Benchmarking and Comparative Measurement for Effective Performance Management by Transportation Agencies

Transportation system performance is a multidimensional concept, encompassing such diverse areas as safety, infrastructure condition, traffic congestion, air pollution emissions, and more. Systems performance is the concern of a diverse set of agencies that operate at all levels of government; with varied spans of responsibilities across transportation modes; and within the context of specific laws, regulations, and public priorities of the geographic and political regions where they operate. These agencies increasingly are pressed to report statistics publicly on performance of the systems for which they are responsible, but there are few commonly accepted definitions, criteria, or standards for how system performance is to be measured. However, work by NCHRP and others has demonstrated that comparisons of consistently measured performance across agencies and systems can be a valuable management tool. Benchmarking—comparison of one’s performance with that of peers—has been successfully applied in many fields as a tool for assessing system performance, communicating about system performance with a broad stakeholder audience, and supporting performance management. Using benchmarking entails selecting peers that may appropriately be compared, comparing appropriate aspects of their performance (both outcomes and significant management practices), and using the comparisons to assist in identifying what are and how to achieve desirable levels of performance. The objectives of this project were to (a) develop practical guidance on how transportation agencies can undertake and use benchmarking to inform and improve transportation performance management practices and (b) demonstrate examples applying of good performance benchmarking practice, including specific applications for non-motorized transportation and for environmental aspects of system performance. The research products were a guidebook on use of benchmarking and comparative performance measurement for effective performance management and a tool to support agencies participation in information sharing to facilitate benchmarking and comparative performance measurement. The guidebook, published as NCHRP Research Report 902: Benchmarking and Comparative Measurement for Effective Performance Management by Transportation Agencies, is available for download. The performance benchmarking tool is available on the AASHTO TPM Portal web site.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-118

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Lemer, Andrew

  • Performing Organizations:

    High Street Consulting Group

    6937 Blenheim Court
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  United States  15208
  • Principal Investigators:

    Crossett, Joe

  • Start Date: 20170308
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180909
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180909
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40855

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01599007
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-118
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 12 2016 1:00AM