Planning Factors*

Under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century of 1998 (TEA-21), Congress showed support for metropolitan and statewide transportation planning by emphasizing seven distinct planning factors that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and states should consider when developing their plans. In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), added emphasis in two areas: security and the environment. Transportation security was made a stand alone factor, signaling an increase in importance from prior legislation. The factor relating to the environment was also expanded, to promote consistency of the long-range transportation plan with planned growth and development. The goals established in statewide and metropolitan transportation plans reflect these planning factors.

Per the legislation, the following planning factors must be considered in the implementation of projects and strategies and services. A representative set of goals that have one to one correspondence with the planning factors are also included in the table.

Planning Factor Goal
A. Support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency; Support regional economic productivity and development
B. Increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; Improve the safety of the transportation system
C. Increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; Improve the security of the transportation system
D. Increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight; Enhance mobility, convenience, and comfort for transportation system users
E. Protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns; Reduce environmental impacts
F. Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight; Enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system
G. Promote efficient system management and operation; Increase operational efficiency and reliability of the transportation system
H. Emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system. Preserve the transportation system

Architecture Use

Intelligent transportation systems support each of the planning factors to some degree. Factor F, which focuses on integration and connectivity of the transportation system, is of particular interest since integration is a principal motivation for a regional ITS architecture. Using and maintaining a regional ITS architecture is a key tool for achieving this planning factor. The other factors are addressed by specific ITS services that achieve the identified benefits. Select the goals associated with each planning factor to see the objectives, performance measures, and service packages that support each planning factor.