Texas Freight Advisory Committee A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES

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1 Texas Freight Advisory Committee A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES October 1, 2013

2 A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES How Do Performance Measures Assist the Public Sector? In the public sector, transportation performance measures provide a means to assess how the transportation system and/or a transportation agency is functioning and operating. Performance measures help inform decision-making and create better accountability for efficient and effective program implementation. Performance measurements serve the following three functions: 1. Plan Development Provide a means to quantify baseline system performance and impacts of plan options to support trade-off decisions and help communicate the anticipated impacts of different investment strategies. 2. Plan Implementation Support plan implementation by emphasizing agency goals/ objectives and integrating them into budgeting, program structure, project selection, and project/program implementation policies. 3. Accountability Facilitate tracking and reporting on system performance relative to plan goals and objectives to support accountability for plan implementation and results. Why Focus on Performance Measurement? There is a growing focus on using performance measures to inform decision making, improve accountability, and respond to stakeholder demands for transparency. As documented in recent national-level research 1, more than half of current statewide transportation plans now include some element of performance-based planning. Most states now conduct some form of agency-wide performance measurement and reporting and nearly all new statewide long range plans incorporate performance measurements. A key focus of the current federal surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), is related to establishing a performance-based approach to managing the federal surface transportation program. To this end, MAP-21 formally established seven national goal areas: Infrastructure Condition Congestion Reduction Reliability Freight Movement and Economic Vitality Environmental Sustainability Reduced Project Delivery Delays 1 A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 1

3 To implement MAP-21, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is currently developing rules and regulations that: 1. Define national measures for each goal; 2. Establish performance reporting requirements; and 3. Provide guidance on integrating national goals and measures into planning and programming activities. As shown in Figure 1, final rules are anticipated by the second quarter of 2015 and both state DOTs and MPOs will be required to report national level measures by In addition to the general focus on performancebased approaches, MAP-21 also highlights performance measures in freight planning, starting with a requirement that USDOT establish a national freight policy to improve the condition and performance of the national freight network and provide a list of accompanying goals to guide freight plan development. What are Agencies Throughout the Country doing on Freight Performance Data and Measurement? Freight performance measures and associated data have generally lagged behind efforts to establish overall system metrics. However, this is changing as public freight travel data becomes more available, national efforts to develop freight measurement approaches evolve, and state freight measurement efforts mature. Specifically, several federal agencies have established freight data resources. The state DOT community has produced recommendations covering both general and freight-specific transportation measures. 2 In addition, recent national level research such as the Transportation Research Board s Performance Measures for Freight Transportation 3 identifies potential freight performance measures and provides guidance for developing measures at the state and MPO levels. Examples of state level measures are provided on the following page. Figure 1: FHWA Performance Measure Implementation schedule Source: FHWA 2 See Technical Guidance for Deploying National Level Performance Measurements, Volume 1, Measure Details. 3 See A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 2

4 EXAMPLES OF STATE DOT FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES Florida Truck miles traveled Seaport truck equivalent units Average truck travel speed Hours of truck delay Highway adequacy (LOS) Quality rail access Vehicles per lane mile congested Travel time reliability index Iowa Truck crash rates Railroad crossings crashes Derailments % of 40mph+ track miles % of 286,000lb car track miles Rail ton miles/gallon of fuel Travel times to major Midwest markets Oregon Distance from CBD to international container port Truck travel time index % of peak time aviation capacity use Number of rail safety incidents Average lock delay per tow Rail ton-miles per track mile Freight facilities/population Minnesota Miles below 45 MPH during peak Truck daily delay Cost of truck delay Travel time reliability index Washington Average speed Truck speed vs. posted speed What is the Relevance of Freight Performance Measurement to the Texas Freight Mobility Plan and Why is it Important to Texas? In developing the Texas Freight Mobility Plan (TFMP), TxDOT intends to create a set of targeted freight performance measures to assist with both managing the State s strategic freight network efficiently, effectively, and to improve the movement of goods. The measures established through the TFMP will support identification of freight bottlenecks, create a means for TxDOT to conduct performance-based planning, and monitor system performance from a freight perspective. This will enable TxDOT to flag trends, direct attention to problem areas, and improve public communication and education related to freight. What Are Current TxDOT Freight Performance Measurement Efforts? TxDOT has been working to influence a national-level performance measure development. TxDOT actively participated in an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Performance Management Task Force which established guidelines for performance targeted goal areas established under MAP-21. TxDOT has made considerable strides to both prepare for upcoming federal reporting requirements and to integrate performance management to improve planning, decision-making, and accountability. The agency has been working to assess its current capacity to produce baseline results and set targets for each of the likely national measures. Therefore, TxDOT is well positioned to support upcoming federal performance measure requirements. Currently, TxDOT is collecting data and reporting results for anticipated measures which include Annual Hours of Truck Delay and the Truck Reliability Index. The target-setting component will require additional input and collaboration with MPOs and other freight partners. A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 3

5 How Will Texas Freight Performance Measures Be Developed? Developing freight performance measures for Texas s multimodal transportation system will be closely integrated with establishing goals and objectives for the TFMP and the state long range plan update. While neither of these strategic frameworks is currently in place, both will likely build from the goals identified in TxDOT s existing Long Range Transportation Plan, the TxDOT Strategic Plan, and the Texas Freight Planning Technical Report. Common goal areas in these documents generally align with the national goal areas in MAP-21 (See Exhibits 2 & 3). Developing TFMP measures will build from this framework and seek to identify six to eight freight-specific metrics using a focused list of measurement evaluation criteria as illustrated below. General Goal Category TxDOT Strategic Plan Long Range Transportation Plan Texas Freight Planning Technical Report Maintain a Safe Enhance safety for all Texas transportation system users Preservation Maintain a Safe Maintain the existing transportation system Maintenance and Preservation Performance Address Congestion Promote congestion relief strategies Mobility, Reliability, and Congestion Connectivity Connect Texas Communities Enhance system connectivity Accessibility and Connectivity Operations Become a Best in Class State Agency Develop organizational structure and strategies to address future multimodal needs Develop comprehensive multimodal transportation funding strategies Environment Environmental Impact Figure 2: Goals Areas in Existing TXDOT Strategic Documents MAP-21 Goal Areas TxDOT Goal Category Strategic Plan LRTP Freight Tech Report Infrastructure Condition Preservation Congestion Reduction Performance Reliability Performance Freight Movement and Economic Vitality Economic Development/ Connectivity Environmental Sustainability Environment Reduce Project Delivery Delays Operations Figure 3: Alignment with MAP-21 National Goal Areas A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 4

6 What are Examples of Freight Performance Measures? The Performance Measures for Freight Transportation report reviewed 360 potential freight performance measures and screened based on surveys of public and private sector freight stakeholders, the quality of support data available, and their relevance. Figure 4 provides representative examples of these measures. This is neither an exhaustive list of potential freight measures, nor does it presuppose that these are the right measures for the TFMP. Instead, it provides illustrative examples to inform initial discussions related to creating a freight performance measurement structure and the implications of different types of measures, such as Annual Hours of Truck Delay on Interstates and Truck Reliability Index. National Goals Performance Condition Environmental Impacts Investment Proposed Decision Areas Supported Measurement Categories Measures within Categories Operations Investment Policy Scope Forecasted rate of growth for all modes of freight National Truck freight forecasts Freight Demand Rail freight forecasts National Water freight forecasts National Rate of growth in containerized imports/exports National Transportation Services Index National NHS travel speed urban National NHS travel speed rural Variable Trend line of top 10 highway Freight Efficiency freight bottlenecks Composite Class I RR speeds Rail freight market share Cost of logistics as percent GDP Pavement NHS pavement conditions Measures Bridge Measures NHS bridge conditions Intermodal Connectors Air Quality Highway Rail Water Condition of NHS intermodal connectors Truck injury and fatal crashes Highway/rail and fatal crashes Freight-related greenhouse National emissions Regular Other emissions: VOC, NO X, CO, National SO X, PM Regular Estimated investment in NHS versus amount necessary to sustain conditions Rail freight industry earning cost of capitol Estimated rail capital investment to sustain market share Inland water investment to sustain age of system Figure 4: Framework for National Freight Performance Measures Source: Transportation Research Board s NCHRP Report 10, Performance Measures for Freight Transportation A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 5

7 What Performance Measures Should TxDOT Consider? As the TFMP is developed, the specific and final measures will need to evolve to support the Plan s specific goals and objectives. Based on best practices from across the country and national-level research, the following measures, organized by likely goal area, provide a launching pad for this effort (or may identify research needs): Mobility Annual Hours of Truck Delay TxDOT is currently measuring the number of hours of delay trucks experience on the Interstate system and could consider doing the same on the entire strategic freight network. Truck Reliability Index TxDOT is already collecting data related to predictable travel times. Reduction in Freight Bottlenecks This measure tracks annual reductions in the number of bottlenecks or the total cost to address remaining bottlenecks; a set of Texas freight bottlenecks would need to be identified to establish a measure. Truck Related Crashes and Fatalities Tracks crashes and fatalities involving trucks. Rail Accidents Tracks rail accidents; since most railroads are privately operated, need to consider suitability as a TxDOT measure. At-grade Rail Crossing Documents the number of accidents and fatalities that occur at at-grade rail crossings or tracks TxDOT s progress addressing an inventory of targeted crossings. Preservation State of Good Repair on the Strategic Freight Network Applies to TxDOT s current bridge and pavement measurements to the freight network. Aspirational Measures (Additional research and plan development required before potential measures can be fully developed and evaluated.) Operations/ITS Research is needed to identify which of TXDOT s operational measures might be best applied directly to freight. Intermodal Access Further investigation is needed to determine how well TxDOT is improving intermodal access and connectivity needs and how those efforts might be measured. A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 6

8 What is the Role of the TxFAC in Developing Freight Performance Measures? The Texas Freight Advisory Committee (TxFAC) plays an important role in supporting the development of freight performance measures for the TFMP. The TxFAC can help ensure that the final plan measures are not just useful to TxDOT staff, but are also clear and meaningful from a wide range of industry perspectives. Specific ways that TxFAC members can contribute to the measurement development effort include: Defining how industry views system performance in areas such as access, capacity, reliability, and safety. Reacting to the value and meaningfulness of different measurement options. Providing insight into the goals and measures that are most important within the freight community. Providing input and assistance in prioritization of the goals outlined in the existing TxDOT strategic documents (outlined in Figure 2 above). Providing anecdotal evidence regarding transportation investment and its impacts on fright performance. Supporting the identification of freight significant corridors and nodes. Assisting in the identification and/or collection of data needed to support performance measures (e.g., sharing opinions on how surveys could be conducted and how data could be managed to protect proprietary concerns). Next Steps Establishing and applying freight performance measures is an important part of the TFMP development process. While there is much to build from with respect to both national level guidance/research and TxDOT s own progress in implementing performance management, this effort might face challenges due to unclear goals, variables in data measurement criteria, inconsistent data availability, unreliable and incomplete data resources, lack of geographic specificity, and inaccessibility of some data required for adequate and verifiable measurement information. As illustrated in Figure 5, the process for developing and selecting final freight performance measures will need to incorporate several different types of inputs, not the least of which is consideration of stakeholder and constituent interests that are represented by the TxFAC. The steps that TxDOT anticipates it will follow to achieve this input and to develop to a final set of freight performance measures includes: 1. Vetting the preliminary measures identified above for consideration. This should include discussions within TxDOT, the TxFAC, and other freight partners. 2. Adjusting the measures as the Plan s goals and objectives are identified to ensure the measures align and properly support those goals and objectives. 3. Researching data availability for the selected measures to verify that needed data and analytical tools exist to support the measures. 4. Researching any Texas legislative or TxDOT program requirements to enable compliance. Stakeholders/ Constituencies Current Goals and Objectives Date Analysis Decision-Makers Legislative/Program Requirements Identify Candidate Performance Measures Select Performance Measures Figure 5: Development of Performance Measures A PRIMER ON PUBLIC SECTOR FREIGHT PERFORMANCE MEASURES 7

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