About Planning for Operations
Planning for Operations is a joint effort between operations and planning that encompasses the important institutional underpinnings needed for effective Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations. Planning for Operations includes three important aspects:
- Regional transportation operations collaboration and coordination activity that facilitates Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations,
- Management and operations considerations within the context of the ongoing regional transportation planning and investment process, and
- The opportunities for linkage between regional operations collaboration and regional planning.
While aspects of Planning for Operations are already occurring to some extent in many metropolitan areas and States, it is the intent of this program area to instill greater importance, innovation, creativity, and sustainability into how these activities take place.
What Do We Mean by Linking Planning and Operations?
An effective transportation system requires not only the provision of highway and transit infrastructure for movement of the public and freight, but also the efficient and coordinated operation of the regional transportation network in order to improve system efficiency, reliability, and safety.
Linking planning and operations involves actions that build stronger connections between transportation planners and operators. It involves coordination and collaboration that can reveal the role of operational strategies in helping to attain goals and objectives set forth in the planning process, and it integrates operations thinking in the planning of infrastructure projects.
Regional transportation planning and investment decisionmaking requires a great deal of inter-jurisdictional coordination. Similarly, effective regional transportation systems management and operations requires collaboration and coordination among operating agencies across jurisdictions and between transportation and public safety agencies. The focus of linking planning and operations is to provide stronger connections between these two processes and activities.
Key outcomes of this linkage are:
- To instill "operations thinking" into the planning process – Planners have a greater understanding of the role of operations projects and programs in the context of meeting regional goals and objectives, and a greater understanding of how planners can help advance these activities.
- To instill "planning thinking" into management and operations – Operators have a greater understanding of how the long range planning process can support management and operations activities, and how these activities fit into the context of regional goals and objectives in the planning process.
Why Link Planning and Operations?
Linking planning and operations is important to improve transportation decisionmaking and the overall effectiveness of transportation systems. Coordination between planners and operators helps ensure that regional transportation investment decisions reflect full consideration of all available strategies and approaches to meet regional goals and objectives.
About this Website
The FHWA Office of Operations and Office of Planning and FTA's Office of Planning have two goals in creating this joint program and the content for this website:
- To enhance the planning and operations functions in order to improve and strengthen the key institutional underpinnings and linkages that will be needed for effective transportation systems management and operations in the 21st Century, and
- To enhance the planning and decision-making process so that investments in operations provide regional benefit, when possible, and are on par with investments made in construction and preservation.
A key goal is the evolution of better Regional Transportation Operations Collaboration and Coordination as well as enhancing and strengthening the management and operations aspects of the regional transportation planning process. This website is intended to promote outreach, technical assistance, and professional capacity building to enable the key audience groups, as well as other relevant stakeholders, to become aware and motivated to act.