Investigation of System Operations Performance Measures for the Virginia Department of Transportation

Report No: 07-CR16

Published in 2007

About the report:

The focus of the surface transportation community has been steadily shifting over the past decade, from one of capital construction and maintenance toward system operations. To support this new focus, new monitoring tools are necessary. The Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT's) System Operations Directorate needs to gauge system performance for planning and developing effective future operational systems and strategies. The purpose of this research was to develop system operations performance measures for VDOT. To do so, the University of Virginia Center for Transportation Studies first identified four categories of measures: traffic, incidents, traveler information, and ITS device reliability. Then, specific measures were identified and developed for these categories. This research report presents these measures along with examples of their use within VDOT. All these measures were compiled into a prototype monthly statewide performance report. VDOT can use this performance report to guide its system operations program, allowing it to focus resources better on activities that best address VDOT's stated goals. The researchers recommend that the product of this research, the Virginia System Operations Performance Report (Appendix A), be used within VDOT's System Operations Directorate to guide future activities. The performance measures provided by the performance report will enable continuous monitoring of VDOT's progress toward stated goals. To ensure that the report is stable and consistent, the report further recommends that VDOT's Information Technology Division maintain the production system developed to automate creation of the monthly reports and that its Operations & Security Division establish a position that is responsible for monitoring and expanding data sources used for performance measurement. This position (the so-called "data watchdog") will serve as the business user expert that interfaces with VDOT's Information Technology Division and all divisions within the directorate. The benefits expected from this research are significant. Measuring performance is essential to monitoring the activities within the system operations program and determining where resources should be distributed to achieve the goals of the program. A monthly report, developed as a result of this research, will provide access to key performance measures. Such continuous reporting of these measures will help ensure that performance trends will be continuously scrutinized, resulting in improved mobility for all travelers on Virginia's roadways.

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.


Other Authors

Brian L. Smith, Byungkyu Park, Ramkumar Venkatanarayana, Simona Babiceanu, Catherine C. McGhee, P.E.

Last updated: November 26, 2023

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