Planning for Operations
by Dr. Airton G. Kohls (Source: US Department of Transportation)
Effective Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations relies on a cooperative effort between an agency's operation and planning department. While aspects of Planning for Operations are already occurring to some extent in many metropolitan areas and States, it is the intent of this US DOT program to instill greater importance, innovation, creativity, and sustainability into how these activities take place.
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.
Key outcomes of this linkage are:
The US DOT has developed a website (http://plan4operations.dot.gov/index.htm) intended to promote outreach, technical assistance, and professional capacity building to enable stakeholders to become aware and motivated to act.
Several publications are available as guidance for the Planning for Operations initiative:
- 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.
- Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference;
- Creating an Effective Program to Advance Transportation System Management and Operations: Primer;
- Applying a Regional ITS Architecture to Support Planning for Operations: A Primer;
- The Role of Transportation Systems Management & Operations in Supporting Livability and
Sustainability: A Primer.