures.
- Several challenges were identified including how to select the best measures, how to and who should set targets, how to incorporate measures and targets into decision making, and how to coordinate with other performance management efforts.
Atlanta Regional Commission Presentation
Jane Hayse from the Atlanta Regional Commission discussed Plan 2040, a Performance-Based Approach to Building, Delivering, and Measuring the Success of a Regional Transportation Plan. Some of the key points from the presentation included:
- PLAN 2040 was an integrated planning effort founded on tenets of sustainability. Goals and objectives were regional goals related to economy, health, and access, not transportation goals. Transportation goals and investments were identified to support these broader goals.
- Explicitly adopted a performance-based planning framework, following a framework identified by NCHRP research.
- Used major key decision points to allocate funding first to programs, then based on broad policies, and finally to specific projects. Noted that some funds may be best thought of 'lump sums' that are distributed using management systems (e.g., pavement and bridge) while others may require specific project prioritization.
- Used a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to ensure a balanced approach. Recognized that it is not valuable to be overly precise about quantitative estimates of benefits, but instead should focus on separating out 'top tier' projects from those that are less effective at helping the agency meet its goals.
- ARC is initiating a plan tracking effort to monitor progress towards both performance outcomes and business processes.
Atlanta Regional Transit Performance Measures
John Crocker from the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) provided an Introduction to Atlanta Regional Transit Performance Measures. Some of the key points from the presentation included:
- Atlanta has 6 transit providers (not including vanpool operators) and measures are tracked by several agencies (MARTA, GRTA, operators).
- Current databases for measuring performance (like the National Transit Database) have long lag times and are not well coordinated across operators.
- Through ARC, MARTA and other operators are working together to develop a "comprehensive online Performance Tracking Data Warehouse" that enables common tracking of several measures and also allows for online mapping of transit information.
- The database is in development and online deployment is expected in the summer of 2012.
Other Workshop Participants
In addition to the three panelists, participants in the workshop identified a number of other applications of performance-based planning and programming including:
- Significant use of performance measures within the congestion management process (CMP) by many of the MPOs that participated in the workshop.
- Many states identified tracking and reporting of infrastructure measures (e.g., pavement and bridge conditions).
- A few agencies identified using performance measures to prioritize proposed projects.
A few agencies identified using dashboards to communicate system performance to the public.