Report on a National Forum on Performance-Based Transportation Planning and Programming

Report on a National Forum on Performance-Based Transportation Planning and Programming

A national forum on performance-based planning and programming was held in Dallas, Texas on September 13-15, 2010. The forum was organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), the American Public Transit Association (APTA), and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Participants in the forum were equally divided among state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and transit operators with a number of representatives from rural planning agencies as well. The forum sponsors readily agreed that the objective of a performance-based planning and programming process is to provide the guidance required for resource allocation decisions that deliver the best system performance results possible given performance goals and objectives and the resources available. However, they recognized that perspectives on performance-based planning and programming, both within and across different types of agencies, would vary. Taking this variance into account, the overall intent of the forum was to define practical approaches to performance-based resource allocation. Performance-based resource allocation should occur within an agency’s planning and programming process. Long-range planning helps to define key goals and objectives and to analyze and evaluate strategies and scenarios for meeting goals. It is a logical place to connect performance measures to goals and objectives and to define intended performance results. Long-range plans also provide broad guidance to resource allocation decisions. The programming and budgeting process then provides an opportunity to directly link goals and performance measures from long-range planning to specific programs, projects, and operations. However, it was noted that even though performance-based approaches can improve accountability and the use of resources, performance based planning and programming is not a panacea. Without adequate and predictable funding levels, system performance will degrade.

Resource Types: Research Report
Management Processes: Performance Based Planning & Programming, Performance Reporting & Communication

Transportation Research Board

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