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Performance Based Planning and Programming Guidebook

Table of Contents

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

5. Report Date

September 2013

Performance Based Planning and Programming Guidebook

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Authors

Michael Grant (ICF), Janet D'Ignazio (ICF), Alexander Bond (ICF), Alanna McKeeman (ICF)

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

ICF International, Inc.

9300 Lee Highway

Fairfax, VA 22031

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

United States Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave. SE

Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
June 2012 - October 2013

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

Mr. Egan Smith, Federal Highway Administration, COTM

16. Abstract

Performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) refers to the application of performance management principles within the planning and programming processes of transportation agencies to achieve desired performance outcomes for the multimodal transportation system. The Guidebook has been designed to help State DOTs, MPOs, RTPOs, transit agencies, and other partner organizations understand: the key elements of a PBPP process and the relationship of these elements within existing planning and programming processes. The Guidebook is designed to highlight effective practices to help transportation agencies in moving toward a performance-based approach to planning and programming.

17. Key Words

Transportation planning, performance measurement, programming, project selection, modeling, analysis methods, state DOT, metropolitan planning organization, rural transportation planning organization, transit agency

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized


This document was developed in collaboration with stakeholders across the transportation industry. It was guided by a Stakeholder Committee, which spent hours reviewing the work program, draft deliverables, and the final Guidebook. Members of the Committee were selected based on previous work in performance-based planning, previous activities with FHWA (conferences, peer exchanges, webinars), and consultation with national industry associations. The Committee included MPO, State DOT and transit agency staff members, with consideration given to geographic balance and population within the planning area. Additional members were included to represent rural transportation planning and public transportation providers. Members of the Stakeholder Committee included:

Deanna Belden Minnesota Department of Transportation
Natalie Bettger North Central Texas Council of Governments
Lynette Ciavarella Illinois Regional Transportation Authority
John Crocker Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (GA)
Brian Fineman North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
Marsha Fiol Virginia Department of Transportation
Amy Kessler North Central Commission (PA)
Jane Hayse Atlanta Regional Commission (GA)
Patricia Hendren Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (DC)
Eric Hesse Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon
Brian Hoeft Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Charlie Howard Puget Sound Regional Council (WA)
Chris Hundt Michigan Department of Transportation
Dick Jarrold Kansas City Area Transit Authority (MO/KS)
Ron Kirby Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Andrew Kjellman Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Sandi Kohrs Colorado Department of Transportation
Rita Morocoima-Black Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (IL)
Scott Omer Arizona Department of Transportation
Cory Pope Utah Department of Transportation
Camelia Ravanbakht Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (VA)
Jim Ritzman Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Machelle Watkins Missouri Department of Transportation
Lyle Wray Capital Region Council of Governments (CT)
David Vautin Metropolitan Transportation Commission (CA)

National industry associations played a key role in this project. Support for the project was provided through identification of printed resources, identification of Stakeholder Committee members, review of draft deliverables, among other tasks. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), American Public Transportation Association (APTA), American Planning Association (APA), and Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) all offered support to this project from its conception through final adoption of the Guidebook. Specific individuals we would like to thank are:

Rich Denbow AMPO
Matt Hardy AASHTO
Jason Jordan APA
Carrie Kissel NADO
Rich Weaver APTA
Erika Young NARC
Chris Zeilinger CTAA

Finally, Egan Smith and Harlan Miller have provided their ongoing support for this project with a clear guiding vision of performance-based planning and programming.

Executive Summary

Over the past two decades, transportation agencies have increasingly been applying "performance management" - a strategic approach that uses performance data to support decisions to help achieve desired performance outcomes. Performance management is credited with improving project and program delivery, informing investment decision-making, focusing staff on leadership priorities, and providing greater transparency and accountability to the public.

Performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) refers to the application of performance management within the planning and programming processes of transportation agencies to achieve desired performance outcomes for the multimodal transportation system. This includes a range of activities and products undertaken by a transportation agency together with other agencies, stakeholders, and the public as part of a 3C (cooperative, continuing, and comprehensive) process. It includes development of: long range transportation plans (LRTPs), other plans and processes (including those Federally-required, such as Strategic Highway Safety Plans, Asset Management Plans, the Congestion Management Process, Transit Agency Asset Management Plans, and Transit Agency Safety Plans, as well as others that are not required), and programming documents, including State and metropolitan Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs and TIPs). PBPP attempts to ensure that transportation investment decisions are made - both in long-term planning and short-term programming of projects - based on their ability to meet established goals.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) placed increased emphasis on performance management within the Federal-aid highway program and transit programs, and requires use of performance-based approaches in statewide, metropolitan, and non-metropolitan transportation planning. This guidebook describes a PBPP process, as shown in Figure ES-1, along with examples of effective practices to help practitioners advance these approaches in their own planning and programming activities.

Figure ES-1. Framework for PBPP

Title: Figure ES-1: Framework for PBPP - Description: The Framework for PBPP includes 3 main components - Planning, Programming, and Implementation and Evaluation. Planning has two stages, 1. "Strategic Direction - Where do we want to go?," which includes a. Goals and objectives and b. Performance measures. 2. "Analysis - How are we going to get there?," which includes a. Identify trends and targets, b. Identify strategies and analyze alternatives, and c. Develop investment priorities. Planning leads to "Programming - What will it take?," which includes a. Investment plan, b. Resource allocation, and c. Program of projects. Programming leads to "Implementation and Evalutaion - How did we do?" which includes a. Monitoring, b. Evaluation, and c. Reporting. Public involvement and Data are important components of the framework. The goals, objectives, measures, and strategies can all be adjusted, if necessary, through a feedback loop based on the findings from the analysis, programming, and implementation and evaluation stages.

This framework demonstrates how PBPP stages fit within a traditional planning and programming process. It includes the following elements:

Strategic Direction (Where do we want to go?) - In the transportation planning process, strategic direction is based upon a vision for the future, as articulated by the public and stakeholders. PBPP includes:

Programming (What will it take?) Programming involves selecting specific investments to include in an agency capital plan and/or in a TIP or STIP. In a PBPP approach, programming decisions are made based on their ability to support attainment of performance targets or contribute to desired trends, and account for a range of factors.

Implementation and Evaluation (How did we do?) - These activities occur throughout implementation on an on-going basis, and include:

In a PBPP approach, each step in the process is clearly connected to the next in order to ensure that goals translate into specific measures, which then form the basis for selecting and analyzing strategies for the long range plan. Ultimately, project selection decisions are influenced by expected performance returns. Keeping the next step in the process in mind is critical to each step along the way.

Public involvement and data are critical throughout the process. The public's vision for the transportation system and their community plays a key role in determining goals, performance measures, and investment priorities. Data on past, existing, and expected future performance, and information on the effectiveness of possible strategies, helps to inform selection of priorities. Like all planning, the process is cyclical. Over time, and as planning cycles advance, the goals and objectives may be adjusted, and performance measures and targets may be refined to ensure they focus on the most important priorities and are achievable.

Lessons for effective implementation of a PBPP approach include:

Updated: 10/10/2013
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