Transportation Funding Should Focus on Outcomes
Photo by Steve Hockstein /​

Transportation Funding Should Focus on Outcomes

Transportation funds should focus on outcomes, such as reduced travel times, rather than projects and integrate planning, construction, and operation costs up front.

Those are among the findings by Joshua Schank, author of Fixing Our Broken Transit Planning Process. He is a research associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University who analyzed potential improvements to the planning process.

Agencies also should separate the planning and environmental processes to free each to focus on appropriate objectives, leading to more specific outcomes with lower costs and, potentially greater public impact and approval. Public outreach processes often are designed around a set of requirements. Schanck argues that if they were designed around soliciting critical feedback, the process might feel more valuable to all involved.

"Rather than focus on sweeping changes that can take years, agencies can actively reduce costs and shorten timelines by focusing on fixing overlooked inefficiencies inherent in the transportation planning process."