Pioneer and Northeastern Present State Transportation Scorecard

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Model Performance Measurement Tool Shows Taxpayers and Commuters the Impact of Their Money

A joint effort with Northeastern’s College of Engineering, this online, interactive application is designed to model a performance measurement system that could be deployed by the state’s Department of Transportation. It features an array of publicly-available data in an easy-to-digest format, and includes the latest information on key indicators of performance such as congestion, throughput, safety, construction management, and environmental stewardship.

View the web application below, and read this accompanying policy brief, “Introduction to the Massachusetts Transportation Dashboard,” intended as a quick guide. [wpdm_package id=52]

To enlarge the dashboard, please click the “View Full-Size Workbook” button on the bottom right of the box.

The purpose is to model a consistent method of communicating performance and accountability, and highlight the needs of users — reduced congestion, increased on-time performance, and improvements to the structural soundness of roads and bridges throughout the state.

“Presenting the public with a regular performance assessment is the cornerstone of accountability,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios. “We hope the Transportation Dashboard serves as a model for MassDOT and other states going forward.”

With the expectation that the federal government will require project measurement as part of pending legislation and a requirement under the state’s 2009 transportation reform to regularly track performance, Pioneer’s dashboard provides a vision of what a user-friendly tool could do to fulfill these
requirements and inform customers of system performance.

“Using data to assess performance and identify areas for improvement should be a basic task of government entities” said Northeastern University Professor of Engineering Ali Touran, “the approach of this dashboard is to highlight key performance metrics for both managers and users.”

Pioneer plans to update the dashboard at regular intervals. Consistent with its message that any discussion of additional transportation revenues must be preceded by effective communication of good stewardship of public funds, Pioneer hopes that this dashboard serves as a model for stronger disclosure
and communication from MassDOT.

Pioneer has long been a voice for a modern customer-focused transportation system, starting with numerous reports in the 1990s on the MBTA and the Institute’s participation on the MBTA Blue Ribbon Committee on Forward Funding. Starting in 2005, the Institute began focusing on deferred maintenance of infrastructure and transportation reform, releasing a series of reports:

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