Request for Qualifications

Congestion Management Process Development

PACTS MPO (Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System)

Portland, ME

Posted: 11/29/2012
Submittal Deadline: 12/14/2012


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PACTS envisions a CMP that includes an application of strategies to improve transportation system performance and reliability by reducing the adverse impacts of congestion on the movement of people and goods. The CMP is a systematic and regionally-accepted approach for managing congestion that provides accurate, up-to-date information on transportation system performance and assesses alternative strategies for congestion management that meet state and local needs. The CMP is intended to integrate congestion management strategies into the funding and implementation stages, as directed by PACTS Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) currently known as Destination Tomorrow (2011).

The Congestion Management Process (CMP) is intended to use a number of analytic tools to define and identify congestion within a region and to develop and select appropriate strategies to reduce congestion or mitigate the impacts of congestion. The development of a CMP should create an objectives-driven, performance-based process for identifying and addressing congestion while measuring the performance of the transportation system. The Congestion Management Process should be viewed, not as something separate from — or outside of — the planning process, but as an integral part of PACTS’ planning activity. Just as travel demand forecasting and modeling is a tool for planners to estimate future needs and analyze the impact of alternative capital investments, the CMP assists in identifying system deficiencies and in analyzing and selecting alternative strategies to address congestion for inclusion in the LRTP and the short range TIP. The CMP should enable PACTS and its operating agency partners to measure performance, manage data, and analyze alternative strategies in a manner consistent with Federal requirements for a congestion management process as well as environmental analyses under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(NEPA).

In the second half of 2013 PACTS will begin developing an update/new Regional LRTP Plan.

In order to complete all of the required elements of the LRTP by the fall of 2014, PACTS has determined that it is necessary to hire a consultant to assist in the development of the CMP which will conform to the requirements set forth in MAP-21 for all TMAs. PACTS has budgeted $50,000 to complete the development of a CMP in its current Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which expires on June 30th, 2013.

Scope of Work

In working with PACTS CMP Advisory Committee, PACTS would like a qualified consultant to develop a proposed scope of work as part of the RFQ. The proposal should be a framework for the process which can be considered by the CMP Advisory Committee that addresses the 8 “Steps” or “Actions” for developing a Congestion Management Process as outlined in the United States Department of Transportation document, "An Interim Guidebook on the Congestion Management Process in Metropolitan Transportation Planning" (released in February 2008) while staying within the $50,000 budget and limited time frame. Our schedule requires that this process be completed by June 30th, 2013. We anticipate operationalizing the CMP with funds from our next UPWP which begins on July 1st 2013.

The Guidebook can be found here:

The 8 “Steps” or “Actions”: [directly from the FHWA Guidebook Chapter 2 introduction]

1. Develop Regional Objectives for Congestion Management - First, it is important to consider, "What is the desired outcome?" and "What do we want to achieve?" It may not be feasible or desirable to try to eliminate all congestion, and so it is important to define objectives for congestion management that achieve the desired outcome. Some MPOs also define congestion management principles, which shape how congestion is addressed from a policy perspective.
2. Define CMP Network - This action involves answering the question, "What components of the transportation system are the focus?", and involves defining both the geographic scope and system elements (e.g., freeways, major arterials, transit routes) that will be analyzed in the CMP.
3. Develop Multimodal Performance Measures - The CMP should address, "How do we define and measure congestion?" This action involves developing performance measures that will be used to measure congestion on both a regional and local scale. These performance measures should relate to, and support, regional objectives.
4. Collect Data/Monitor System Performance - After performance measures are defined, data should be collected and analyzed to determine, "How does the transportation system perform?" Data collection may be on-going and involve a wide range of data sources and partners.
5. Analyze Congestion Problems and Needs - Using data and analysis techniques, the CMP should address the questions, "What congestion problems are present in the region, or are anticipated?" and "What are the sources of unacceptable congestion?"
6. Identify and Assess Strategies - Working together with partners, the CMP should address the question, "What strategies are appropriate to mitigate congestion?" This action involves both identifying and assessing potential strategies, and may include efforts conducted as part of the MTP, corridor studies, or project studies.
7. Program and Implement Strategies - This action involves answering the question, "How and when will solutions be implemented?" It typically involves including strategies in the MTP, determining funding sources, prioritizing strategies, allocating funding in the TIP, and ultimately, implementing these strategies.
8. Evaluate Strategy Effectiveness - Finally, efforts should be undertaken to assess, "What have we learned about implemented strategies?" This action may be tied closely to monitoring system performance under Action 4, and is designed to inform future decision making about the effectiveness of transportation strategies.

Initial Goals

While we intend for a final set of goals to be developed by our CMP Advisory Committee in conjunction with the selected consultant, here is a sampling of goals already acceptable to the Committee:

1. Provide an Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach to addressing existing and projected congestion which will meet the requirements set forth in MAP-21 and subsequent rules for a CMP for a Transportation Management Area;
2. Explicitly address each of the "8 Steps" set forth in the USDOT's Interim Guidebook on the CMP in Metropolitan Transportation Planning;
3. Provide a framework to help incorporate Transportation Demand Management (TDM) & Operations strategies into the PACTS' overall transportation planning activities;
4. Develop a CMP that incorporates local needs and objectives and that is by design complementary to the PACTS region’s Long Range Transportation Plan;
5. Identify strategies and activities that can be implemented efficiently and cost-effectively in a smaller TMA on an ongoing basis, including a financial plan for how PACTS can address ongoing congestion management objectives; and
6. Develop a process that can be expanded upon in the future for Clean Air Act Conformity requirements, in the event that all or portions of the PACTS’ region are designated a non-attainment area for one or more air pollutants.