Performance-Based Planning

Any plan, to be taken seriously, must include both a process for evaluating
progress towards the goals and objectives identified and a system of
measuring that progress. Monitoring progress towards achieving goals
and objectives is helped by developing performance measures during the
planning process.

In general, performance measures must be directly relatable to goals, utilize
available data that is trackable over time, and measure progress. According
to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “Performance
measures are a qualitative or quantitative measure of outcomes, outputs,
efficiency, or cost effectiveness.”

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National Goal Areas for Transportation Performance Management

A key feature of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is the establishment of a performance and outcome-based program, originally introduced through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act. The objective of a performance-based program is for states and MPOs to invest resources in projects that collectively will make progress toward the achievement of national goals.

Nationally, there are seven goal areas for performance measures. They are:

1.  Safety: To achieve reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

2.  Infrastructure Condition: To maintain highway infrastructure assets in state of good repair.

3.  Congestion Reduction: To achieve reduction in congestion on the National Highway System.

4.  System Reliability: To improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system.

5.  Freight Movement and Economic Vitality: To improve freight networks, strengthen the ability of rural communities to access national and   international trade markets, and support regional economic development.

6.  Environmental Sustainability: To enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the environment.

7.  Reduced Project Delivery Delays: To reduce project costs, promote jobs and the economy, and expedite the movement of people and goods by accelerating project completion through eliminating delays in the project development and delivery process, including reducing regulatory burdens and improving agencies’ work practices.

As a result, MPO’s, and State and Local agencies will invest resources in projects to achieve individual targets that will collectively make progress towards these national goals. The FHWA enacts performance measures and targets that guide the selection of transportation projects and programs based on the previous goals. As these rules become effective, and MDOT issues their targets for the performance measures indicated in the rule, MATS staff will update this page with more information on each. 

Performance Measures and Targets Timeline

The table above shows the Performance Rules, and the associated specific performance measures, that will need to be dealt with in the 2018 to 2019 time frame.  The process by which this works can be convoluted, but Safety Performance Measures is a good example to illustrate what MATS has been, and will be, doing with regard to them.  After the Final Rule was promulgated by the Federal government, the Michigan Department of Transportation looked at the measures required to be used and developed targets that the State would look to meet or exceed.  They did this by looking at past data on fatalities and injuries, other factors that influenced how much people drive and where they drive to, and so forth.  Once they were satisfied they had identified trends in the data, and trends in the factors, they were able to develop and adopt targets for the future.  

These targets were then passed along to the MPOs in the state, for their review and possible adoption.  MPOs could adopt the MDOT targets, in whole or in part, or develop their own based on local conditions, again either in whole or in part.  In the case of MATS, the Policy Committee adopted the MDOT targets for this first annual cycle of review, and will look at the situation again later in 2018 for the 2019 adoption deadline.

Infographic courtesy of Aaron Dawson, FHWA

Statewide 2016 Baseline data and Statewide 2018 Targets from MDOT

Statewide 2016 Baseline data and Statewide 2018 Targets from MDOT

On November 6th, 2018 MATS adopted a resolution of support for the 2019 MDOT Safety Performance Measure Targets for the next year, thereby agreeing to plan and program projects so that they contribute to achieving the MDOT-adopted targets.


MATS takes safety into account when preparing the TIP project list via the policy utilized to assist in the selection of projects.  While all projects inevitably have some safety component or benefit, numerous projects such as Eastman Road at Schaffer Road, Gordonville Road, Poseyville Road, US-10, M-47, and numerous region-wide MDOT projects have all explicitly focused on safety or been funded with safety targeted resources.

Another instance is for Non-Motorized projects currently listed in the Non-Motorized Plan, as safety and compliance with the American Disabilities Act were also considered during the project evaluation process. This includes factoring in the project’s potential to eliminate conflict points between vehicles and the various forms of non-motorized travel.  Such projects should minimize the potential for crashes, injuries, and fatalities as well.

In addition to this, the East Michigan Council of Governments Regional Safety Data Plan presents key emphasis areas and systematic approaches that can be utilized by local agencies as they apply for safety-specific funding for identified projects.  This enables MATS to continue to focus on the priority emphasis areas identified in the safety plan, such as intersection, lane departure, and pedestrian and bicycle safety. Therefore, MATS is continuing to support MDOT targets through a variety of methods.

Safety Performance Measures

The Performance Measures under this rule are:

  • Number of Fatalities (as reported in Fatality Analysis Reporting System)

  • Rate of Fatalities (FARS fatalities/100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled)

  • Number of Serious Injuries (State data, “A” type injuries)

  • Rate of Serious Injuries (State data/100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled)

  • Number of Non-motorized Fatalities and Serious Injuries (FARS and State data)

 All targets are reported as a 5-year rolling average, and must include all roads in the state/planning area regardless of functional class and ownership.

States first establish targets in the August 31, 2017 Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and report annually thereafter.  MPO’s can either support and report on statewide targets, or make targets for the Metropolitan Planning Area.  These are reported in planning documents (Metropolitan Transportation Plan Performance Report, see below).  For more information please see 23 CFR 924.15

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Transit Asset Management (State of Good Repair)


MAP-21 mandated the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop a rule establishing a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, and improving public capital assets effectively through their entire life cycle. The Transit Asset Management (TAM) Final Rule 49 CFR part 625 became effective Oct. 1, 2016, and established four performance measures, also known as State of Good Repair. The performance management requirements outlined in 49 CFR 625 Subpart D are a minimum standard for transit operators. Providers with more sophisticated analysis expertise are allowed to add additional transit performance measures and utilize those advanced techniques in addition to the required national performance measures.

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rolling Stock

This means a revenue vehicle used in providing public transportation, including vehicles used for carrying passengers on fare-free services.


This means an article of non-expendable, tangible property has a useful life of at least one year. Examples of equipment might be radio equipment for dispatch purposes or maintenance equipment for the area around the bus garage.


This means a building or structure that is used in providing public transportation.  The offices for the administration, or the bus garage are examples of facilities in this context. 



This means the underlying framework or structures that support a public transportation system, including things like rail track. The infrastructure performance measure required by FTA is limited to rail fixed guideway assets. Therefore, a transit provider that operates a fixed guideway service that is not rail-based (such as a BRT or ferry) would not have to set or submit a performance target for its non-rail infrastructure assets. Agencies may choose to set additional performance measures and targets for infrastructure as part of their TAM plans, although these are not required to be submitted to FTA.

Transit Asset Management State of Good Repair Targets

For the initial cycle of target setting in June 2017, draft targets were developed with the cooperation of both DART and CCM.  DART targets were self-­ derived (as required for each urban transit provider), whereas MDOT derived group and individual targets for rural transit providers and thus CCM.  MATS group targets were essentially an average between the DART targets and the CCM targets in the applicable target areas.  For a baseline, DART currently reports 0% of vehicles that exceed the Useful Life Benchmark, while CCM is higher.  Therefore, a compromise of 10% was proposed for the rolling stock (small bus) target, which equals the MDOT target.  The infrastructure target is not applicable at all since assets to be measured are not owned or operated by either DART or CCM.  As for equipment and facilities targets, a conservative target was chosen and has been met, wherein 100% of either may meet a given rating. These targets were set and approved by MATS’ Policy Committee on July 11, 2017. Targets are reviewed annually, so for 2018 onwards MATS used essentially this same process, and expects targets to be approved in each spring. The most recent targets were supported by MATS on May 1, 2018.

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Transit Performance Measures Role in the TIP Process

 As can be seen from the table above, the group targets set by MATS for the current year are essentially the same as previous year targets, other than the lower facilities target.  There has been no significant change in the active rolling stock for either DART or CCM, and the condition of both equipment and facilities is unchanged.  Both DART and CCM currently meet the targets for all 4 measures. This shows that MDOT targets are being supported by these systems in the MATS area.

 During deliberations regarding future transit efforts, MATS will refer to, and measure progress towards each of these performance measure targets.  This will be done via the process utilized to determine the group targets, and ongoing coordination and consultation.  These performance measures and their associated targets will be taken into account both by the individual transit systems, and by MATS as future efforts are evaluated. 

Transit Asset Management Plan

 Federal regulations require urban transit systems to prepare Transit Asset Management Plans, and to present these documents to the local MPO.  In our case, DART has transmitted its draft Transit Asset Management Plan to MATS, where it will be kept on file, and utilized when making project selections for future TIP documents. It can be found in full at this link: DART Transit Asset Management Plan

Pavement and Bridge Condition

The performance measures under this rule are:

  • Percent of NHS Bridges in Good Condition

  • Percent of NHS Bridges in Poor Condition

  • Percentage of Interstate pavements in Good Condition

  • Percentage of Interstate pavements in Poor Condition

  • Percentage of non-Interstate NHS pavements in Good Condition

  • Percentage of non-Interstate NHS pavements in Poor Condition


On May 20, 2017, the FHWA’s Final Rule on pavement and bridge condition performance measures to address new requirements established by MAP-21 and the FAST Act took effect. 

This Pavement and Bridge Condition Performance Measures final rule establishes measures for State DOTs to carry out the NHPP and to assess the condition of pavements on the non-Interstate NHS; pavements on the Interstate System; and bridges carrying the NHS, including on- and off-ramps connected to the NHS. 

These targets were most recently supported by MATS on September 11, 2018.


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System Performance (Travel Time Reliability), Freight, CMAQ


On May 20, 2017, a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) final rule took effect regarding Performance of the NHS, Freight, and CMAQ. The rule establishes performance measures that State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) will use to report on the performance of the Interstate and non-Interstate National Highway System (NHS) to carry out the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP); freight movement on the Interstate system to carry out the National Highway Freight Program (NHFP); and traffic congestion and on-road mobile source emissions for the purpose of carrying out the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The rule addresses requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and reflects passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. 

The performance measures under this rule are:

  • Interstate Travel Time Reliability Measure (% of person-miles traveled on the Interstate that are reliable)**

  • Non-Interstate Travel Time Reliability Measure (% of person-miles traveled on the non-Interstate NHS that are reliable)

  • Truck Travel Time Reliability Index (Sum of max TTTR for each segment/total Interstate system miles)

  • Peak Hour Excessive Delay (PHED) Per Capita*

  • % of Non-Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) Travel*

  • Total Emissions Reduction*

As indicated in the table above, MATS has chosen to support the State targets for Interstate, Non-interstate, and Freight reliability.

CMAQ stands for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, and the last three performance measures are applicable to areas that have been determined to not be in attainment of mandated air quality standards.

*Not applicable to MATS due to attainment of air quality standards.

**Not applicable to MATS due to no Interstate mileage within MATS area.


Statewide and Non-metropolitan Transportation Planning; Metropolitan Transportation Planning

This Final Rule, effective June 27, 2016, updates and modifies a rule originally issued as part of MAP-21.  Jointly issued by FHWA and FTA, it updates regulations concerning the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), a new mandate for States and MPOs like MATS to take a performance-based approach to planning and programming; a new emphasis on the nonmetropolitan transportation planning process, by requiring States to have a higher level of involvement with nonmetropolitan local officials and providing a process for the creation of regional transportation planning organizations (RTPO); a structural change to the membership of the larger MPOs; a new framework for voluntary scenario planning; new authority for the integration of the planning and environmental review processes; and a process for programmatic mitigation plans.

Any Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) document must comply with performance reporting requirements beginning on May 27, 2018.  It is this rule that prompted the creation of the most recent amendment to the MATS FY 2017 - 2020 TIP.

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Going forward, any new TIP being developed must demonstrate the amount of investment being made towards each performance goal in a way that may be on a per-project basis or may be more broadly applicable across multiple rule areas. As specific rule areas come into effect, the MPO will begin to analyze progress toward the performance goals in fiscal year 2018 and thereafter using the annual listing of obligated projects to guide spending levels in each category.  Each completed project will be then evaluated to determine to which performance area it may have contributed.  Furthermore, development of the 2020-2023 TIP will place continued emphasis on meeting the targets and using this performance-driven project selection process. MATS staff will also continue to work with other MPOs on best practices for performance-based programming of projects and analysis of performance measure data.