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Policy and Governmental Affairs
Transportation Policy Studies

FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / Transportation Policy Studies / Policy and Strategy Analysis Team

Policy and Strategy Analysis Team

The Policy and Strategy Analysis Team was created in 2018, combining three existing teams, to provide analytical support and strategy formulation in the evaluation of FHWA policies and programs.

The team takes a data-analytic approach to understanding how travel behavior changes in response to changes within the transportation sector (travel options, technologies, performance, and costs) and underlying socio-demographic, regional, and economic trends.  The team assesses both business-as-usual and disruptive future transportation needs to support both strategic planning and policy analyses.  This team is positioned to provide more agile analyses of emerging issues and policy options as well as more insightful context for setting and understanding performance measures.

The Team is responsible for research into the following subject areas: multimodal transportation policy analysis, highway cost allocation, highway taxation and revenue analysis, transportation related innovation and technologies issues, international competition, external costs and benefits of highway transportation, megaregions, societal impacts related to highway construction, and correlations between highway investment, employment, and economic productivity.

The Team's research on the above subject areas help guide public policies and programs such as energy policies, market-based demand strategies, and identification and assessment of any other emerging issues that may affect transportation policy.

This work includes leading, managing and performing a variety of duties, involving the monitoring and forecasting of economic, demographic, finance, environmental, energy and travel trends.

Current Research Activities

The policy issues associated with vehicles automation and wireless communication- The Policy Analysis and Development Team is an active participant in conducting research in transportation related technologies. This team is responsible for conducting two studies in this area:

Highway Revenue Forecasting Model (HRFM) - The Policy and Strategy Analysis Team is currently updating the model. The HRFM is used for analyzing and forecasting highway revenues from existing highway user fees for different vehicle classes and weight groups. The model is capable of analyzing user fee options to understand the equity of the highway user fee structure and revenue forecasts under different policy scenarios. Outputs from this model are primarily used for conducting highway cost allocation (HCA) studies (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/hcas/final/). The model has also the capability to estimate revenues from other potential revenue raising policy options, such as a weight distance tax, a mileage based tax, and an emission based tax.

National Highway Construction Cost Index (NHCCI) - The NHCCI is a price index that can be used for tracking price changes associated with highway construction materials costs, and for converting current dollar spending on highway construction to real dollars. The NHCCI is produced quarterly, and can be accessed at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/nhcci.cfm. The Policy Analysis and Development Team and the Office of Highway Policy Information have completed updating the NHCCI software, improving the estimation, and revising the index.

External Costs of Highway Users - External costs are unintended adverse impacts that users cause on other users and non-users. The major external costs of highway user are environmental impacts, traffic crashes (fatalities, injuries and property damage), congestion, and noise pollution. Highway users do not often pay for a large part of these costs, and thus they do not take such costs into account in their transportation decisions. The team is conducting research to develop methodology and analytical tools to estimate external costs of traffic congestion, crashes (fatalities, injuries and property damage), air pollution and greenhouse gases, and noise pollution by detailed vehicle class.

Marginal Cost of Highway Infrastructure - The Policy and Strategy Analysis Team conducts cost studies to analyze changes in infrastructure costs caused by users of the highway system, and other cost drivers. The team is currently developing methodology to estimate marginal cost estimates for highway infrastructure for the United States. The roads and streets differ widely in construction, maintenance, operation and rehabilitation costs and in the volume and type of traffic they carry. Therefore, the marginal cost estimates shall be prepared for different highway functional class, and rural urban highways.


Please direct all questions and comments to PolicyStudiesFeedback@dot.gov.

Page last modified on August 23, 2023
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000