The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 51-19 [Active (Synthesis)]

Performance Metrics for Public-Private Partnership
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: Gransberg & Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Douglas D. Gransberg
Effective Date: 10/1/2019
Fiscal Year: 2019

Final Scope
The infrastructure in the United States, as in many other countries, is aging, and limited public funds are available to maintain the current infrastructure and foster future growth. A potential mechanism to deliver a portion of the ongoing transportation infrastructure needs is a public-private partnership (P3). By definition, a P3 is a contract between the public and private sectors for the financing, delivery, or service of a project. There are many examples of successful P3’s in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. In recent years, establishment of the U.S. Department of Transportation Build America Bureau and enabling legislation in many states have facilitated implementation of P3 projects in the transportation sector. Once a project delivery selection is made, monitoring project performance over the length of the project becomes vital for assessing and improving project performance and delivery decisions.

Performance metrics in P3 projects should address the DOT’s policy goals and the overall quality and performance requirements for the specific contracted work. These performance metrics typically include key indicators of travel time reliability, safety, overall project physical condition, asset availability, and other project elements. Despite the importance of performance metrics, knowledge is relatively limited about effective practices for selecting metrics, setting metric performance levels, and reasonable approaches to deductions and point systems for failure of the P3 contractor to meet contract requirements.

The objective of this synthesis is to document key performance metrics used in various long-term DOT P3 contracts for the delivery of highway projects and/or services. The synthesis will focus on the post-construction stage of P3 contracts.

Information gathered includes, but is not limited to:
• Key performance metrics for various DOT P3 contracts and how the metrics are implemented, tracked, and assessed
• Categories of P3 metrics (e.g., environmental, tolling operations, pavement)
• Hand-back requirements
• Methods by which performance metrics are tied to payment mechanisms (e.g., lane availability, route performance, condition criteria, safety performance, unforeseen events) to the P3 contractor.
• Methods for enforcing key performance metrics.
• Lessons learned

Information will be collected through literature review, a targeted survey of DOTs that have enabling P3 legislation and that have reached commercial and/or financial close, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• Quantifying and Benchmarking the Delivery Performance of U.S. Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Transportation National Transportation Center at Maryland
• Federal Highway Administration (2009). “Public-private partnerships for highway
infrastructure: Capitalizing on international experience.” International Technology Scanning Program.
• FHWA Information Source for Major Highway Projects (P3 database)
• FHWA P3 Hand-Back Experience white paper (2018) https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/pdfs/p3/p3_handback_experience_010318.pdf
• Yuan, J. F., Zeng, A. J. Y., Skibniewski, M. J., and Li, Q. M. (2009). “Selection of performance objectives and key performance indicators in public-private partnership projects to achieve value formoney.” Constr.Manage. Economy., 27(3), 253–270.
• Yuan, J., Skibniewski, J., Li, Q., & Zheng, L. (2009). “Performance objectives selection model in public-private partnership projects based on the perspective of stakeholders.” Journal of Management in Engineering, 26(2),89–104. 

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 1, 2019, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 23, 2019, 11:00 am, ET 
Second Panel: June 11, 2020, Washington, DC 

Topic Panel

Brian A. Blanchard, HDR
Michael BoniniPennsylvania DOT
Eric K.KahligOhio DOT
Jeong Yun KwenVirginia DOT
John M. MasonPennsylvania State
Jon Oldenburg, CALTRANS

Darryl D. VanMeter, Georgia DOT
Patrick T. DeCorla-Souza,
Robert J. Shea, TRB

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