Development of a Methodology to Coordinate and Prioritize Multimodal Investment Networks

Report No: 05-CR14

Published in 2005

About the report:

Across the nation, there are opportunities to improve coordination among transportation modal agencies, including aviation, transit, ports, highway, rail, pedestrian, and bicycle modes. Virginia's statewide multimodal transportation planning effort VTrans2025 addresses multimodal coordination of transportation investments in the state. Virginia's Secretary of Transportation submitted a final report of the VTrans2025 effort to the Virginia General Assembly in November 2004. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate an analytical methodology that could aid efforts such as this to coordinate and prioritize multimodal investments. The methodology developed can help decision makers to identify and prioritize proposed multimodal investment networks (MINs). These are large-scale coordinated investments in transportation projects across modes. The body of this report describes relevant literature and provides an overview of the developed methodology: (1) prioritization of the MINs, and (2) statistical comparison of modal plans. The analytical methodology developed will be of interest to multimodal transportation planning efforts across the nation, particularly where there is a need for systematic evidence-based approaches to coordinating the efforts of modal transportation agencies. Most data in the report are presented solely for purposes of demonstrating the methodology. The methodology developed in this project fosters improved coordination in planning and programming transportation investments across modal agencies. The potential benefits of the methodology include identification of lower-cost investment alternatives when considering multiple modes relative to considering only single modes to meet a particular travel demand; selection and programming of multimodal solutions that have the highest performance relative to the available or required levels of investment; and increased transparency and accountability of the multimodal agencies for the uses of funding that can be allocated across multiple transportation modes. The costs of implementing the methodology developed in this study are minimal and include one-time training of staff of the modal agencies in the use of the identification and priority-setting methodology and software demonstrated in the current study; and regular interaction and dialogue among the staff of the modal agencies that are involved in the identification and prioritization of investments across modes.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • James Hamilton Lambert, Kenneth D. Peterson, Shadi M. Wadie, Mark W. Farrington, Wayne S. Ferguson

Last updated: November 29, 2023

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