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

Washington, DC

Operations Area of Practice

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

Organizational Capability Element

  • Performance Management
  • Planning
  • Programming/Budget/Funding
  • Project Development
  • Local government/MPO/RTPA cooperation
  • Outsourcing/PPP

Content Type

  • Informational Product

Role in Organization

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

Publishing Organization

  • FHWA

Maturity Level of Program

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


  • Available Tools
  • How-To
  • Learning
  • Prioritization

Document Downloads

Project Website

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

Prime Contractor
SAIC (ICF International
Michael Grant, Jocelyn Bauer, Terence Plaskon, andJohn Mason
Issue Date
February 1st, 2010
Publication Number
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