||ICF International, Inc., Fairfax, VA.; Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.; Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC.
This document describes opportunities to incorporate environmental, economic, and social sustainability into transportation decision-making through the use of performance measures. Performance measures allow decision-makers to quickly observe the effects of a proposed transportation plan or project or to monitor trends in transportation system performance over time. While many transportation agencies use performance measures as part of planning and project development, their use to promote sustainability has historically been limited. However, more and more agencies have begun to measure the ability of their systems to help protect natural resources, improve public health, strengthen energy security, expand the economy, and provide mobility to disadvantaged people. This document provides examples of best practices in sustainable transportation performance measurement that are being applied across the country. The measurement of environmental, economic, and social outcomes is already yielding positive results. Many agencies have found that, once they begin to report sustainable transportation performance measures, stakeholders quickly see their value and come to expect regular reporting of measures and more explicit linkages between the measures and public agency decisions. Agency staff and stakeholders are then able to engage in a much richer conversation about the trade-offs among policy and investment decisions and the best opportunities for their region or state to reach its sustainability goals.