New performance dashboards released in Massachusetts and Michigan

Two new performance measure systems went live in January in Massachusetts and Michigan (both SSTI states.) The systems aim to summarize state DOT-level measures, though one was developed independently of the state DOT and the other came from within.
In Massachusetts, the Boston-based Pioneer Institute and Northeastern University’s Engineering School unveiled a six-category dashboard. Measures tracked are:

  • Congestion (travel time index, congested time)
  • Throughput (VMT, VMT/capita, transit trips)
  • Safety (fatalities per 100 million VMT, total crashes, crashes per 100 million VMT)
  • Maintenance (pavement condition, structurally deficient bridges)
  • Construction management (projects completed, on-time and late projects, on-budget and over-budget projects)
  • Environmental stewardship (carbon dioxide emissions, carbon dioxide emission per 1 million VMT, ozone exceedences)

The dashboard, to be updated quarterly, uses publicly available data and was designed as a model for MassDOT. Initial reaction from the senior leadership has been positive, leading to an upcoming meeting on next steps, said Steve Poftak, Pioneer’s research director.
Poftak hopes the transportation community will provide feedback on the measures and their presentation, described in more detail in a policy brief. Those with suggestions may e-mail Poftak.
In Michigan, MDOT redesigned its measures dashboard.
“MDOT has been documenting performance measures all along and making this information available to the public,” said Director Kirk T. Steudle. “With this move, we are making it easy for citizens to track our progress.”
The dashboard will be updated frequently and expanded soon, MDOT said.
It has more criteria than does the Pioneer prototype for MassDOT, including, for example, economic development measures and a measure of public perception of the agency. It also includes targets for all criteria, and indicates which are being met and which are not.