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Measuring What We Value
SETTING PRIORITIES AND EVALUATING SUCCESS IN TRANSPORTATION
Better bang for the buck
How do we justify transportation expenditures? To many people, the perception is that project decisions are made in a murky, mysterious process, or, even worse, through a political process where only the projects with the most connections get funded. Further, it is not clear to the average person what all the spending gets them. With public confidence in government at low levels, it’s more important than ever to quantify the public benefits of transportation investment and let voters know what their money is going to buy — especially when attempts are being made to raise new money for transportation to fill the gap.
Transitioning to a more performance-based system of transportation investment was one of the key reforms of MAP-21 and could represent a sea change in how funding decisions are made and our transportation system performs.
This report and recommended framework looks at the innovative DOTs and MPOs experiencing early successes in measuring the performance of their transportation system and making investments based on getting the best bang for the buck, and also lays out smart recommended goals and measures from T4America for making this transition.
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