The Planning and Performance team helps coordinate Departmental efforts to ensure that transportation investments support a high quality of life in communities and create opportunity, both in and through transportation. This team works on a wide range of issues related to: ensuring that planned transportation projects meet community needs, including by ensuring effective public involvement; developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations related to transportation planning and investment; and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, including by working with other Federal, State and local agencies.
The planning team leads the development of DOT’s Strategic Plan, which is used to develop and implement policies and programs that shape our Nation's transportation infrastructure. The Strategic Plan presents the long-term objectives an agency hopes to accomplish at the beginning of each new term of an Administration by describing general and long-term goals the agency aims to achieve, what actions the agency will take to realize those goals, and how the agency will deal with challenges and risks that may hinder achieving results. The next Strategic Plan is to be completed by February 2018.
Performance-Based Transportation Planning
The transportation field is transitioning toward a performance management approach, which tracks performance outcomes to measure progress toward achieving national transportation goals and uses this information to inform transportation decision making. The planning team has worked with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to develop a series of rules to implement performance management requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP- 21) Act and reaffirmed in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Under these rules, state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations MPOs will be required to establish targets related to safety, bridge and pavement condition, air quality, freight movement, and performance of the National Highway System, and to use performance measures to track their progress toward meeting those targets. Information on these rules and other resources on performance management are available on FHWA’s Transportation Performance Management webpage.
A number of states, MPOs, and industry groups are working to develop and implement new performance metrics distinct from the traditional automobile level of service (LOS) model. Several case studies describe how some state and local agencies are taking advantage of federal flexibility to reconsider their use of LOS as they attempt to resolve broader transportation-related challenges. They present the experiences of several agencies working to achieve specific goals—related to financial constraints, safety, and the environment—and finding that in order to do so, they must update their use of LOS.
“Environmental justice” is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, national origin, or educational level with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. The planning team coordinates across the Department to ensure that DOT’s Operating Administrations examine their programs, policies, and activities and take appropriate actions to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 12898, the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898, and DOT Order 5610.2(a) (Department of Transportation Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations).