Delivering resources to save time, lives, and money

Making a TSMO Program the Lifeblood a DOT



The Maryland DOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has become an industry example of how an agency can adapt to a changing transportation environment that fully commits to Transportation Systems Management & Operations (TSMO) principles.

The TSMO Strategic Implementation Plan outlined several business processes, most of which have resulted in pursuing activities the agency previously wouldn’t have embarked upon, such as:

  • Developing a Reliability Roadmap and related processes (and tools) that are now helping to provide a travel time reliability analytical framework and inform transportation decisions.
  • Including TSMO alternatives in long range planning studies and incorporating TSMO components in existing build alternatives
  • Developing a TSMO Combined Freeway and Arterial Operations Plan to integrate two major operational components within MDOT SHA that have operated on parallel policies and procedures.
  • Developing a Mobility Data Business Plan.
  • Developing an Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) ConOps for the I-95 Corridor linking Baltimore and Washington.

Systems and Technology

The CMM workshops and associated TSMO Strategic Implementation Plan identified a number of areas where technology might enable future opportunities - and MDOT SHA has capitalized on many of those opportunities including:

  • Embarking upon a statewide Telecommunications strategic planning effort to enable a backbone and network architecture that is future ready.
  • Development of the US 1 Innovative Technology Deployment Corridor program.

Performance Measurement

A key element of the TSMO Plan was to develop data- and performance-driven approaches to support TSM&O planning, programming, implementation and evaluation decisions.  This culture-change can be readily seen in several performance driven areas including:

  • The Annual Mobility Report and Mobility Dashboard that demonstrates a focus on applying a performance based approach to providing a high quality and reliable highway system.
  • The CHART Program, with over 70,000 assists last year, a primary contributor to an annual user cost savings of $1.5B as documented in annual CHART benefit reports.
  • The deployment of Virtual Weigh Stations to monitor commercial vehicle operations, with an archival tool that allows search for trends and repeat overweight offenders.


  • Formalizing internal MDOT SHA policies that enable continuity of culture even in an environment where political and financial forces might challenge an organization in the future.
  • Implementing a communications and outreach plan with the goal of mainstreaming the TSMO message across the organization.

Operations Area of Practice

    Strategic Planning

Organizational Capability Element

    Program Status/Authorities

Content Type

Case Studies & Lessons Learned

Publishing Organization

Issue Date