The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(061) [Completed]

Issues and Practices in Performance-Based Maintenance and Operations Management
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: PB Consult with ARA/TRANS
Principal Investigator: Gary Hoffman, Jagannath Mallela
Effective Date: 6/8/2008
Completion Date: 1/31/2010

The last 15 years have seen rapid advances in the expectations and practices of performance-based management of transportation systems. These advances are exemplified by development and application of continuously-updated agency and system performance reports (e.g., “dashboards” available on manager’s desktops), direct linking of funding to performance expectations, and performance-based contracting to procure from private-sector providers selected services that transportation agencies have traditionally provided using in-house staff and equipment. Several state departments of transportation (DOTs) (e.g., Virginia, Florida) and other transportation agencies have used the latter strategy for maintenance of segments of their highways systems.
Despite advances that have been made, many DOT officials agree that there are opportunities for further improvement of agencies’ performance. Participants in NCHRP-sponsored workshops for chief executive officers have continued for the past several years to identify performance-based management as a priority topic for research. Leadership of AASHTO has continued to direct funds to new NCHRP projects on the topic. The topic is frequently on the agenda of TRB and AASHTO meetings.
Among agencies’ applications of performance-based management, maintenance and operations contracting arguably is the most advanced and among the areas where the benefits of contracting are most clearly estimated. AASHTO leadership has determined that research is needed to take stock of what has been learned in maintenance and operations outsourcing through performance based approaches and to determine what AASHTO could do to most effectively encourage further advances in performance-based management.
The objective of this research was to hold an executive forum for senior DOT officials to share their views, assess their experiences with performance-based maintenance and operations contracting, and identify strategies for further advancing agency management practices in this area.
The research team conducted a critical review of transportation-agencies’ experience with contracting for maintenance and operations services, using published literature, telephone interviews, and other sources to gather experience from states, cities, and other countries.  This review provided background information for participants in the executive forum.  The forum was held with invited participants in Tampa, FL, in April 2009. 
PRODUCTS:  The research team's final report, "Issues and Practices in Performance-Based Maintenance and Operations Contracting," is available by clicking here (745 Kb file).  A separate document with the slides from presentations made at the executive forum is also available; click here (2.7 Mb file).  These two documents were provided to AASHTO.

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