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13 CHAPTER 4 Regional Scenario--Multimodal and Multistrategy Investment Prioritization Scenario of local streets and roads; 1,400 miles of highway; six public ports; and three major commercial airports.3 In large urban areas, MPOs have a wide range of strategies In 2006, MTC began updating its RTP. The Draft Trans- to choose from when addressing congestion. Whereas the pre- portation 2035 Plan: Change in Motion serves as the roadmap vious scenario addressed how MPOs can facilitate the analysis for investing the $226 billion in funding projected to be avail- of network performance to better understand regional goals, able over the next 25 years. MTC set ambitious goals to con- this scenario examines how MPOs can use network perfor- sider and incorporate current and impending issues that affect mance measures to prioritize and select individual investments. and are affected by the transportation network, including cli- Prioritizing projects for implementation must address road mate change, foreign oil dependency, air quality, economic and transit improvements for both major facilities (e.g., high- growth, and social equity in the region. By calling the plan ways and rail systems) and minor facilities (e.g., arterials and "Change in Motion," they take on the challenge as a region to buses) and both capacity and operational improvements. Many "anticipate change, instigate change, and, most of all, succeed MPOs have approached these challenges by following tradi- in putting change in motion."4 tional splits of funding to major agencies (e.g., DOT, the tran- To achieve these goals, MTC and its partners created a sit agency, and local agencies). In an era of decreasing resources performance-based planning process that provided valuable and an interest in funding investments with the most favor- feedback on how individual investments would impact the able benefit-cost ratio, there is an increased interest in analyz- region's defined vision, goals, and performance objectives. ing projects across a network. Additional information is drawn from case studies of the The investment prioritization scenario examines the process Florida DOT, SACOG, Washington State DOT, Maryland of using network performance measures to prioritize projects DOT, Transportation Metropolitan Atlanta Performance and make funding decisions, taking into account how individ- (MAP) Initiative, and the Minnesota Twin Cities Metropoli- ual investments contribute to the performance of the network. tan Council. Collaborative relationships between MPOs and various key agencies within a region guide the process, providing critical feedback and data to support the calculation of network per- Building Blocks formance measures. Establish Partnership Agreements The primary focus of this scenario is on programming, though the overarching goal is to identify an approach that The basic partnership agreement for this scenario was supports the region's vision. defined within the standard MPO planning process. Partnership agreements should Case Studies · Guide the investment prioritization and programming process by providing (1) critical feedback on regional goals The primary case study comes from the Metropolitan Trans- and performance objectives and (2) data to support calcu- portation Commission (MTC), the MPO for the San Francisco lation of network performance measures, Bay Area. The MTC region includes the nine counties that touch the San Francisco Bay, home to 100 municipalities and 3 http://www.mtc.ca.gov/about_mtc/about.htm more than 7 million people in 7,000 square miles. Within this 4 http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2035_plan/DRAFT/Intro.pdf. At the time of region are eight primary public transit systems; 20,000 miles this writing, the draft plan was available for public review and comment.
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14 · Oversee the performance-based project evaluation, and · Provide input on investment tradeoffs for project prioriti- collection issues, improve data quality control pro- zation and programming. cedures, and identify data gaps and needs. As part of the development of the Transportation 2035 Plan, MTC formed a Partnership Ad Hoc Committee consisting of Define Performance representatives from state, regional, and local transportation Measurement Framework agencies, as well as the Bay Area Air Quality Management Dis- trict, the Association of Bay Area Governments, and the Bay A performance measurement framework helps to establish Conservation and Development Commission. All of the how investments will be prioritized. This section discusses processes for developing the Transportation 2035 Plan and the how MPOs can define a vision for the transportation system results of these processes were developed and reviewed in con- and the related goals and objectives that reflect that vision. sultation with the Partnership Ad Hoc Committee. Define the Vision The development of a performance measurement frame- SACOG has initiated several successful collabora- work for investment prioritization begins with establishing tive efforts. The region has several ITS cooperative a vision for the region. Though the tendency is to focus first initiatives facilitated via the Sacramento Region on available funding and how to "slice the investment pie," ITS Partnership, an advisory committee made up a performance-based approach defines a vision for what a of local and state transportation personnel. There region's transportation system ought to look like in the future. is also a multimodal, multijurisdictional "smart The vision should incorporate key changes and trends on the corridor" collaborative effort of the County of horizon (e.g., climate change, volatile oil prices, an aging pop- Sacramento, the Sacramento Regional Transit ulation, rising construction costs, and the uncertainty of federal District, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, transportation funding). and the American River Fire District. The anchors of MTC's Transportation 2035 vision are the three "E" principles of sustainability: a prosperous and globally competitive economy, a healthy and safe environ- ment, and equity wherein all Bay Area residents share in the benefits of a well-maintained, efficient, and connected The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority regional transportation system.5 Guided by the three Es, the spearheads the cooperative effort of the Author- plan establishes a vision for the future of transportation in ity and its partner agencies, the Federal Highway the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes Administration, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia DOT, Georgia Department of Natural · Providing mobility and accessibility for all residents; Resources, and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid · Using a multimodal approach to system maintenance; Transit Authority (MARTA) to complete the · Considering market-based pricing for the region's carpool annual Transportation Metropolitan Atlanta Per- lanes, bridges, and roadways; formance (MAP) report. A steering committee · Focusing on creating complete communities with close composed of the representatives of the regional access to jobs, shopping, and services connected by transit; transportation agencies and others guides the · Making use of technological advances, including clean development of this annual transportation per- fuels and vehicles, sophisticated traffic operations sys- formance measurement effort. The MAP report tems, accessible traveler information, and improved tran- provides a regional performance snapshot of sit operations; progress toward improving mobility, transit · Providing improved ability to travel to work, school, shop- accessibility, air quality, safety, and the overall ping, services, or recreation without needing a personal performance of the Atlanta transportation net- automobile; work. Performance targets are established based · Developing an approach to addressing climate change that on review and discussion by the steering commit- is a national model; tee. The collaborative process of the region's · Reducing the impact of transportation investments on nat- agencies extends beyond performance measure- ural habitats; and ment. The process has also helped to identify data · Improving the quality of life for Bay Area residents. 5 http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2035_plan
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15 and quantitative network performance measures, and use WSDOT is well known for applying performance network performance measures for project selection and management tools to nearly every aspect of investment decisions. agency business. When traditional metrics such as level of service (LOS) thresholds yielded billions of Conduct a Financially Unconstrained dollars in improvements needed over a 20-year What If Analysis time frame, WSDOT began using throughput measures of efficiency such as speed thresholds Typically, MPOs begin planning and programming efforts to better identify highway deficiencies. Maximum within set funding limits, often by program or mode. A net- throughput measures are now used to select work performance approach can benefit from an analysis of projects for inclusion in the Highway System unconstrained What If scenarios to determine whether the Plan. In addition to identifying and prioritizing region's goals and objectives are achievable and what it might improvements for congested corridors, perfor- take in terms of investment and policy to get there. mance measures have also been used to support MTC evaluated three hypothetical infrastructure invest- funding increases for operations and manage- ment packages to determine what would be required to reach ment strategies such as incident response and the performance objectives of the Transportation 2035 Plan: demand management programs. Performance measures have also helped to reveal trends or 1. A program of freeway operations strategies; emerging problems requiring corrective action 2. A regional high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane network with by the agency, such as detecting increased travel bus enhancements; and times on high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes 3. Extensive rail and ferry expansion. resulting from more frequent use, identifying major sources of nonrecurring congestion, and The budgets for these projects were not constrained and focusing commute trip reduction programs on ranged from $600 million to $64.2 billion in capital costs. the most congested corridors in the region. Two sensitivity tests also were conducted to capture the impact of demand-based strategies. A pricing sensitivity test measured how a set of user-based pricing strategies would impact travel behavior. A land use sensitivity test looked at an alternative land use forecast that shifted employment and res- Establish Goals and Performance Objectives idential growth to existing centers and areas with existing or The vision frames the development of goals and perfor- planned transit. Like the investment alternatives, the sensitiv- mance objectives for the region to set the direction for the ity tests were meant to test bold approaches, not specific pol- future, measure progress, evaluate transportation projects and icy alternatives. programs needed to maintain the system, improve system effi- Relative to the performance objectives, the What If sce- ciency, and strategically expand the system. Performance narios demonstrated the following: objectives should reflect the improved conditions described in the vision and be developed based on partner agencies' plans · Reduce congestion. This was the only objective for which and policies. an investment package had a marked impact. Table 4.1 summarizes the goals and performance objectives · Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). None of the scenar- established by MTC in the Transportation 2035 Plan. The ios or strategies brought the projected VMT down to the collaborative process of the region's agencies includes iden- target level. tifying data collection issues, improving data quality control · Reduce particulate emissions. The land use and pricing procedures, and identifying data gaps and needs. strategies have more impact than the infrastructure invest- ments, but none of them achieve the objective target levels. · Reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The land use and pric- Develop Measurement and Data ing strategies have more impact than the infrastructure Collection Methodologies investments, but none of them achieve the objective target Early definition of data needs and analysis approaches levels. can help ensure that measures selected for evaluation can be · Improve affordability of transportation and housing for calculated and communicated effectively. Data are needed to low- and moderately low-income households. The pricing conduct financially unconstrained "what if " analyses, assess and land use strategies have bigger impacts than do infra- the impact of individual investments based on qualitative structure investments. Focused growth policies decrease the
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16 Table 4.1. MTC's Transportation 2035 performance objectives. Es Goals Performance Objectives Economy Maintenance and safety Improve maintenance Local streets and roads: Maintain pavement condition index of 75 or better. State highways: Distressed land-miles no more than 10% of system. Transit: Average asset age no more than 50% of useful life and average distance between service calls of 8,000 miles. Sources: State and local strategic plans Reduce injuries and fatalities Motor-vehicle fatalities: 15% from today. Bike and pedestrian injuries and fatalities: 25% each from 2000 levels. Source: California State Strategic Highway Safety Plan Reliability Reduce delays Freight 20% per capita from today. Source: California's Strategic Growth Plan Environment Clean air Reduce vehicle miles traveled and emissions Vehicle miles traveled: 10% per capita from today. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5): 10% from today. Course particulate matter (PM10): 455 from today. Carbon dioxide (C02): 40% below 1990 levels. Sources: State regulations and laws Equity Access Improve affordability 10% reduction from today in share of earnings spent on housing and transportation costs by low- and moderately low- income households. Source: Adapted from the Center for Housing Policy Source: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2035_plan/Supplementary/T2035Plan-Perf_AssessmentReport.pdf, p. 3. cost of transportation, but pricing increases cost because many people will continue to use vehicles for some trips. revenue, and pricing. Each scenario was evalu- ated against a set of performance scenarios Overall, the freeway operations package was the most cost- linked to Oregon DOT's objectives. The analysis effective; however, when the pricing and land use strategies are added, the gap between the freeway and the transit packages helped focus the DOT on the benefits of closes significantly. This set of network performance measure- increasing funding for operations and the need ment calculations provided a baseline and context for MTC to to address potential future funding shortfalls. begin looking at the performance of individual investments. Use a Mix of Quantitative For the 2004 Oregon Transportation Plan and Qualitative Measures update, Oregon DOT evaluated a set of policy An investment assessment based on quantitative and qual- and investment scenarios to help set the policy itative performance measures captures the effect of individ- direction for the department. These scenarios ual projects in the context of regional performance objectives. examined business as usual, focusing state The purpose is to identify project outliers (i.e., those invest- investment on system operations and making ments that would most strongly support the performance significant new investments in capacity. The objectives and those that would most strongly undermine the DOT also tested funding scenarios that include objectives). The analysis procedures are not precise enough continuation of current revenue sources, flat to distinguish among investments with very close benefitcost ratios. This exercise provides valuable feedback on how indi-
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17 Table 4.2. MTC's quantitative project evaluation measures. T-2035 Performance Objective Performance Measures Reduce congestion Benefit-Cost Ratio (monetized), reflecting Reduce emissions · Recurrent delay (vehicle hours) Reduce collisions and fatalities · Nonrecurring delay (vehicle hours) · Transit travel time1 · Particulate matter emissions (PM2.5 and PM10) · Carbon dioxide emissions · Fatal and injury collisions · Direct user costs (vehicle operating and, in some cases, auto ownership costs) · Public and private cost savings from performing on-time maintenance2 Reduce vehicle miles driven Reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and cost per VMT reduced Reduce emissions Reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and cost per ton reduced Improve affordability Cost per low-income household served by transit (trial measure)3 1. For HOV and HOT projects only 2. For maintenance programs only 3. For transit projects only Source: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2035_plan/Supplementary/T2035Plan-Perf_AssessmentReport.pdf, pg. 24. vidual projects would affect the region's defined vision, goals, Link Network Performance Measures to Project and performance objectives. Prioritization and Programming MTC limited their quantitative assessment to higher cost Synthesizing the project performance results for program- projects only (i.e., those with areawide effects and costs ming decisions represents a significant challenge to many higher than $50 million), because these typically account for MPOs. MTC's process used a matrix approach that included the largest percentage of discretionary investment decisions. both quantitative and qualitative measures (Figure 4.1). Proj- The primary performance measure was a combined benefit- ects with high benefitcost ratios that support multiple goals cost ratio (B/C) that monetized benefits from reductions in were included in the Transportation 2035 Plan. Projects with collisions, delay (recurrent and nonrecurring), and emissions low benefitcost ratios that address few goals were not, (Table 4.2). The B/C for each project was assigned a range, regardless of mode type or area of the region: high (B/C of 10 or higher); medium-high (B/C between 5 and 9); mid-range (B/C between 1 and 4); and low (B/C less than 1). A qualitative assessment also was conducted to evaluate Florida DOT's Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) how individual investments support the Transportation was established in 2003 to enhance Florida's 2035 goals. This assessment complemented the quantitative economic competitiveness by focusing limited evaluation by considering other factors that cannot be mea- resources on those transportation facilities sured directly, such as whether projects serve key freight cor- critical to Florida's economy and quality of life. ridors, support focused growth, or improve access for certain The planning process for the SIS includes sys- categories of users. tem designation based on adopted criteria In an effort to improve the efficiency of the qualitative eval- and thresholds; needs assessment to identify uation, the investments were first grouped into project types, unprogrammed SIS needs based on adopted such as capacity expansion, interchanges, maintenance, tech- statewide modal plans; project prioritization nology, HOT lanes, bike/pedestrian, transit efficiency and to develop a Phased Cost Feasible Plan with expansion, transit-oriented development, and others. Quali- 10- and 20-year components; and a finance tative evaluation criteria were developed to assess support of strategy that incorporates the investment Transportation 2035 goals (Table 4.3). A ranking of "strongly policy and forecasts of anticipated revenues, support," "support," or "neutral toward" was assigned to innovative financing, and joint funding by each project type based on how well it met the criteria associ- public and private partners. ated with each goal.
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18 Table 4.3. MTC's qualitative project evaluation measures. Transportation 2035 Goals Qualitative Criteria for Determining Support Maintenance · Advances maintenance of the existing transportation system Congestion relief (reliability · Improves freight mobility and efficient freight travel) · Improves transit mobility, effectiveness, or efficiency Includes roadway safety · Improves local mobility or circulation · Completes a critical transportation gap (geographic or temporal) · Institutes or enables a new user-based pricing system · Implements technology-based operations or traveler information · Improves roadway safety Emissions reduction · Provides an alternative to driving alone · Improves transit mobility, effectiveness, or efficiency · Establishes marketing, education, and incentive programs that encourage mode shift away from driving alone or during peaks Focused growth · Locates within a proposed or planned priority development area · Connects to priority development areas Access and safety · Provides a transit alternative to driving on a future priced facility (nonmotorized) · Provides an alternative to driving alone · Improves access for those who are young, old, or have disabilities · Improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists · Reduces transportation or housing costs for low-income households Source: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/planning/2035_plan/Supplementary/T2035Plan-Perf_AssessmentReport.pdf, p. 30. Figure 4.1. MTC's synthesized results for project-level performance.
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19 unless they were of high local priority or addressed special transportation needs. Once project selection was complete, The Maryland Transportation Trust Fund is MTC conducted an overall program performance assess- unique in that it allows complete flexibility across ment to evaluate how well the proposed projects in the Draft modes in project prioritization and selection. Transportation 2035 Plan met the region's performance Projects are selected based on their support of the goals and objectives. goals and objectives set in Maryland's Transporta- The outcome of MTC's planning efforts helps identify tion Plan, level of service, safety, maintenance strategies that provide regional benefits while recognizing issues, economic development potential, avail- that infrastructure investments by themselves produce only ability of funding, and input received from public modest benefits. The planned investments point the Bay Area and local officials. By facilitating a bottom-up in the direction of meeting the stated objectives, but a consid- approach of project recommendations, Maryland erable gap remains between the targets and the outcome. DOT involves the perspective of all levels of gov- Regional objectives cannot be met without additional land ernment while supporting the importance of use, pricing, and technology strategies that provide additional mode-neutral funding. benefits.