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114 A P P E N D I X F Case Examples ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Background and Motivation of Freight Prioritization Process The Arkansas DOT freight prioritization process emerged as part of the Arkansas State Long-Range Transportation Plan and the FAST Actâboth completed in conjunction with one another. The freight prioritization process aims to achieve the Arkansas DOTâs four main goals: increased mobility, safety, economic competitiveness, and infrastructure development. The prioritization plan focuses on localities within the state, such as districts and other specific geographic locations, to improve the connectedness between statewide and local areas. The Arkansas DOTâs freight prioritization process continues to mature into a data-driven approach, recently implemented because of the FAST Act requirement. Steps of the Freight Prioritization Process The evolving Arkansas DOT freight prioritization process serves as a spatial analytic tool for planning and project selection using a strategic planning focus and analyzing needs from a statewide and local focus. The freight advisory committee (FAC) guides the Arkansas DOTâs freight prioritization process project selection. The committee consists of 25 public and private
Case Examples 115 sensitive to certain geographies that may be lacking in freight capabilities right now but could have freight abilities implemented at a future date. Further evaluation of the projects aligns with the four main goals of the Arkansas DOT, analyzes projects from a high level, and identifies the problem areas in the state. In the eyes of the FAC, the criteria are all equally weighted, with no one goal taking precedent over the other. The period of evaluation for projects is relevant, as is first money prioritization, but not explicitly considered during project selection. Long-range projects are considered equally among short-range projects because of the overall need for improvement of the road network system in Arkansas. Expected difficulties such as a lack of budget rollovers or an administration term change do not impede the selection process. The Arkansas DOT team evaluates and scores projects using quantitative and qualitative criteria with an emphasis on the guidance of the FAC. A guideline to achieving a more quantitative approach to evaluation is under way but is slow due to lack of freight-specific funding. All projects tie back to federal performance measures, such as differing district data and FHWA. The list of criteria below is in no specific order since the FAC considers all goals equally weighted: â¢ Safety: crash rate reduction. â¢ Mobility: number of trucks on the road at certain times, time travel reliability, and consistency. representatives in Arkansas, including local law enforcement, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transportation companies, and the Chamber of Commerce. The FAC is
116 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects â¢ Economic competitiveness: a focus on the economies of individual counties, districts, and localities and on how to increase the inflow of public money and the outflow of private goods. â¢ Infrastructure development: making sure pavement, road, and bridge conditions are consistent and in good standing to increase both freight and passenger travel. Data Sources and Gaps The Arkansas DOT requests and analyzes information from data sources such as TRANSEARCH and the American Transportation Research Institute as well as from federal and state data from FHWA. The data received are not standardized through all the proposed projects, making evaluation during the process difficult across different geographic regions in the state. District Arkansas DOT offices provide data as part as the evaluation process, helping to map out key freight areas and freight corridors and developing a data-driven analysis. Resources As previously mentioned, the FAC comprises numerous experts in their chosen fields. Each provides perspectives from different agencies and integrated ideas to benefit the Arkansas and national transportation system as a whole. Conclusions and Future Needs The Arkansas DOT does not use a formalized freight selection process because it is part of its state long-range transportation plan. Moving forward, the Arkansas DOT hopes to acquire more standardized data sets to better identify needs across the state. Currently, the Arkansas DOTâs freight prioritization plan is maturing slowly, and the Arkansas DOT wants to pursue
Case Examples 117 research pertaining to locally generated data in terms of physical destinations. It plans to study local freight interactions and mitigating issues associated with first- and last-mile destinations (Figure F-1). STEP 1. Identification Process The Arkansas Department of Transportation identifies geographically specific areas, and prioritizes freight projects based on need, aligns with STIP. STEP 2. Internal Project Evaluation ArDOT Freight Advisory Committee evaluates projects based on how they address ArDOTâs four goals: mobility, safety, economic competitiveness, and infrastructure development. STEP 3. Project Selection Projects are tied back to Federal Performance Measures and selected based on what the Freight Advisory Committee agrees is the best use of funds. STEP 4. Project Implementation The selected projects are geographically diverse and funded federally by the State of Arkansas and the Federal Government. Figure F-1. The Arkansas DOT prioritization process flowchart. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
118 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Caltrans does not maintain a freight project prioritization process. Two processes that involve prioritization of project identification and project selection include the 2014 California Freight Mobility Plan (CFMP) project list associated with Map 21 and the Caltrans MONSTER. These processes are detailed below. 2014 California Freight Mobility Plan The 2014 CFMP project list associated with Map 21 was developed by the Office of Freight Planning. The 2014 CFMP process included collecting freight projects from regional transportation plans and good movement studies. The purpose of the freight project list developed as part of the 2014 CFMP was for discussion only and did not represent a commitment by referenced agencies or the state to develop or deliver any of the listed projects. The 2014 CFMP is not a prioritized list of freight projects but includes attributes (tiers, network types, project types) that could be used to assist in sorting and prioritizing projects. Thus, projects designated Tier 1 do not necessarily have top priority (Table F-1). Table F-1. Sample project from 2014 Caltrans Freight Mobility Plan. CMFP Prioritized Table Listings Sample Project Caltrans District 1
Case Examples 119 County Humboldt Route or Facility ID US-101 Project ID/reference number 01-46480 Project/program title and description Near Garberville, Near Richardson Grove: STAA Operational Improvement Project. Total project cost (thousands) $5,500 Financially constrained Y Under construction and completely funded N Short-/Mid-/Long-Term S Project of national and regional significance (PNRS) No Tier Tier 3 Network type N Project type O.M. Primary facility type C Secondary facility type X Economic competitiveness X Congestion relief âa Safety and security â Freight system infrastructure preservation â Innovative technology and practices â Environmental stewardship â aDash represents not applicable.
120 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Caltrans MONSTER List California legislation associated with Senate Bill 1 provides an ongoing source of state funding dedicated to freight-related projects by establishing the new Trade Corridor Enhancement Account (TCEA). The TCEA provides approximately $300 million per year in state funding for projects that more efficiently enhance the movement of goods along corridors that have a high freight volume. California Senate Bill 103 directs the California Transportation Commission to program and allocate TCEA funds and federal National Highway Freight Program funds through the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP). To facilitate the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program and a wider coordination across districts for all project types, the Caltrans Office of Systems Planning develops a MONSTER list where it gathers uncategorized district improvement needs for everything. The MONSTER list is not a comprehensive list of freight projects. It is a list of all project needs connected to the state highway system (SHS) and related corridors identified by the districts in collaboration with their regional partners for a variety of funding sources and all modes. The process associated with the MONSTER list development is detailed below: 1. Each Caltrans district works with its local and regional partners to identify the highest priority project needs within corridors associated with the SHS. â¢ The identified projects are incorporated into a MONSTER list that is prioritized by the district. During the prioritization process, the district identifies the funding sources that can potentially fund the project, including freight projects funded through the TCEP. The projects are also put into three separate tiers: Tier 1 projects are ready to begin construction and have funding sources.
Case Examples 121 â¢ Tier 2 projects need additional planning and development work but may have partial sources of funds identified. â¢ Tier 3 projects are unfunded and have no planning and development work, which typically means they are slated for beyond the ten-year planning horizon. 2. Each district sends its MONSTER list to Caltrans Headquarters System Planning Office, which consolidates the list into one statewide list. 3. Caltrans Headquarters System Planning Office uses the statewide MONSTER list to identify projects that would be eligible for funding, and requests project applications. The districts can update their MONSTER list at any time to ensure that it is always updated. Through this process, Caltrans is able to align regionally based system needs with statewide strategic goals, performance measures, and funding sources to get projects under construction. Data Sources and Gaps Caltrans has well-developed pavement data and pavement performance measures. The depth of this current data set and associated performance measure has further improved with requirements from Senate Bill 1 putting the onus on Caltrans to monitor how much funding goes to the maintenance and improvement of highways, including improvements to pavement by an x percent factor. However, there are no comprehensive measures or associated data for freight project prioritization processes. Presently, the freight team at Caltrans is working on finalizing performance measures for TTTR.
122 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Resources New funding sources from FAST Act and TCEA are presently driving changes to the multimodal approach to planning at Caltrans. This is leading to increased coordination between state planning efforts for freight. In addition, Caltrans is currently examining efforts in other states, such as Decision Lens in Texas and the Smart Scale system at Virginia DOT that incorporates project-based scoring for livability; vehicle miles traveled; job access; land use; and all the associated data sets that filter into the Smart Scale Virginia DOT project selection process. Caltrans is looking to invest in a decision analysis tool to clarify to all stakeholders and decision makers how performance measures, criteria, and weighting will be applied to the current project prioritization process. It is anticipated that the tool will help explain why projects recommended as a result of political pressure and do not have system needs connected to it are being ranked lower in the submitted annual nominations for project funding (Figure F-2).
Figure F-2. Caltrans prioritization process flowchart. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute. . STEP 1. Sponsorship Process CMFP lists project based on system assessment and freight projects are prioritized at the district level by regional entities (cities, counties, MPOs). STEP 2. Selection of Projects Division planning office revises freight project rankings based on funding constraints and agency goals (geographic distribution, safety, congestion, etc.) STEP 3. Evaluation of Projects Office of Freight Planning and Strategic Investment evaluates selected projects based on agency goals, and available local, state, and federal funding and submits revisions to ranking of freight projects. STEP 4. Recommendations Freight projects and rankings are submitted to Districts and CFAC for review and further revisions, comments, input. STEP 5. Final Recommendations The Caltrans Planning Division submits the finalized list of projects to the California Transportation Commission.
124 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Background and Motivation of Freight Prioritization Process The Indiana DOT freight prioritization process is part of the overall state transportation improvement initiatives formulated in the past 5 years. Because of the large amount of Interstate miles and freight traffic in Indiana, all selected projects aim to improve freight transportation in the state. This process did not change with the introduction of the FAST Act. The Indiana DOT aims to achieve improving traffic congestion, economic vitality, and safety conditions on their entire road network system. Guided by the direction of its district and central office, the Indiana DOTâs overarching goal is to achieve statewide and national freight correctness. The Indiana DOT continues to mature the type of data inputted into its prioritization process and does not expect a freight prioritization process to branch into its own category. Steps of the Freight Prioritization Process The Indiana DOT Central Office releases an annual call for projects during the winter and spring months; applications are submitted by both the district and central office. At the district level, maintenance and technology service directors provide an overview of their district conditions and identify problem areas. Using qualitative and quantitative data on congestion, pavement condition, and economic impacts, to name a few, districts submit projects for funding that mitigate problem areas. The central office submits projects that are affected beyond district lines.
Case Examples 125 The Mobility Asset Team, composed of representatives from the district offices and central office, ranks the projects based on a 4- to 5-year planning horizon. The team uses qualitative and quantitative data for the selection process. The projects are funded in order until all funds are exhausted. The freight transportation criteria are: â¢ Decreasing traffic congestion: tracking the number of trucks and passengers on the road at certain times, travel reliability, and consistency, based on annual average daily traffic (AADT). â¢ Economic prioritization: new criteria that focus on economies of individual counties, districts, and localities. Looks to prioritize the inflow of public money based on the outflow of private goods. Data Sources, Gaps, and Resources The Indiana DOT acquires most of its data from public reserves, such as the National Performance Management Data Set, and private firms such as TRANSEARCH and INRIX. The Indiana DOT is seeking a data set that accurately reflects commodity flow into and out of the state. The standardized data set allows central office to conduct all data modeling for projects internally, keeping project projections consistent throughout Indiana. The Mobility Asset Team comprises experts in different fields, allowing a fresh perspective from all areas across the state with the common goal of benefiting Indiana and the national transportation system as a whole.
126 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Conclusion and Future Needs The Indiana DOT does not use a formalized freight selection process since it is completed in conjunction with the stateâs transportation prioritization plan. Moving forward, it hopes to acquire data to accurately map out the economic needs of the state. The Indiana DOT is satisfied with its current prioritization process and does not foresee a freight-specific prioritization process in the future (Figure F-3).
Case Examples 127 Figure F-3. Indiana DOT prioritization process flowchart. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute. STEP 1. Annual Call for Projects Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) initiates an annual call for projects during the winter and spring months. STEP 2. Project Submittal INDOT projects are submitted by District Offices and Central Office. STEP 3. Mobility Asset Team Evaluation The Mobility Asset Team Program evaluates projects using quantitative and qualitative criteria and develops prioritized list of projects. STEP 4. Project Selection and Implementation The selected projects are ranked by the Mobility Asset Team for a 4 to 5 year planning horizon until project funds are exhausted.
128 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Background and Motivation of Freight Prioritization Process The Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations of the Minnesota DOT solicits freight projects for construction projects on public roads that provide measurable freight transportation benefits. This funding solicitation process is an output of the funds available from the creation of the National Highway Freight Program in the FAST Act, which motivates the creation of the freight prioritization process. The Minnesota DOT conducted a freight selection process for the first time in November 2017 as part of the consultant-assisted freight plan development drawing on IMPLAN economic development data (42). Although not the first prioritization process to occur, it is the first time freight was formalized in the process. Steps of the Freight Prioritization Process The Minnesota DOT developed and initiated a solicitation process distributed throughout the state. Eligible applicants of the solicitation process included: â¢ Any governmental entity that owns or maintains public roads â¢ Minnesota DOT districts â¢ Specialty offices â¢ Counties â¢ Cities â¢ Tribal governments
Case Examples 129 Nonâstate aid cities and townships were urged to work with the county in developing their applications, thereby making them more qualified for the limited federal funds. Each of the proposed projects had to be sponsored by a public agency qualified to administer a federal aid construction contract on behalf of the recipient. Eligible projects must be on a public road and provide clear benefit to highway-based freight transportation that improves the safety, mobility, and efficiency of freight transportation or improves road access to freight facilities. In addition to freight, up to 10% of funding in this program could be used on intermodal transportation, including ports and railroads. The solicitation was announced mid-June 2017, and applications were due to the Minnesota DOT by the end of August 2017. The solicitation process required that projects be selected based on a specific set of criteria for each of the projects. Tables F-2 and F-3 show the quantitative criteria, including freight transportation and others used to score projects.
130 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Table F-2. Freight transportation criteria. Category Criteria Main Measure Safety Freight Congestion/ Freight Efficiency Improvement First/Last Mile Truck volume Heavy commercial AADT 250 250 250 Safety Crash rate reduction 350 100 100 Mobility TTTR 100 350 150 Facility access Daily truck load equivalents entering and exiting a facility or facilities +50 +50 200 Table F-3. Other criteria. Category Criteria Main Measure Safety Freight Congestion/ Freight Efficiency Improvement First/Last Mile Cost- effectiveness Divide amount of points awarded above by amount of requested funds 150 150 150
Case Examples 131 Category Criteria Main Measure Safety Freight Congestion/ Freight Efficiency Improvement First/Last Mile Project readiness Various 150 150 150 Once the applications and projects were scored based on the criteria, the staff provided recommendations to the Freight Investment Plan Advisory Group, which was formed as an ad hoc committee from another committee within the Minnesota DOT. The advisory group was composed of a variety of internal and external groups. The advisory group used knowledge about where development was occurring to understand the project needs but was not a factor in the final selection of the projects. After deliberation, the Freight Investment Plan Advisory Group made recommendations to the leadership within the Minnesota DOT, who ultimately adopted a final list of projects in October. Project Selection and Implementation The projects selected are geographically diverse and are funded beginning FY 2019 to FY 2022. Implementation of the projects was handed off to the local district state aid engineer or district engineer. The entity responsible for applying for the funding is responsible for ensuring that the project is completed. Data Sources and Gaps During the evaluation process, the Minnesota DOT project team requested data to confirm accuracy in the application. Data included crash rates (to ensure crash rate reduction
132 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects from a proposed project with the Office of Traffic Engineering) and National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) data (to calculate travel time reliability). The received facility access data were not standardized throughout all applications because the Minnesota DOT received information for freight generation facilities. A lack of standardization of big data was a challenge for the project selection team and is something the Minnesota DOT is looking at for future freight prioritization processes. Resources The freight planners used their knowledge to adopt criteria to select the best freight projects that could benefit the transportation network system as a whole. Conclusions and Future Needs This was the first freight selection process that the Minnesota DOT underwent. Although freight had been part of other selection processes, it had never been formalized. The Minnesota DOT sees benefit in this process and hopes to proceed in the future. They want to refine the criteria and scoring used in the initial process and are seeking a way to categorize projects to differentiate between them. These different projects include a greater emphasis on intermodal projects since it was greatly lacking during the first project selection process. The Minnesota DOT strives to implement projects that link various nodes together. The Minnesota DOT also wants to promote standardization of data so that projects can be measured on a more level playing field. It wants to work with different district offices to develop district freight plans. Through these district freight plans, districts and states can more clearly define the freight priorities. Figure F-4 shows the Minnesota DOT prioritization process.
Case Examples 133 Figure F-4. Minnesota DOT prioritization process flowchart. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute. STEP 1. Solicitation Process The Minnesota Highway Freight Program initiates a solicitation process to the state â the first formalized freight prioritization process for the state. STEP 2. Internal Project Evaluation The Minnesota Highway Freight Program evaluates projects using quantitative criteria and develops recommendations. STEP 3. Freight Investment Advisory Group Freight Investment Advisory Group analyzes recommendations for the project team and uses qualitative criteria to develop a list of recommendations for final selection. STEP 4. MnDOT Leadership Using the recommendations by the project team and Freight Investment Advisory group, a final list of recommendations are selected for funding. STEP 5. Project Implementation The selected projects are geographically diverse and the applicant of the funds is responsible for ensuring completion of the project.
134 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Background and Motivation of Freight Prioritization Process The Missouri DOT is motivated to perform freight project prioritization through the management of four different freight activities and funding programs: â¢ 2014 Missouri DOT Freight Plan to comply with 2012 MAP-21 Act â¢ 2017 Missouri DOT Freight Plan to comply with 2015 FAST Act (43) â¢ 2017 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants (U.S. DOT-funded nationally significant freight and highway projects for FY 2017 and 2018) â¢ $1 million annual Freight Enhancement Program (FRE) The Missouri DOT does not have an annual selection of freight projects associated with a call for projects. Some of the projects identified in the state freight plan or INFRA grants may be added to the annual list of projects to receive funding. The freight project prioritization process is not a recurring annual process but rather occurred as a result of the 2014 and 2017 state freight plans and as a result of INFRA grants projects identified as priorities at the point when they were completed or revised. The FRE grants are based on submissions, and approximately three grants are issued from this program annually.
Case Examples 135 Steps of the Freight Prioritization Process The statewide project prioritization process includes freight projects at the Missouri DOT and involves a review of project needs followed by a review of funding constraints. The Missouri DOT selects freight projects from the latest version of the freight mobility plan. Proposed projects and the scope of their limits are revised to ensure that they match the funding availability and system need and deliver the expected outcome. Once this annual list of projects is fully developed, the Missouri DOT planning evaluates them on agency goals, including safety, connectivity, capacity, asset condition, and economic development. Chapter 8 of the Missouri Freight Plan provides the documented criteria and metrics specific to the 2017 revision of the state freight mobility plan (39). The Missouri DOT relied on consultants to develop the 2014 freight plan, the 2017 revision, and the freight project prioritization methodology. The methodology was a result of freight project selections from the stateâs long-range transportation plan combined with outreach to freight stakeholders and the public to gather from them what they considered priorities for the freight program. The Missouri DOT does not maintain an active FAC. In developing the state freight plan, the Missouri DOT focused public engagement on a temporary freight stakeholder group that includes: â¢ MPOs â¢ Regional planning commissions â¢ Airports and water ports
136 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects â¢ Council of supply chain managers, economic development councils â¢ Local businesses This freight stakeholder group helped identify freight projects and develop relative weighting for four factors: maintenance, safety, economy, and connectivity/mobility. Three additional strategic considerations were drawn from the Missouri long-range transportation plan that include environmental (mitigate freight impacts); organizational and process (flexible funds and technological operational improvements); and customers/partners (coordination with freight stakeholders) (40). As part of FAST Act requirements, Missouri is required to allocate out of federal funds it currently receives $35 million per year for freight projects. This requires a freight investment plan indicating how the funding will be spent and where it is going to be applied. The Missouri DOT freight investment plan is updated annually with a rolling 5-year investment plan that aligns with the statewide transportation improvement plan (STIP) to spend those freight funds. The Missouri DOT will compare the projects in the freight plan with projects the districts are requesting to be done in the annual update to the STIP and assign projects that deliver the best benefit to freight system performance. Often, this entire annual allotment gets taken up by one or two large freight projects. Often, the Missouri DOT links freight projects to removing truck movement restrictions, whether by eliminating horizontal or vertical clearance issues or by removing weight restrictions on bridges. Other times, freight project funding typically gets assigned to transportation system management and operations improvements. These include project funding for motorist assist programs focused on Interstate systems and transportation management center improvements,
Case Examples 137 such as dynamic message signs. Benefits associated with these improvements are obtained from analysis of the impact of nonrecurring events such as weather events around the state. The solicitation is announced mid-June, and proposals are due to the selection panel by the end of August. The solicitation process requires the highway freight program team, made up of transportation freight planners, to adopt and select projects based on criteria for each of the projects. Project Selection and Implementation The Missouri DOT has an expansive freight system with good connections across multiple modes of freight. The Missouri DOT is presently pivoting to address demands for new capacity and connectivity. As a result, it is focusing freight funds on the maintenance and operation of the existing network. For example, the focus on removing bridge restrictions requires updates and repairs to existing bridges to accommodate freight with heavier loads. Other typical freight projects are spot improvements to reduce bottlenecks that affect freight or better operations to improve the resilience of the network in the face of nonrecurring events. Data Sources and Gaps Beyond traditional data sets such as traffic volumes, crash data, and maintenance data, the Missouri DOT also accessed the IHS Global Insightâs TRANSEARCH database in the 2014 state freight plan. The Missouri DOT relied on a consultant to assist with freight project prioritization associated with the INFRA grant who was able to tie together much of the economic development data pieces with the traditional data sets. In addition, the Missouri DOT uses the NPMRDS data set for speed data. Land use data are strictly limited to urbanized areas
138 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects with zoning practices. Other data for use are truck counts. CDM Smith helps create queries that pull from many different data sources to provide the Missouri DOT with data on originâ destination for details on commodities shipments. The Missouri DOT is peer aligned with 20 states in freight coalitions through Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies (ITTS) and the one common theme is how to improve freight data. The Freight Analysis Framework Commodity Survey data sample everything with weight bills attached, but this practice overlooks agricultural goods without weight bills being shipped from farms to grain elevators. From a Midwest perspective, this flaw looms as a large gap in freight data. Resources Decentralized Organization The organizational structure of the Missouri DOT is very decentralized across seven districts. MoDOT distributes state and federal fund information by formula directly to districts, who then select projects according to need and funding constraints. Basically, the Missouri DOT division planning offices rely on the districts to advocate for their portions of the National Highway Freight Network as projects of regional significance, while at the same time they conduct a separate statewide evaluation to identify those of national significance. Public Waterway Port Coordination The Missouri DOT developed a framework to coordinate 14 public waterway ports so that they come together and prioritize projects. The Missouri DOT then takes these prioritized projects and brings them before a legislative budget review panel to obtain funding. The
Case Examples 139 legislative budget review panel relies on their own factors to evaluate the prioritized list of projects put forth by the port directors. The port directors provide a matrix of projects and selection criteria to the Missouri DOT as part of this process. On average, the port directors submit a project list totaling $50 million annually. A recent budget passed by the legislature provided them with $7.6 million in public funding for projects from this list. Economic Development Analysis Resource Freight stakeholders in Missouri expect the Missouri DOT to include economic development as a factor and want there to be a clear line that points to the selection of freight projects and how it supports new economic development. The Missouri DOT is currently determining how best to measure and evaluate projects based on economic development. Because there is no guidance or standards to compare or benchmark against other local, state, or federal governments, economic development is one of the more difficult factors to incorporate into freight project prioritization methods. The current Missouri DOT Freight Plan relies on the IMPLAN Economic Impact Analysis for Planning model, which was applied by the consultant hired to develop the freight plan and subsequent revision in 2017. IMPLAN is an off-the-shelf solution that offers standard, reproducible results in local, state, and regional studies across the United States. Complex economic impact analysis calculations are developed within the IMPLAN model in a way that makes it serviceable for various users of different skill levels. It can help model simple industry changes or measure the economic impact of a one-time or seasonal event such as a ball game. IMPLAN functions include the ability to model output per worker and employee compensation. In addition, it can adjust assumptions about how the industry incurs transportation and logistics costs from local
140 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects transportation networks and how investments in different aspects of the transportation network affect the cost of logistics. A new feature allows users to show the effects of nonrecurring events in one area, show how events were handled, and show how other regions can apply that knowledge. Thus, if a region has good incident management in response to major weather events, these can be modeled in IMPLAN and shown to other regions across the state (41). Conclusions and Future Needs The Missouri DOT does not have an annual selection of freight projects associated with a call for projects. Some of the projects identified in the state freight plan or INFRA grants may get added to the annual list of projects to receive funding. The freight project prioritization process is not a recurring annual process but occurred rather as a result of the 2014 state freight plan, 2017 state freight plan revision, and INFRA grants projects identified as priorities at that point when they were completed or revised. The FRE grants are based on submissions, and approximately three grants are issued from this program annually. In terms of staff within the Missouri DOT, there are not enough skills and resources to operate and update the IMPLAN model, so it will eventually be outdated. To work effectively within IMPLAN and to ensure the highest degree of accuracy, the Missouri DOT relies on consultants to update the model when revisions are made. The cost of maintaining an economist on staff trained in the use of IMPLAN and economic development modeling is too much for the Missouri DOT to afford. The ability to conduct regular economic impact assessments and associated data needs are a common skill and data gap for the Missouri DOT and other local and state programs within Missouri and neighboring states.
Case Examples 141 The statewide project prioritization and selection process, shown in Figure F-5, is as follows: 1. District Project Budget Allocation Process: Budget constraints for project selection are provided to districts. 2. Solicitation Process: Districts develop proposed projects and scope of their limits to ensure that they match funding availability, match system need, and deliver the expected outcome. 3. Internal Evaluation Process: The planning division reviews the district list of projects to ensure that they match agency goals, which include safety, connectivity, capacity, asset condition, and economic development. 4. Missouri DOT Leadership Approval: Annual lists of projects for funding are submitted to the Missouri Transportation Commission for approval.
142 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Figure F-5. Missouri Department of Transportation prioritization process flowchart. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute. STEP 1. District Project Budget Allocation Process Budget constraints for project selection are provided to Missouri districts. STEP 2. Solicitation Process Missouri districts develop proposed projects and scope of their limits to ensure they match funding availability, system, need, and deliver the expected outcome. STEP 3. Internal Evaluation Process Planning division reviews the district list of projects to ensure they match agency goals that include safety, connectivity, capacity, asset condition, and economic development. STEP 4. Missouri DOT Leadership Approval A final list of recommendations is selected for funding and submitted to the Missouri Transportation Commission for approval.
Case Examples 143 TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FREIGHT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS Background and Motivation of Freight Prioritization Process The Texas DOT freight prioritization process emerged to facilitate the movement of trade in the state of Texas and nationally. Texas as a trade state harbors the longest border with Mexico, numerous seaports, energy ports, and strategic military ports, all with large volumes of tonnage. Texas is the largest energy producer in the United States, second behind Iran in terms of the worldâs oil production, which creates a large flow of goods throughout the state. Texas has seen an increase in the growth of urban areas around the state. The Texas DOTâs motivation was not due to the implementation of the FAST Act but due to the needs of the state to integrate trade projects and trade movement into the transportation process. The freight prioritization process aims to achieve the Texas DOTâs five main goals: increased mobility and reliability, safety, economic competitiveness, multimodal connectivity, and sustainable funding. Steps of the Freight Prioritization Process The Texas DOT uses stakeholder input to identify gaps and needs for the entire transportation network for the state as part of its unified transportation plan (UTP). The UTP lays the foundation for the stateâs 10-year plan that consists of over 7,000 projects and strictly identifies projects without any particular order. Out of the 7,000 projects, only ones pertaining to freightâapproximately 2,500 projectsâare selected. For projects to be short-listed, they must be on the freight network. These selected projects undergo a second iteration based on criteria that align with the state freight goals, such as the following (in no particular order):
144 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects â¢ Safety: crash rate reduction. â¢ Mobility and Reliability: number of trucks on the road at certain times, travel-time reliability, and consistency. â¢ Economic Competitiveness: a focus on the economies of individual counties, districts, and localities and how to increase the inflow of public money and the outflow of private goods. â¢ Multimodal Connectivity: increasing the connectivity and communication between differing types of transportation in Texas to increase trade and decrease unnecessary spending. â¢ Sustainable Funding: finding new alternative funding to further the advancement of freight prioritization projects. These criteria are selected based on stakeholder input that consists of public and private entities in Texas, such as an FAC, MPOs, districts, and the public. This second iteration prioritizes projects as high, medium, or low priority. High-priority projects meet all or most of the criteria, medium-priority projects meet some of the criteria, and low-priority projects meet only a small number of the criteria. The master list of projects helps the Texas DOT move forward with the selection process and implementation plans. After a qualitative assessment of the projects, the Texas DOT leadership chooses the projects to be implemented.
Case Examples 145 Data Sources and Gaps The Texas DOT requests and analyzes information from data sources such as TRANSEARCH and FHWA. The data received are not standardized through all the proposed projects; however, the Texas DOT is able to integrate most data received into existing tools and standardize the data itself. In addition to the above data sources, the Texas DOT relies on data from the Texas Workforce Commission and data sources that contain information on truck volumes, employment in trade, crash rates, pavement data, and business data. Resources The Texas DOT enlists stakeholders from various backgrounds to assist with and analyze proposed projects. Each one provides perspectives from different agencies and integrated ideas to benefit the Texas, national, and international transportation system as a whole. Conclusions and Future Needs The Texas DOTâs formalized freight prioritization process (Figure F-6) works alongside its long-range transportation plan and is a necessary component to accommodate the large volume of trade and industries in order for economic vitality in the state to flourish. The Texas DOT plans to continue evolving its freight prioritization process in anticipation of what freight will need in the future.
146 Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects Figure F-6. The Texas DOT prioritization process flowchart.. Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute. STEP 1. Identification Process in the Unified Transportation Program (UTP) Stakeholders enlisted by the Texas Department of Transportation identify gaps and needs in the Texas transportation system as part of the UTP. STEP 2. Internal Project Evaluation TxDOT selects freight projects located on the freight network and conducts a second iteration based on criteria selected by stakeholders which align with the state freight goals. STEP 3. Project Prioritization Projects are evaluated and designated as high, medium, or low priority based on the amount of criteria met. STEP 4. Project Implementation TxDOT leadership after a qualitative assessment validates projects and gives final approval of prioritization.
Abbreviations and acronyms 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 FAST Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation Act (2015) 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 TDC Transit Development Corporation 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
TRA N SPO RTATIO N RESEA RCH BO A RD 500 Fifth Street, N W W ashington, D C 20001 A D D RESS SERV ICE REQ U ESTED N O N -PR O FIT O R G . U .S. PO STA G E PA ID C O LU M B IA , M D PER M IT N O . 88 ISBN 978-0-309-48065-9 9 7 8 0 3 0 9 4 8 0 6 5 9 9 0 0 0 0 Prioritization of Freight Investm ent Projects N CH RP Synthesis 542 TRB