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20 CHAPTER 5 Peer-to-Peer Scenario--Multistate Partnership for System Operations Scenario freight rail systems operated by CSX and Norfolk Southern (NS) (including operations on the Amtrak Northeast Corridor) Many key corridors throughout the country cross state in five mid-Atlantic states (i.e., New Jersey, Pennsylvania, boundaries, creating a complex web of players who are respon- Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia). The motivating factor for sible for planning and operating what users see as a single the cooperative effort was the need to increase capacity in a lim- transportation network. Infrastructure improvements that ited funding environment. Network performance measures directly address a problem for one mode or jurisdiction may were needed to effectively identify projects with the greatest sys- have important impacts (both negative and positive) for other tem impact and then quantify the network benefits of the can- modes and jurisdictions. Without the data to analyze these didate projects for the entire region. improvements across state lines and among agencies, and The partners acknowledged that in order to spend limited without the forum to vet and discuss the implications, the most improvement dollars most effectively, a multistate perspective effective investment decisions or operations policies may be was needed to identify the projects that would improve goods lost. For example, jurisdictions addressing operations concerns movement conditions throughout the region. Although the of a portion of the network in isolation from others may be focus of MAROps is on the rail system that operates within prohibited from benefits of coordinated action, economy of the mid-Atlantic region, by improving rail service there are scale, and shared knowledge and resources that occur when inevitable impacts on the region's highways, particularly for multiple entities cooperate to implement globally optimum freight movement, and these are estimated as part of the solutions. MAROps effort. The motivating elements to establish effective network per- Additional case studies include the following: formance measures in this scenario are major regional trans- portation networks (i.e., rail, highway, or transit) that span The I95 Vehicle Probe Project, a collective procurement of state boundaries. This scenario also may include private com- a traffic monitoring system by several mid-Atlantic states panies and independent transportation authorities that oper- to provide seamless and consistent travel-time and speed- ate autonomously. The burden to maintain and optimize highly performance data to support planning and operations over integrated transportation networks represents large financial a multistate area; and commitments. States and private companies recognize the A similar effort by the TRANSCOM/TRANSMIT system benefits and cost savings from coordinated effort and are in the northeast areas of New York, New Jersey, and typically willing players in such efforts, provided that the effort Connecticut to provide highway operations performance is directed by objective goals and performance measures and information based on data from an automated toll tag is perceived as an equitable investment with financial benefits system. to all states and their citizens. Building Blocks Case Studies Establish Partnership Agreements The primary case study is the Mid-Atlantic Rail Operations Study (MAROps), a rail freight cooperative initiative carried The multistate scenario involves cooperation among au- out through the I95 Corridor Coalition. The network included tonomous, sovereign states with no fiscally or legally binding

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21 relationships. Though MPOs have a natural, federally sanc- Develop Specialized Agreements tioned forum for cooperation on network performance, multi- for Individual Initiatives state collaboration requires building new institutions that In addition to the broad partnership framework estab- allow for collective decision making. Peer-to-peer collabora- tion at the state level is further complicated by individual state lished by the I95 Corridor Coalition, individual coalition laws governing procurement policy; state-specific regulations projects often require specialized agreements tailored to must be carefully managed in order for all participants to the study. For the MAROps effort, the specific agreement benefit from multistate agreements, contracts, and pooled was between the five mid-Atlantic states and three Class I procurements. railroads--Amtrak, CSX, and NS--that operated within the mid-Atlantic. Historically, relationships among the railroads and between the railroads and the states have sometimes Establish Broad Partnership Agreements been strained. Between States Though the forum established for MAROps primarily Key to the enablement of a multistate initiative is the for- focused on considering the mid-Atlantic rail system as an over- mation or utilization of an independent organization to pur- all network that needed to be evaluated and improved as such, sue common objectives. Lead agency and other types of simple a side benefit came from improved relationships among the cooperative partnership agreements useful in other scenarios states and railroads. The MAROps project helped the railroads are less effective in coordinating state interests. Simple part- understand the benefits of partnering with individual states or nership agreements that do not employ a neutral third-party groups of states and also of working more closely together. coordinating body may lead to implied hierarchical relation- Since the initiation of the MAROps study, both NS and CSX ships among states that can be disruptive to collaborative have developed significant individual rail corridor initiatives in efforts. cooperation with states, including the NS Heartland Corridor The I95 Corridor Coalition is an independent organiza- (connecting the Port of Norfolk to the Midwestern distribu- tion that provides a partnership of state departments of trans- tion centers), the NS Crescent Corridor (connecting New portation, regional and local transportation agencies, toll Orleans along I81 to Northern New Jersey), and the CSX authorities, and related organizations from Maine to Florida National Gateway (connecting the ports of Baltimore, Mary- (including the District of Columbia). The coalition has strong land; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Charlotte, North board leadership from state champions who recognize the Carolina, to Midwestern distribution centers). need for multistate collaboration. The coalition staff is dedi- cated to the benefit of the entire multistate corridor and is not encumbered with possible conflicting state agency loyalties. Define Performance Such an organization serves as the foundation for an effective Measurement Framework multistate forum. For a multistate entity, a performance framework helps establish focused and clearly articulated goals and objectives among states and other partners. The Transportation Operations Coordinating Identify the Benefits of a Multistate Approach Committee (TRANSCOM) is an independent organization that provides a forum and frame- Before considering any project, all of the partners must work for participants to coordinate on incident agree on the project parameters. In the case of the I95 Corri- management and trip planning for highways and dor Coalition, this required being flexible and including par- transit for 16 transportation and public safety ticipants relevant to the specific study. The MAROps study agencies in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut included active participation by the five mid-Atlantic states metropolitan region. It was created in 1986 to and three Class I Railroads, in recognition of the regional provide a cooperative, coordinated approach to impact of existing rail bottlenecks. A multistate initiative regional transportation management. TRANSCOM held the potential to optimize the return of limited capital seeks to improve mobility and safety through improvement dollars using a system approach. MAROps interagency communication and the enhanced both identified significant rail bottlenecks and provided a utilization of their existing traffic and trans- forum for improved coordination among the freight rail- portation management systems ( roads in the region and between the freight railroads and the states.

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22 The I95 Vehicle Probe study supports both pooled procurement, the coalition acquired a individual state operation of Transportation traffic data service based on vehicle probe tech- Management Centers (TMCs) and provides travel nology for both freeways and major signalized information services for long-distance, inter- arterials on a significant portion of the corridor. jurisdictional diversions characteristic of major The information from the project has already incidents that have a multistate impact. been integrated into a follow-on effort to provide travel times on a website for common origin-destination pairs within the corridor. Select Network Measures That Reflect Multistate Performance Objectives The second phase of the MAROps study (completed in The TRANSCOM/TRANSMIT objective was to 2009) built on the partnership agreement by evaluating the secure traffic flow performance data across a expected benefits of packages of investments to address the multistate area. Highway operations in this rail bottlenecks identified in the original study. Using a per- tristate area require consistent and accurate formance approach helped strengthen the basis for the set of highway information for appropriate manage- investments identified. A framework was developed that ment. This resulted in the central vision to use identified the potential beneficiaries of rail system invest- the data from the automated toll tag system ments and the likely key performance concepts that would being deployed in the region for traffic infor- best capture benefits for that beneficiary (Table 5.1). Devel- mation. TRANSCOM was also targeted as the oping the framework ensured that the benefits of, and there- mechanism to coordinate operations and plan- fore funding for, potential investments would be connected ning issues of the multistate highway network to the agencies and groups that benefit from a particular infrastructure. investment. Develop Measurement and The I95 Vehicle Probe Project recognized the Data Collection Methodologies failure of previous approaches for delivering ubiquitous traffic monitoring and set forth an Using shared assets or common systems (either infrastruc- objective of providing a comprehensive multi- ture, technological, or otherwise) is an effective strategy to state traffic monitoring system based on cutting- maximize the investment in pooled resources. edge probe technology. Through use of a The I95 Vehicle Probe Project exemplifies the strategy of maximizing benefit from a multistate pooled procurement. Table 5.1. MAROps performance measure concepts by beneficiary. States, Metro Freight Passenger Rail Shippers Ports Areas, National Railroads Railroads Passengers Economic Market share Ridership Travel costs Business Market impacts Throughput Throughput Travel time cost access System System System Service Service Business efficiency reliability reliability access access cost Environmental Environmental Environmental Service Throughput impacts impacts impacts reliability Safety Maintenance Operations/ Operations/ Transit time costs maintenance maintenance Safety costs costs Safety Safety

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23 Strategies used in this case study are transferable to other multistate initiatives, including the following: MAROps used economic models to estimate ben- efits to all beneficiaries with a focus on fitting A multistate procurement involved procurement special- within emerging federal programs such as proj- ists from member states early in the project, yielding a ects of national significance. Economic models methodology that provided the greatest flexibility. revealed significant benefit for all states and A working group of representatives of participating states parties and thus provided justification for con- and academia directed the project, allowing the coalition tinued political support throughout the pro- access to significant experience from states that performed gram. Recognizing the funding challenges of demonstration projects. any capital improvement project, the MAROps The request for proposals (RFP) specified full data sharing strategy was to position the program to maxi- between states, allowing all states to access and view data mize the potential for funding through emerg- for any state. For example, Pennsylvania has access to flow ing federal initiatives, providing further benefit data from New Jersey. for MAROps' participating members. A data rights and ownership policy allowed for liberal use of the data by the coalition and member agencies for both internal and external applications, while allowing the vendor to resell the data to commercial clients. For exam- ple, provides travel times between major cities. TRANSCOM/TRANSMIT used the investment of a The traffic data are continuously validated by an indepen- common asset of the participating states to dent agent across jurisdictions. This provides an objective acquire consistent and accurate highway infor- assessment of data quality and value for agency applica- mation. The program used data from toll tags as tions and helps manage information about the program a common technology backbone for an effective status and value. Validation results help determine pay- traffic monitoring system spanning state lines. ment to the commercial data provider.