A Framework for Assessing Transportation Sustainability Rating Systems for Implementation in U.S. State Departments of Transportation

Sustainability has increased in popularity as a key indicator for planning transportation projects. With that movement, evaluating the sustainability of transportation projects has become necessary for state departments of transportation (DOTs). Transportation Sustainability Rating Systems (TSRS) have been adopted for this purpose; however, different TSRSs employ different methods for determining or quantifying sustainability, and emphasize different sustainability factors. Given the number, variability, and specificity of TSRSs available, an evaluation and pairing exercise of available systems is needed to help state DOTs select a system by determining to what extent a given system suits each state DOT’s preferences. This thesis presents a four-step framework that identifies the most important capabilities in a TSRS as preferred by a state DOT and then facilitates weighting of those capabilities via a well-established methodology, the Analytical Hierarchy Process. The thesis also presents the implementation of this framework for Colorado DOT (CDOT), South Dakota DOT (SDDOT), Utah DOT (UDOT) and Wyoming DOT (WYDOT). The framework resulted in the identification of Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST) to be the most suitable TSRS for CDOT and WYDOT, Green Leadership in Transportation and Environmental Sustainability (GreenLITES) as the most suitable TSRS for SDDOT, and the results for UDOT were inconclusive. The framework developed for assessing TSRSs was proven to be a viable means for determining rank and suitability of TSRS for DOTs.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Colorado State University, Fort Collins

    Department of Construction Management
    Fort Collins, CO  United States  80523-1584

    Colorado State University, Fort Collins

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Fort Collins, CO  United States  80525

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Simpson, Sherona P
    • Ozbek, Mehmet E
    • Clevenger, Caroline M
    • Atadero, Rebecca A
  • Publication Date: 2014-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 89p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529296
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC 14-268
  • Contract Numbers: MPC-377
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2014 9:41AM