Strategic multimodal performance measurement: a survey of best practices at state departments of transportation

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Wilson, Richard D.
Southworth, Frank
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Over the past several years state departments of transportation (DOTs) have been faced with the challenge of mounting traffic congestion and dwindling transportation funds. It is against this backdrop that the need for optimal resource allocation decisions has become of utmost importance. Two emerging fields in transportation planning, performance measurement and multimodal planning, have the potential to assist agencies in investing transportation resources in the most effective manner. The confluence of these two fields at the strategic level, strategic multimodal performance measurement, is a promising approach for state DOTs looking to meet the public's growing transportation needs in spite of the dwindling financial resources available. Currently, many states are having difficulty developing performance measurement programs that incorporate a multimodal perspective to facilitate cross-modal comparisons. The objective of this research is to identify innovations and best practices at leading state DOTs in strategic multimodal performance measurement in order to assist other DOTs in the development or improvement of their strategic multimodal performance measurement programs. First, a review of literature examined the existing research related to performance measurement and multimodal planning. From this review of literature, a list of criteria was developed to evaluate strategic multimodal performance measurement programs. Additionally, a group of state DOTs with success in performance measurement or multimodal planning was identified. Next, a nationwide survey of multimodal practices at state DOTs was conducted to identify the current practices in strategic multimodal performance measurement. This survey, along with the literature review and discussions with practitioners, guided the selection of five state DOTs that case studies were performed on. Each of the case studies was organized and evaluated based on the criteria established in the literature review. The findings of this research suggest that performance measures for non-highway modes still lag behind those for highways, even in leading state DOTs. The findings also suggest that state DOTs have yet to develop a leading methodology for multimodal tradeoff analysis, but that performance measurement systems that are analogous across all modes have great potential for facilitating cross-modal comparisons.
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