Employing Scenario Planning to Inform Internal Target-Setting at MassDOT and the MBTA


External link: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/conferences/2016/Scenario/presentations/Woelfel.pdf

Publication date: August 15, 2016

Capsule summary: A presentation on MassDOT and MBTA’s use of scenario planning to develop their Capital Investment Plan (CIP).

Author(s): Woelfel, Stephen

Publisher(s): Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Definition: Examining the use of scenario planning methods and their outcomes
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Definition: Planning practices for pedestrians, bikes and transit
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Definitions: Passenger transportation services
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Definitions: The movement of people
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Definition: A public agency that operates and maintains passenger transportation services
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Definition: A federally funded transportation policy-making organization, comprised of local government representatives and transportation authorities
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Definition: Governmental agency focused on transportation
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Definition: A large urban area
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Definition: Documentation from a conference, symposium, or similar event
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Description: This presentation examines how the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) have used scenario planning tools and strategies to develop their Capital Investment Plan (CIP).

Objectives: In this presentation, the presenters identify strategies, tools, and target setting processes that have aided MassDOT and the MBTA in their current and future scenario and capital planning efforts. They also describe three possible future scenarios for the Boston area, and outline the types of infrastructure investments that would be necessary to cope with the conditions and hazards presented by those scenarios.

Findings: MassDOT and MBTA’s approach to investment planning calls for one combined CIP for both agencies. It is built on the idea of priorities, programs, and then projects, and aims to focus on investments that restore the reliability of the two systems. The agencies are using new tools to expand participation in outreach efforts, and have put a greater emphasis on the regional and social equity of their investments.

Recommendations: The act and process of target-setting helps agencies plan for a variety of different possible futures, and can help to guide them toward desired outcomes. Additionally, the creation of potential future scenarios enables agencies to understand the infrastructure priorities and investments that would be required to cope with conditions.

Research Theme: Planning for Pedestrians, Bikes, and Transit, Scenario Planning

Community Type: City, Medium City

Transportation Mode: Personal, Transit

Planning Scope:

Organization Type: City, DOT, MPO or RPO, Transit

Planning Subject: Forecasting, Long-Range Planning, Planning Methods, Strategic Planning