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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


  • 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.
  • Outcomes-Based, Performance-Driven Planning at Metro Portland   NEW!
    The Portland, Oregon region completed its new metropolitan transportation plan, 2035 Regional Transportation Plan, in June of 2010 under the direction of Metro, the metropolitan planning organization for the region. With this plan comes a new approach for metropolitan planning in this region that is focused on desired outcomes and measurable performance. In response to growing economic and climate change concerns, the region's elected leaders chose an outcomes-based framework with policy-level performance targets to guide investments and demonstrate measurable results. Metro has developed a broad set of measures to evaluate the planned investment strategy in addressing the plan goals. In addition, Metro established a performance monitoring program designed to assess system performance periodically as a means of informing implementation decisions. During the development of its regional transportation plan (RTP), Metro also worked with operations and travel demand management stakeholders to create a Regional Transportation System Management and Operations (TSMO) Plan that lays out how management and operations can be used to support the desired performance outcomes.
  • The Use of an Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach at the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission   NEW!
    CUUATS first integrated the objectives-driven, performance-based approach into the development of its MTP in 2001, with the development of its 2025 metropolitan transportation plan. In 2009 the MPO adopted its next MTP, Choices 2035, which used the approach to strategically plan for improvements across all goal areas. CUUATS uses a combination of goals and objectives to define the desired outcomes of Choices 2035, MOEs to track progress, and strategies to realize the objectives. This is illustrated by Table 1, one of 12 similar tables in Choices 2035 created for each regional goal. As detailed in Table 1, a list of parties responsible for implementing the strategies is associated with each objective. Carrying out the strategies is typically the responsibility of partner agencies and may be accomplished through the individual agencies' budgets rather than regional funds. Choices 2035 also contains an evaluation of how well the previous plan's outcomes were met.
  • 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 John Sprowls at FTA (202-366-5362).

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