Program Evaluation and Strategy

DRAFT for June 17 ITS PAC Meeting

Subcommittee Charge

The Program Evaluation and Strategy subcommittee will advise the Committee on overall ITS Program direction and performance, including the following:

  • Strategies to promote multi-modal coverage of the ITS program;
  • Strategies to promote accelerated deployment of ITS technologies at the state and local level; and
  • Performance metrics to measure progress and achievement of ITS program goals in safety, mobility, and the environment.

Subcommittee Deliberations and Findings

The subcommittee reviewed the JPO’s high-level Charter which includes the following objectives:

  • Performing, managing and advocating for research and development.
  • Creating an environment in which ITS can advance as a critical, deployable element of a contemporary transportation system.
  • Positioning ITS as a response to policy challenges the U.S. transportation system faces.

We discussed the need to narrow the focus of the initial charge to the subcommittee, based on the following provisos:

  • This is a program focus and not a project-level focus.  The ITS PAC should not evaluate individual projects as that is the responsibility of the JPO itself.  The overall program outcomes should be determined and evaluated.
  • The subcommittee recognizes that resources well beyond what the JPO actually has access to will be needed to be effective in achieving certain outcomes.  These include funding as well as authority to act.  Any evaluation of the ITS program must consider these limitations on achieving performance outcomes.

Recommendations

The Program Evaluation and Strategy subcommittee seeks buy-in from the full ITS PAC on the following expectations for the JPO.  Once these are confirmed, the subcommittee will develop specific outcomes for each expectation.

  • The JPO should provide an effective program to support system development, investment, and deployment by others (e.g., state and local entities) in addition to the national deployment objectives.  The JPO should identify, explicitly, major program elements that are designed to support deployment (prototype development, technical feasibility, demonstration pilots, evaluations, standards development, facilitation forums, etc.), and provide a breakdown of the level of resources committed to date or planned in each of those elements.  JPO should survey key stakeholders to measure how the JPO’s investment in each of the major program elements has resulted in deployment by others.
  • The JPO should facilitate and accelerate institutional transformation (e.g., PPP, federal/state interactions, interactions among the US DOT modal administrations, communication of transferable lessons across geographic areas, etc.) where it is of fundamental value (or necessary) to achieve progress towards deploying transportation technologies. 

The JPO should identify major program activities explicitly related to the "facilitation" role, along with dedicated resources, and possibly other previously identified relevant activities that have not been undertaken.

  • The JPO should have a technology strategy that recognizes and leverages technology developments in other sectors (e.g., defense, telecom, etc.), recognizes the importance of global interoperability, and is based on an “open, agnostic” architecture.   Note:  This is being addressed by the Technology Strategy subcommittee of the ITS PAC.  The result of that subcommittee’s work will provide the basis for identifying performance measures for this objective..   
  • The JPO should develop and execute multi-modal ITS strategies as identified through an assessment of activities underway in each of the modal administrations.  The JPO should engage the modal administrations and national modal associations (e.g., AASHTO, APTA, AMPO, etc.) in these strategies.

Note: The JPO should provide a budget breakdown by mode, which will give the PAC insight into the JPO’s explicit modal  priorities and whether these align with the priorities of the ITS PAC ( recognizing that it may be very difficult to get PAC consensus on these priorities) and determine whether there are sufficient resources to support multi-modal strategies in a meaningful way. 

  • The JPO should work toward an ITS program that contributes to a sustainable transportation system that supports economic development, environmental protection, and social equity.  The JPO should propose the key metrics for each of these sustainability objectives and the data collection required as deployment occurs. 
  • The JPO should recommend program-level performance metrics, including metrics for the recommendations of the other two subcommittees, for review by the ITS PAC and implement them as an integral part of an ongoing independent evaluation to measure specific outcomes against expectations.

Assuming buy-in from the ITS PAC on the above, or additional, expectations the Subcommittee would work with the JPO to develop a definition of success and specific metrics for each expectation.   Further, we would develop processes for tracking progress.

 

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