Performance Management

Transportation Performance Management is a strategic approach that uses data to make investment and policy decisions to help achieve national performance goals.
Federal transportation legislation (MAP-21 and the FAST Act) includes requirements for performance-based planning and a collaborative target-setting process.

Transportation Performance Management

  • Is systematically applied, a regular ongoing process
  • Provides key information to help decision makers allowing them to understand the consequences of investment decisions across transportation assets or modes
  • Improves communications between decision makers, stakeholders and the traveling public
  • Ensures targets and measures are developed in cooperative partnerships and based on data and objective information

4 elements of performance-based planning

Strategic Direction Where do we want to go?Goals and objectives Performance measures
Long-Range Planning How are we going  to get there?Identify targets and trends Identify action steps/strategies
Programming What will it take?Investment plan
Implementation and Evaluation How did we do?Reporting and monitoring Evaluation


National Performance Goals

The National Performance Goals established by Congress are:
  • Safety To achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.
  • Infrastructure Condition To maintain the highway infrastructure asset system in a state of good repair.
  • Congestion Reduction To achieve a significant reduction in congestion on the National Highway System.
  • System Reliability To improve the efficiency of the surface transportation system.
  • Freight Movement and Economic Vitality To improve the national freight network, strengthen the ability of rural communities to access national and international trade markets, and support regional economic development.
  • Environmental Sustainability To enhance the performance of the transportation system while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
  • Reduced Project Delivery Delays To reduce project costs, promote jobs and the economy, and expedite the movement of people and goods by accelerating project completion through eliminating delays in the project development and delivery process, including reducing regulatory burdens and improving agencies’ work practices.

TPO Mobility Plan Goals

To ensure our future well-being and quality of life, we need to plan thoughtfully to make the best use of our resources and opportunities as we improve and expand our transportation services and facilities. Residents say they envision a region with more connected communities, more transportation choices, and a transportation system that is maintained and managed efficiently. During the development of Mobility Plan 2040, the TPO developed nine goals that relate to the regional vision and national goals:
  • Economy and freight Improve intermodal connections to help move freight through and to the region, reduce delay on major freight corridors. Support business attraction and retention.
  • Safety and security Reduce rates of crashes with serious injuries and fatalities. Reduce the region’s vulnerability to incidents and threats.
  • More options Improve access to services and employment with bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and transit services.
  • Health and environment Minimize negative impacts on the environment and people’s health, and increase access to active transportation/physical activity for all ages.
  • Preservation of Places Preserve natural and cultural areas and places that make our region unique.
  • Equitable access Connect communities to opportunities and services throughout the region, particularly areas with high proportions of low income, senior, and minority populations.
  • Maintenance and efficiency Preserve and maintain our existing infrastructure through repaving projects, bridge replacements, access management, sidewalk repairs, and intersection improvements.
  • Congestion reduction Use our system more efficiently through technology like traffic signal coordination, real-time traffic info, and emergency response vehicles.


Monitoring progress towards achieving the National Performance Goals is accomplished through the use of performance measures and target setting. The U.S. DOT establishes the required performance measure areas in federal rulemaking while states and MPOs work cooperatively to establish measurable targets to assess their progress towards achieving the performance goals. An example of the performance measure/target relationship is:
  • Performance  Measure = Percent of trucks with reliable arrival times
  • Target = 80 percent On-Time
  • Actual = 82.5 percent On-Time
In this example the actual data demonstrates that the target was achieved during the performance period. Here are the final performance measures established by Congress. Since Mobility Plan 2040 was developed by the TPO before federal performance measures were established, it included performance measures  related to each regional goal.


The target setting process follows this general sequence :
  • Federal rulemaking to establish final rules for the required performance areas
  • State DOTs establish targets within 1 year from the effective date of the final rule
  • The TPO has 180 days after the state DOT sets target(s) to either adopt our own performance target(s) or support the State’s target(s).
Federal rule-making has been finalized for these areas:
  • Performance Measure 1 Safety (Effective Date: April 14, 2016)
  • Performance Measure 2 Pavement & Bridge Condition of the National Highway System (NHS) (Effective Date: May 20, 2017)
  • Performance Measure 3 System Performance & Freight Reliability and Air Quality (CMAQ Program) (Effective Date: May 20, 2017)
Performance Measure CategoryTPO Due DateStatus
PM 1 – SafetyFebruary 27th, 2018Completed
PM 2 – Pavement ConditionNovember 16th, 2018Underway
PM 3 – Bridge ConditionNovember 16th, 2018Underway
PM 3 – NHS Travel Time ReliabilityNovember 16th, 2018Underway
PM 3 – Freight ReliabilityNovember 16th, 2018Underway
PM 3 – Traffic CongestionMay 20th, 2018*Not Applicable
PM 3 – Total Emissions ReductionNovember 16th, 2018Underway
* Initially the Traffic Congestion (Peak Hour Excessive Delay and % Non-Single Occupant Vehicle Travel) Measure only applies to urbanized areas of more than 1 million people that are also in nonattainment or maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide or particulate matter. In the second performance period (which begins on January 1, 2022), the population threshold changes to more than 200,000 and therefore applies to the Knoxville TPO.

Current Targets for Knoxville TPO

The Knoxville Regional TPO is coordinating with our regional, state, and federal partners to establish performance measure targets for the TPO Planning Area. Targets will be added to this page as they are established. Currently, final targets have only been set for the Safety Performance Area (PM 1). There are five required targets for safety:
  1. Total number of traffic related fatalities on all public roads
  2. Rate of traffic related fatalities on all public roads per 100 million VMT
  3. Total number of traffic related serious injuries on all public roads
  4. Rate of traffic related serious injuries on all public roads per 100 million VMT
  5. Total number of non-motorized fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads
The TPO Executive Board adopted a Resolution at their December 20, 2017 meeting to adopt the statewide safety targets for the period 2014 – 2018 that were established by TDOT. By adopting these targets, the TPO is agreeing to plan and program projects that will support the state in achieving the targets.
5-Year Rolling Averages
Performance MeasureBaseline (2012 – 2016)Target (2014 – 2018)
Number of Fatalities995.61,021.4
Fatality Rate1.3581.337
Number of Serious Injuries7,319.47,630.8
Serious Injury Rate9.9769.982
Number of Non-Motorized Fatalities and Serious Injuries434.6493.2


The mechanism to develop strategies, programs and select projects as well as report on system performance is through the development of several required planning documents prepared by MPOs and state DOTs.
Multimodal PlansState/MPO Metropolitan Transportation State/MPO Transportation Improvement Programs
SafetyStrategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)
Infrastructure ConditionTransportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP)
Congestion/Air QualityCMAQ Performance Plan
FreightState Freight Plan
TransitTransit Safety Plan Transit Asset Management Plan

For more specific legislation