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58 APPENDIX C Future Research Needs AASHTO STANDING COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS I. PROBLEM NUMBER To be assigned by NCHRP staff. II. PROBLEM TITLE Best practices for assessing economic implications of disÂ investment or rightÂsizing scenarios. III. STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM In an era of constrained funding, as the transportation system ages, successive generations of users present different patterns of demand, performance requirements and transportation needs from those for which infrastructure was originally designed. Federal, state, and regional agencies are often faced with balÂ ancing the perceived need to invest in new emerging demands with the need to maintain longÂstanding assets. Significant research has been done into the topic of identifying transportaÂ tion investment needs, return on investment, and prioritization. However, the body of research has not clearly demonstrated a best practice or methodology for scenarios that involve ârightÂ sizingâ (determining and implementing the optimal sustainable investment level), reÂusing or disinvesting in existing assets and programs to support more efficient uses or priorities. The result has been a pattern of passive disinvestment by many agencies, which respond to budget shortfalls by simply investing in the highest priority projects to find that over time they are unable to âcatch upâ with longÂterm investment shortfalls. This creates a situation of âdisinvestment,â which poses both longÂterm perÂ formance challenges and economic inefficiencies. While current models exist to assess transportation demand, risk, longÂterm needs, performance outcomes, and economic impact of transportation investments, no study has clearly demonstrated how these methods can be practically applied to consider rightÂsizing or disinvestment decisions. For example, typical planning scenarios today do not consider the economic risk of overinvestment versus underinvestment, or the potential impacts of a deliberate rightÂsizing scenario in comparison with an âunexpected shortfallâ in revenue. A study is needed to clearly demonstrate how existing methods can be used to compare difÂ ferent investment and disinvestment economic scenarios while accounting for uncertainty and both the risk of overÂbuild and underÂbuild in the longÂterm. The outcome of this research will be a series of practical examples applying currently available demand, risk, needs, and economic models to consider both the options and outcomes likely to arise from rightÂsizing or disinvestment situations. These examples and their associated methods should be readily transferÂ rable to DOTâs MPOs, RPOs, and other agencies currently facing budget shortfalls and shifting demands. The nearly ubiquitous dilemma of ongoing budget shortfalls and competing demands between existing assets and emerging needs points to the urgency of this problem throughout the country. In addition to practically demonstrating how disinvestment and rightÂsizing scenarios can be addressed (both in the longÂrange planning and programÂ ming levels), the research is also expected to identify key gaps in research, data, and technology that can enable agencies to better address rightÂsizing and disinvestment situations in the longÂterm. Special note to AASHTO committees and subcommit- tees: Please indicate the relationship between the suggested problem and the committeeâs strategic plan and/or its overÂ all research agenda. If not related to a planned agenda, explain the urgency of the research need. IV. LITERATURE SEARCH SUMMARY NCHRP Synthesis 45Â11: Economic and Development Impli- cations of Transportation Disinvestment includes a current and exhaustive literature review on this subject. A full reference list is provided as an addendum to this research needs statement. V. RESEARCH OBJECTIVE The specific research objective of this statement is to demÂ onstrate how existing data and tools can enable federal, state, and regional agencies to assess the economic implications of rightÂsizing or disinvestment decisions including the following aspects of such decisions: 1) Uncertainty and risks surrounding future demand forecasts 2) Uncertainty and risks surrounding investment future needs estimates 3) Discernment of optimal investment levels, such that a ârightÂ sizeâ of investment can be implemented and defended 4) Potential variation performance outcomes between best and worst case scenarios, and associated risk of overÂ or underÂ building (or over or under maintaining) 5) Assessment of economic costs and impacts of overÂ investing (or overÂmaintaining) versus underÂinvesting (or underÂmaintaining) 6) Consideration of the relative efficiency of implementing a rightÂsizing or disinvestment scenario in contrast to the potential outcome funding simply failing to materialize for planned investments. This research objective is envisioned to be achieved by selectÂ ing between 3 and 5 planning situations (either recent or curÂ rent) on which to test existing methods for addressing the above 5 dimensions. It is expected that at least one will be a longÂrange multiÂmodal planning context (at the state or MPO level) considÂ ering investment levels in overall programs, and at least one will be a projectÂlevel prioritization or programming effort. The key steps to achieve the research objective include: 1) Developing screening criteria for selecting test areas (including assessing data availability, transferability to other similar areas, and the likelihood of enlisting the support of local planning organizations)
59 2) Obtaining key data and model results for assessing (1) future demand on the system; (2) likelihood of future demand occurring under best and worst case scenarios; (3) future investment needs based on demand (best and worst case); (4) likelihood and societal costs and economic impacts of different overinvestment, efficient investment, or underinÂ vestment outcomes. At a minimum, the following model types and data sources are expected to be used, with more rigorous data sources and models used where available: a. 4Âstep travel demand models (in widely available platÂ forms) or comparable forecasting techniques in the case of rural or unÂmodeled areas b. Asset Management or Needs Models (including HERSÂ ST, NBIAS, and TERM) using associated HPMS, NBI, and NTD data sources (and other more rigorous asset and needs forecasting models in cases where available and appropriate). c. Risk models that may utilize MonteÂCarlo simulation, econometric methods, or other techniques (to be identiÂ fied and justified as part of this task, beginning with the methods described in NCHRP 45Â11) d. Economic benefit and impact models (that may include things like HERSÂST, StratBenCost, TREDISÂBC, REMI, and others). 3) Reporting these results in ways that demonstrate how this information can be applied by other agencies in shaping planning options and scenarios. 4) Discussion of transferability of results, new research gaps, and key agency capacity building needs for making the demonstrated methods practical at the national level. If existing model runs of demand models, investment needs models, and risk models are actually in place for each of the selected planning situations, it may not be required for new modeling to be performed as part of this project. However, it is expected to be most likely that custom runs of demand, needs, risk, and economic models will be required, as the research will entail structuring and linking these types of models in a new way. Consequently the budget assumes that some modeling will be done as part of the research (using data and models available from the 3 to 5 agencies used as test cases). VI. ESTIMATE OF PROBLEM FUNDING AND RESEARCH PERIOD Recommended Funding: The recommended funding for this research project is $500,000, which is to include all services associated with fully implementing the research (including modeling and data acquisition), the purchase of any private or syndicated data or models (including economic impact models and associated data sets), and development and presentation of the final report. The funding level could vary from $300,000 to $500,000 depending on the number of pilot scenarios included (between 3 and 5 scenarios). Research Period: It is estimated that 24 months should be allowed for this research to allow sufficient time to identify appropriate pilot scenario cases and to allow agency staff in the supporting agencies to provide needed models and data, and where possible to synch the test cases with their actual planning and decisionÂmaking processes. VII. PERSON(S) DEVELOPING THE PROBLEM Chandler Duncan, Senior Associate, EDR Group, 155 FedÂ eral St., Boston, MA 02110 (617) 338Â6775 x203 cduncan@ edrgroup.com VIII. PROBLEM MONITOR TBD IX. DATE AND SUBMITTED BY TBD Advice to state departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration: Submitters are encourÂ aged, but certainly not required, to vet or submit problem statements through an appropriate AASHTO committee or subcommittee. Please submit completed problem statement to the following eÂmail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Questions on the process can be directed to the same address or email@example.com.
Abbreviations used without definitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACIâNA Airports Council InternationalâNorth America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation
TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 5 0 0 F ifth S tre e t, N W W a s h in g to n , D C 2 0 0 0 1 A D D R ESS SER VICE R EQ UESTED NO N-PRO FIT O RG . U.S. PO STAG E PA ID CO LUM BIA, M D PER M IT NO . 88 ISBN 978-0-309-27190-5 9 7 8 0 3 0 9 2 7 1 9 0 5 9 0 0 0 0