Under two federal laws, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP‐21) and its successor, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, State DOTs and MPOs are required to conduct performance‐based planning and programming by tracking performance measures, setting data‐driven targets for the measures, and selecting projects to help meet those targets. This performance-based planning ensures the most efficient investment of federal transportation funds by increasing accountability and transparency and providing for better investment decisions.
A chart prepared by NJTPA summarizes the federal requirements and their timeframes for implementation. The required measures focus on key outcomes related to seven national goals:
- Infrastructure preservation
- Congestion reduction
- System reliability
- Freight movement and economic vitality
- Environmental sustainability
- Reduced project delivery delays
NJTPA has developed collaborative, standardized performance measures, targets and reporting for northern New Jersey aligned with these national goals. The current targets were adopted during 2018 and 2019 by the NJTPA Board of Trustees. Appendix M of the TIP is updated to include a discussion of the performance measures and the expected impact of the TIP on achieving targets. A short video below illustrates and explains one of the key measures.
The measures vary in geographic scope: some are statewide and others encompass entire urbanized areas that cross state and MPO boundaries. As a result, development of the measures and targets involved extensive collaboration by NJTPA with other agencies. Coordination groups for the various measures include: the NJDOT Complete Team; a New Jersey air quality working group; a group of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut agencies involved in the New York-Newark urbanized area; and a similar group of agencies involved in the Philadelphia urbanized area. The NJTPA's coordination on the national performance measures and targets is documented in a series of written procedures. Each document covers a particular group of performance measures:
The NJTPA recognizes that mandated federal measures only tell part of the story of transportation in its region. Therefore, NJTPA is developing regional performance measures to supplement the required federal performance measures, particularly in the areas of: livability; natural environment and resiliency; freight and economy; infrastructure condition; and mobility, congestion, reliability, and systems operations.
The NJTPA also performs detailed studies and computer simulations to better understand where and how people move throughout the region and estimate future travel demand. Outreach to residents, businesses and local elected and community officials helps ensure performance assessments reflect local preferences and needs.