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8 CAPTA Final Report Overview of the CAPTA Methodology The CAPTA methodology provides a key advance in surface transportation risk assessment. CAPTA provides users with a capital planning and budgeting tool, used as a strategic point of departure for resource allocation decisions. It is intended as the first step undertaken by an agency in formulating risk allocation decisions. CAPTA enables an executive to base allocation decisions on objective data about assets and match that data to a consequence threshold set by the agency. This capability not only guides budgeting decisions, but can also direct decision makers toward assets and asset classes that merit further attention or study. CAPTA is intended for use by senior managers whose jurisdiction extends over multiple modes of transportation, multiple asset classes, and many individual assets. This methodology provides a means for moving across transportation assets to address system vulnerabilities that could result in significant losses given the threats and hazards of greatest concern. These losses, or consequences, could be casualties, loss of property, failure to provide services to the public successfully, or loss of public confidence in the use of existing infrastructure and facilities. These four areas of loss all represent risk to the transportation system. The level of risk that is of con- cern to the transportation owner/operator is explicitly brought forward through this process. CAPTA provides a transparent means of ranking assets relative to one another, avoiding reliance on subjective judgments wherever possible. CAPTA is consequence driven. This methodology begins by asking the transportation owner/operator to set an initial consequence "threshold," indicated by the level of losses at which additional resources would likely be required. Subsequent analysis is completed iteratively by identifying (1) assets where losses would exceed the consequence threshold and (2) the coun- termeasures that could avoid or reduce the consequences. Users may choose to change the consequence threshold to focus resources on the highest consequence assets or vary thresholds among transportation modes to reflect variations in authority or responsibility for different modes or asset classes. This approach is ideally suited to the strategic, high-level planning under- taken by an executive with budgetary discretion. The executive faced with deciding where and how to spend funds can arrive very quickly at the most logical choices based on agency priorities and the characteristics of the assets. The process begins with the question of "What adverse consequences do I consider beyond our ability to handle through our normal operations and capital investments?" and then asks the user to indicate the types of threats and hazards of concern that might cause such losses. The user is not, however, expected to know all of the characteristics of potential threats and hazards (e.g., severity, frequency, capability, intent, and motivation). A consequence-based approach to capital allocation diverges from traditional risk management strategies in that it does not attempt to assess the likelihood of an event explicitly. In essence, the consequence-based approach assumes that if a decision maker perceives an event to be possible, and if the consequences are sufficiently severe, the decision maker must consider alternatives for avoiding or minimizing consequences should the event take place. The consequence-based approach is strategic, beginning with how an asset has been adversely affected regardless of why or how it became disabled. CAPTool allows senior managers to move through multiple iterations quickly by setting con- sequence thresholds for losses at levels that reflect levels of responsibility and available resources. The consequence threshold may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and among individual managers, depending on individual tolerance. Reasonable ranges of consequences are provided to guide the user in each of the following four consequence areas: · Potentially exposed population · Property loss