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Focus Areas

Performance-Based Planning


The Performance-Based Planning focus area page is a one-stop shop for resources about performance-based planning and performance measures on the TPCB website. It includes links to publications, legislation and guidance, recent peer events, upcoming calendar events, and related websites.


Resources and Publications


  • Moving Toward Performance-based Transportation Planning in Rural and Small Metropolitan Regions   NEW!
    This report from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation draws on research and training efforts conducted by the NADO Research Foundation from 2010 – 2014 and with support and guidance from the Federal Highway Administration. Throughout this period, the NADO Research Foundation collected planning documents from rural, regional transportation planning organizations, held interviews and conversations about planning and performance measurement with regional planning professionals and their state partners, and conducted training and outreach on performance measurement where discussion in the sessions also informed the research effort. The research found that many organizations are adopting measures and considering performance measurement carefully. The efforts of state DOTs and state legislatures to increase performance culture play a significant role in determining the extent to which regional agencies are moving toward performance measurement. In many cases, a strategic planning framework is already well entrenched in RTPOs’ planning processes and could be adapted to include systematic performance measurement. Some of the strategies to move toward performance-based planning used by RTPOs, MPOs, and state DOTs that participated in the research include working with partners on data, analysis, selecting measures, and creating measurement frameworks; communicating the information that resonates with the audience; using data to drive decisionmaking; making use of funding scenarios and plan alternatives to understand the performance implications of potential future investment decisions; and more.
  • Model Long-Range Transportation Plans: A Guide for Incorporating Performance-Based Planning   NEW!
    This Guidebook informs State DOTs, MPOs, and RPOs, as well as their planning partners such as transit agencies, local governments, and Federal agencies, about effective practices for incorporating performance-based planning into the development of a long range transportation plan. This document identifies key components present in a "model" transportation plan, as well as process elements that are necessary to reflect the priorities of the community and support attainment of desired performance outcomes for the multimodal transportation system.
  • Performance-Based Planning and Programming Guidebook   NEW!
    Performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) refers to the application of performance management principles within the planning and programming processes of transportation agencies to achieve desired performance outcomes for the multimodal transportation system. The Guidebook has been designed to help State DOTs, MPOs, RTPOs, transit agencies, and other partner organizations understand: the key elements of a PBPP process and the relationship of these elements within existing planning and programming processes. The Guidebook is designed to highlight effective practices to help transportation agencies in moving toward a performance-based approach to planning and programming.
  • View the Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations Guidebook Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach - A Guidebook - This guidebook presents an approach for integrating management and operations strategies into the metropolitan transportation planning process that is designed to maximize the performance of the existing and planned transportation system.
  • Non-Traditional Performance Measures - The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Standing Committee on Planning has released a report that explores how state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and public transportation agencies use non-traditional performance measures in their transportation planning and decision-making processes.
  • Transportation Performance Management: Insight from Practioners: NCHRP Report 660 - This guidebook provides insights from selected transportation agencies who are successfully integrating transportation performance management programs into a range of key decision-making processes in order to improve their effectiveness and transparency. This guidebook will assist transportation agency staff challenged with turning performance data into meaningful information that will influence agency decisions and actions. It should be of immediate use to those who have mastered the basics of performance measurement but who will benefit from a deeper understanding of what similar organizations have done in order to successfully integrate these systems into key decision-making processes.
  • Transportation Project Prioritization and Performance-based Planning Efforts in Rural and Small Metropolitan Regions - This new NADO Research Foundation report provides an overview of the state of the practice in non-metro regional transportation planning, including the contract amounts, RPO tasks, and committee structures. The research also examines rural long-range planning efforts and criteria used to rank regional priority projects. With case studies on the statewide and regional planning processes in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington, the document provides examples for rural and small metro regions looking to formalize their planning process. This report was developed with support from the Federal Highway Administration.

Click here to access a full list of Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance related to performance-based planning on the TPCB website.

Calendar of Events

Check the calendar

Peer Event Reports

The TPCB peer program is a free resource for agencies in need of transportation planning assistance. Visit the peer program page to learn more or apply for a peer event.

Related Websites and Organizations

  • Congestion Management Process
  • DOT State Stats - State Stats is an online pathfinder to transportation publications and reports. It harnesses the Internet by encouraging agencies to post and identify their own key state performance resources. It can help administrators interested in benchmarking, and it can help researchers find unique data. Idaho Transportation Dept Dashboard.
  • MoDOT Tracker - MoDOT's Tracker is a tool to assess how well we deliver services and products to our customers. Much like a GPS tracking system, this tool can only show the direction in which the department is headed. We must determine if it is going in the right direction to best serve our customers. Lessons Learned from Maryland SHA.
  • Performance Based Planning and Programming
  • Planning for Operations - This website contains numerous resources to help planners and operators gain insight into the links between the two fields. This site has a resource library of documents, presentations, and reports on current practices. It also contains a toolbox that gives examples of best practices, a calendar of upcoming relevant events, as well as a listing of courses that span the two disciplines.
  • TRB Committee on Performance Measurement (ABC30) - The TRB committee supports the development and use of performance measurement and performance management across all modes of transportation, public and private, including passenger and freight transportation systems.This committee also promotes the use of performance measurement in all aspects of an organization's responsibilities to support public accountability and effective systems management. This includes planning, programming, budgeting, program and service delivery, and system operations. Performance Measures and Targets for Transportation Asset Management-Current state of practice; includes a framework for identifying performance measures and setting target values.
  • TRB Performance Measurement Exchange Site - This site allows people with common interests, goals or expertise to share their experiences and knowledge, collaborate on work, identify and exchange best practices and advance the state-of-the-art in their field. This site allows visitors to contribute their thoughts and ideas in an open forum.
  • Washington State DOT Performance Measurement Library - Washington State DOT (WSDOT)is not alone in using performance measurement and strategic planning to promote accountability. Almost every state uses strategic planning in one form or another, and all DOTs use performance measurements at various programmatic levels. To help practitioners make effective comparisons of measures and reporting systems, WSDOT maintains a list of 51 state, commonwealth, and federal district transportation authorities and their online performance measurement and strategic planning mechanisms.
For more information about the TPCB program, contact Michelle Noch at FHWA (202-366-9206) or Tonya Holland at FTA (202-493-0283).

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