Performance Based Planning and Programming

Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21) and reinforced in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, federal surface transportation regulations require the implementation of performance management requirements through which States and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) will “transition to a performance-driven, outcome-based program that provides for a greater level of transparency and accountability, improved project decision-making, and more efficient investment of Federal transportation funds.”

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have been gradually issuing a set of rulemakings, initially proposed and subsequently final, for the implementation of this performance based planning and programming (PBPP) process. Each rulemaking lays out the goals of performance for a particular area of transportation, establishes the measures for evaluating performance, specifies the data to be used to calculate the measures, and then sets requirements for the setting of targets.

What is performance based planning and programming (PBPP)? PBPP is the application of performance management within the planning and programming process to achieve desired performance outcomes for the multimodal transportation system. The PBPP process ties the funding of projects and programs to improving measured performance and achieving targets set for future performance. Under the PBPP process states, MPOs, and providers of public transportation must link investment priorities to the achievement of performance targets in the following areas.   

  • Highway Safety
  • Highway Pavement and Bridge Conditions
  • System Performance – National Highway System (NHS) Congestion
  • System Performance – Freight
  • System Performance – Congestion Management and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program
  • Transit Asset Management
  • Transit Safety

PBPP includes a range of activities and products.

  • Development of long range transportation plans (e.g., TPB’s Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP).  
  • Federally-required plans and processes -- such as Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSPs), Asset Management Plans, the Congestion Management Process (CMP), Transit Agency Asset Management Plans, and Transit Agency Safety Plans
  • Programming documents, including State and metropolitan Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs and TIPs)

The final Statewide and Metropolitan Planning Rule (May 2016) provides more direction and guidance on requirements for the performance-based planning and programming provisions, including forecasting performance, target-setting, documentation in the long range plan and TIP, and a requirement for an annual System Performance Report. 

To implement PBPP, a requirement of the Planning Rule is that by May 2018 the MPO, each highway agency, and the providers of public transportation in the region jointly agree upon and document in writing the coordinated processes for:

  • Collection of performance data
  • Selection of performance targets for the metropolitan area
  • Reporting of metropolitan area targets
  • Reporting of actual system performance (related to those targets).

TPB staff are continuing collaboration with key Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia partners in responding to this requirement. In addition, staff are working to:

  • Compile regional performance measure data consistent with state and transit agency data 
  • Coordinate with State DOTs and transit agencies as they develop their respective target setting methodologies
  • Engage with the TPB and the Technical Committee on PBPP information
  • Develop staff recommendations on regional safety target setting methodology - and corresponding targets - based on coordination with our member partners
  • Prepare for PBPP target-setting action by the TPB.