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Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach – A Guidebook


This guidebook presents an approach for integrating TSM&O strategies into the metropolitan transportation planning process that is designed to maximize the performance of the existing and planned transportation system. Planning for operations is recommended as a means to meet federal transportation planning requirements for promoting “efficient system management and operations” and implementing a congestion management process (CMP), which is required in Transportation Management Areas (TMA).

Operations objectives contained in a metropolitan transportation plan are the drivers behind planning for operations: specific, measurable, agreed-upon statements of system performance that can be tracked on the regional level and inform investment decisions. The benefits of following an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to planning for operations include: illustrating and tying objectives to outcomes and available resources, increased accountability and communication with the public and stakeholders through performance measurement, and engagement of the TSM&O community and partners.

Specific sections of the guidebook focus on:

  • Developing operations goals and objectives
  • Developing performance measures, assessing needs, and selecting strategies
  • Plans, programs, and projects resulting from an objectives-driven, performance-based approach to operations
  • The process for ongoing monitoring and evaluation
  • The role, approach, and tool for regional coordination and collaboration

Appendices are included covering:

  • Requirements of SAFETEA-LU
  • Components of a CMP
  • Applications of the planning for operations approach to linking planning and NEPA, freight planning, safety planning, and land use integration
  • Operations objectives and performance measures in private and public organizations

Source Organization Location


Operations Area of Practice

    Performance Management
    Business Processes/Policies and Procedures
    Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
    System Performance Definition, Monitoring and Reporting
    Planning for Operations

Organizational Capability Element

    Project Development
    Performance Management
    Local government/MPO/RTPA cooperation

Content Type

Informational Product

Role in Organization

Transportation Planner
Senior Engineer
Principal Engineer
Manager / First Line Supervisor
Director / Program Manager
Senior Manager

Publishing Organization


Maturity Level of Program

Monitoring (L4)
Deployment (L3)
Assessment (L1)
Development (L2)


Available Tools
Prime Contractor
SAIC (ICF International
Michael Grant,
Jocelyn Bauer,
Terence Plaskon, and
John Mason
TOM Chapters
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