Report on a National Forum on Performance-Based Transportation Planning and Programming

A national forum on performance-based planning and programming was held in Dallas, Texas on September 13-15, 2010. The forum was organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), the American Public Transit Association (APTA), and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Participants in the forum were equally divided among state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and transit operators with a number of representatives from rural planning agencies as well. The forum sponsors readily agreed that the objective of a performance-based planning and programming process is to provide the guidance required for resource allocation decisions that deliver the best system performance results possible given performance goals and objectives and the resources available. However, they recognized that perspectives on performance-based planning and programming, both within and across different types of agencies, would vary. Taking this variance into account, the overall intent of the forum was to define practical approaches to performance-based resource allocation. Performance-based resource allocation should occur within an agency’s planning and programming process. Long-range planning helps to define key goals and objectives and to analyze and evaluate strategies and scenarios for meeting goals. It is a logical place to connect performance measures to goals and objectives and to define intended performance results. Long-range plans also provide broad guidance to resource allocation decisions. The programming and budgeting process then provides an opportunity to directly link goals and performance measures from long-range planning to specific programs, projects, and operations. However, it was noted that even though performance-based approaches can improve accountability and the use of resources, performance-based planning and programming is not a panacea. Without adequate and predictable funding levels, system performance will degrade. The organizers had four primary objectives for the forum: Identify the elements of a performance-based planning and programming process and define the next steps for implementation; Identify the challenges in developing performance-based planning and programming processes and strategies for agencies to implement such processes; Draw on agencies’ experience to provide practical guidance for implementing performance-based planning and programming; and Identify capacity-building actions that reflect the needs of a diverse set of agencies.

  • Record URL:
  • Summary URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, and was conducted in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, which is administered by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Cambridge Systematics, Incorporated

    115 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2200
    Chicago, IL  United States  60603

    High Street Consulting Group


    Bay (Paul N), Transportation Consultant


    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Publication Date: 2010-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Summary Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 142p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01673599
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NCHRP Project 20 24, Task 58
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2018 11:17AM