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113 APPEN D I X C State-Level Freight Performance Measures: State of Practice
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114 Freight-Specific Performance The screening and evaluation led to recommendation of the Measurement following seven indicators for further development by FHWA: State departments of transportation's (DOTs') use of 1. Cost of highway freight per ton-mile; freight performance metrics generally has lagged significantly 2. Cargo insurance rates; behind the use of metrics for other aspects of the transporta- 3. Point-to-point travel times on selected freight-significant tion system. State DOTs generally use measures that are easily highways; obtained from existing data sources, such as travel time (in 4. Hours of delay per 1,000 vehicle miles on selected freight- heavily traveled freight corridors), safety (including track- significant highways; ing truck crashes), and pavement condition (in heavily trav- 5. Crossing times at international borders; eled freight corridors). A common strategy for state DOTs 6. Condition of connectors between the National Highway that have used freight performance measures is to focus on System (NHS) and intermodal terminals; and a "vital few" tied to a broader planning and decision-making 7. Customer satisfaction. processes, or to use surrogates, such as travel time in freight corridors. The travel time measured is often for all vehicles, No rigid scoring methodology was used for the selection and not specifically trucks. of recommended indicators. These measures were selected in Depending upon the definition used, it is debatable an evaluation process that balanced the inherent value of an whether many of the freight metrics that state DOTs report indicator as a measure of performance against the difficulty actually are performance measures or are more generic indi- and cost of obtaining the necessary data. In general, the mea- cators. The General Accountability Office (GAO) definition sures that were recommended are those that ranked highest of performance measures considers them to be metrics relat- in terms of descriptive value and technical appropriateness. ing to a specific government program or target, as opposed A literature review from this project identified more than to indicators of trends. Many of the metrics reported by the 360 potential freight performance measures. The large major- state DOTs related to freight include both measures related ity of them were only suggested measures in research projects. to specific programs or targets and others that are indicators A smaller number were measures in use by state DOTs, by a of overall system trends, such as increases in freight volumes. federal modal agency, or by a federal agency that regulates some Early in the past decade, the few state DOTs that attempted aspect of freight externality, or they were measures reported by to measure freight performance relied on measures of trans- a freight trade association. Typical of measures suggested in the portation industry productivity that are not clearly linked to research literature were the 277 potential measures suggested the performance of the highway system or on measures of in NCHRP Project 8-32(2), entitled Multimodal Transporta- highway system performance that are important to highway tion: Development of a Performance-Based Planning Process.2 users in general but not specifically linked to freight.1 A report They were grouped into categories such as accessibility, mobil- for the FHWA Office of Freight Operations and Management ity, travel time, safety, and economic development. identified 13 potentially valuable indicators using the follow- ing evaluation criteria: Freight Performance Measures Guide · Descriptive value. Is the indicator clear and understand- able for a range of audiences? Does it communicate clearly, Performance-based planning uses quantitative or quali- or does it require a detailed explanation in order to be tative indicators that rely on data or information to explain understood? the influence of freight on safety, the environment, and other · Technical appropriateness. How useful is the indicator transportation factors. The Freight Performance Measures in describing the productivity of freight movement in the Guide3 identifies Texas, Minnesota, and New Jersey as states United States? Is it conceptually appropriate as a measure that have made notable progress in using freight performance of productivity or a measure of FHWA's contribution to measures by developing detailed freight plans with goals and productivity? objectives that are evaluated on the basis of the information · Data availability. Are data available in existing databases? derived by freight performance measures. Oregon and Cali- If data are available, are they easy to collect, or are there fornia have included freight performance measures in their difficulties in obtaining the data? Are there new ways to general transportation plans. Examples of measures that exist develop or collect the data? today include freight volumes measured by trucks per day or · Data cost. How expensive would it be to collect the appro- percentage of trucks in daily traffic counts. The Minnesota priate data? DOT uses freight performance measures to describe travel reliability, safety, and infrastructure performance. The mea- The results of this screening are shown in Table C.1. sures are used to support planning efforts.
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The results of this screening are shown in Table C.1, below. 115 Table C.1. Examined measures. Table C.1.Examined measures. Indicator Descriptive Technical Data Data Cost Value Suitability Availability Cost per Ton-Mile 3 3 Easy Low Fuel Consumption of Heavy 1 2 Easy Low Trucks per Ton-Mile Cargo Insurance Rates 2 2 Easy Low On-time Performance 3 1 Difficult High Point-to-Point Travel Times 2 3 Not easy Medium to on Freight-Significant High Highways Hours of Delay on Freight- 2 3 Not easy Medium to 2 Significant Highways High Incident Delay on Freight- 2 3 Not easy High Significant Highways Ratio: Peak Travel Time to 1 2 Not easy High Off-Peak Travel Time Ratio: Variance to Average for 1 2 Not easy High Peak Trip Times Annual Miles per Truck 2 1 Easy Low Border Crossing Times 3 2 Not easy Medium Conditions on Intermodal 2 2 Not easy High Connectors Customer Satisfaction 2 3 Difficult High Source: Hagler Bailly, Inc. Source: Hagler Bailly, Inc. The screening and evaluation led to recommendation of the following seven indicators for further development by FHWA: 1. Cost of highway freight per ton-mile; 2. Cargo insurance rates;
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116 Minnesota has incorporated freight performance measures trucks, total crashes at railhighway crossings, and railroad into its statewide transportation plan and statewide freight derailments per million ton-miles.5 Freight efficiency mea- plan.4 It includes freight performance measures for trucking, sures include the percentage of Iowa rail carriers earning a rail, waterways, air cargo, and intermodal facilities. The plan reasonable return on investment and average rail revenue per summarizes both existing performance measures identified in ton-mile. The quality-of-life performance measures identify the statewide transportation plan and new measures identi- approximate travel times to major external markets in the Mid- fied for the freight plan. Rail performance measures identified west Region, percentage of railroad track-miles able to handle include percentage of major generators with appropriate rail 286,000-pound cars, percentage of railroad track-miles able to access, total crashes at at-grade rail crossings (three-year aver- operate at 30 mph or more, and rail fuel use per ton-mile. age), number of truck-related fatalities at at-grade rail cross- Washington State DOT's Grey Book includes a handful of ings (three-year average), percentage of rail track-miles with freight performance measures. It reports on truck volumes track speeds greater than 25 mph, and percentage of rail track- on state highways, number of truck border crossings, rail miles with 286,000-pound railcar capacity rating. Measures freight tonnage, and container shipments through state ports. for air cargo, waterways, and intermodal facilities are also The Missouri DOT Tracker includes 111 measures, of identified. Performance measures related to trucking include: which five relate to freight: freight tonnage by mode; per- centage of trucks using advanced technology at weigh sta- · Percentage of miles of highway that meet "good" and tions; interstate motor carrier mileage; percentage of satisfied "poor" ride quality targets; motor carriers; and customer satisfaction with timeliness of · Percentage of townships, counties, and municipalities Motor Carrier Services response. The customer satisfaction along interregional connectors whose adopted local plans ratings focus upon users' satisfaction with service received and ordinances support interregional corridor (IRC) from the Motor Carrier Services office. Management Plans and Partnership studies; · Percentage of interregional connectors and bottleneck re- Summary of State Measures moval projects identified in the 10-Year Program for which right-of-way needs have been protected; Although the research literature identified hundreds of · Clearance time for incidents, crashes, or hazardous mate- potential freight performance measures, in practice the rial incidents; minority of states that have freight performance measures · Snow and ice removal clearance time; use only a handful. Mature performance measurement states · Percentage of major generators with appropriate roadway such as Washington, Missouri, and Minnesota use between access to IRCs and major highways; 5 and 10 measures. It was noticeable that no two states had · Peak-period travel time reliability on IRCs and other high- the same measures, and in most cases there were wide differ- use truck roadways; ences in the metrics. Although states reported freight perfor- · Ratio of peak to off-peak travel time; mance metrics, most of the metrics were not used to calibrate · Miles of peak-period congestion per day; performance of specific state programs. Exceptions were · Heavy-truck crash rate; customer satisfaction with Missouri's motor carrier office. · Number of heavy-truck-related fatalities (three-year aver- Generic measures such as travel time in freight-significant age); and corridors were likely a contributing factor to state efforts to · Benefit of truck weight enforcement on pavement service improve overall travel times. However, it appeared to be rare life. that any state DOT freight performance measure was used to make frequent decisions. Most of the measures appear to be The Iowa DOT freight-related performance measures indicators of broad trends of overall transportation system include highway crash rate per million vehicle miles for large performance. Endnotes 3 R. Harrison, M Schofield, L. Loftus-Otway, D. Middleton, J. Harrison, 2006, TxDOT Project 0-5410: Developing Freight Highway Corridor Performance 1 FHWA, Office of Freight Management and Operations. Measuring Im- Measure Strategies in Texas, pp. 1925. provements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight, prepared 4 Minnesota DOT, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations. by Hagler-Bailly, 2000. http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/ Minnesota Statewide Freight Plan, prepared by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. measure_rpt.htm (accessed May 20, 2010). and SRF Consulting Group, Inc., 2005. 2 Cambridge Systematics, Inc. NCHRP Web Document 26: Multimodal Trans- 5 Iowa DOT. Performance Measures for Iowa Transportation Systems, prepared portation: Development of a Performance-Based Planning Process, Transpor- by Iowa State University, Center for Transportation Research and Education, tation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1999. 2006.