The FHWA/FTA Condition and Performance Report (C&P) is a fundamental guide to national surface transportation investment requirements. It serves to guide planning and policy not only within the US DOT but also in the Congress, among transportation associations, public and private, and also provides the broad framework for investment requirements planning within state and local governments. More recently the advent of "C&P ST version," to be employed by states, has generated a new aspect of thinking about an organized and rigorous process to guide transportation investment. In this environment the establishing of base assumptions and alternative future scenarios around which to structure the operation of the models that support the C&P become critical to the utility of the entire process.
Over time the scenarios employed by FHWA in the C&P process have evolved in response to the Department's sense of its mission and in conformity with the needs of the incumbent Administration. At the same time Congressional concern has always been that year-to-year continuity be preserved. These changing scenario developments have not always been fully responsive to the needs of other users. It is imperative that scenarios be developed both for the C&P itself and for the use of other users that serve to provide for a robust consideration of all of the key facets of the investment requirements decision.
While the role of scenario development within the C&P for transit is limited it would be valuable to have the participation of FTA and transit representatives in these deliberations. TRB/NCHRP/TCRP can play a useful role as a convener of a workshop retreat to review and plan scenario development. It is recognized that FHWA/FTA are the sole determinant of what scenarios will be employed in the C&P. However, they will benefit from an extensive discussion of scenario options; and will run optional scenarios for AASHTO and others. While each organization will ultimately need to establish its own views on what scenarios are material via internal processes, all will benefit from a joint review and assessment.