Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report
Part I: Description of Current System
Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Part III: Bridges
Part IV: Special Topics
Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
A new initiative in the transportation community, Transportation Asset Management (TAM), provides a framework for the optimal allocation of resources by transportation agencies. TAM is a strategic approach to managing and investing in transportation infrastructure. When implemented, it will dramatically change the fundamentals of investment decisions.
The breakthrough of TAM arises from the fact that the expenditure of funds will (1) be based on trade-off analysis where alternatives are considered across functions, asset classes, and even modes; (2) be driven by customer requirements as reflected in performance goals; (3) include economic as well as engineering considerations; (4) incorporate an extended time horizon; and (5) be systematic and fact-based.
At its core, TAM will lead to the highest possible total return on investment, eventually reducing the gap between what the Nation needs to spend on its transportation assets and what it actually spends. When fully implemented, TAM has the potential to reduce the total life cycle costs of providing transportation services, and to improve safety, system reliability, pavement smoothness, and financial performance.
FHWA has identified four overarching themes: (1) ensuring the availability of necessary data and information; (2) developing innovative analytical tools and techniques, business processes and practices; (3) teaching, training, and bringing awareness to the people that will influence final investment decisions, and (4) providing assistance in deploying the tools, techniques, and processes.
Among the most important inputs used by State and local
governments in transportation planning are forecasts of future travel
demand. To assist transportation planners with this important function,
the Department of Transportation-in conjunction with the Environmental
Protection Agency-has established the Travel Model Improvement Program