T3 Webinar Presentation

RCTOs in Action: Portland, Detroit, Tucson, and Hampton Roads Discuss their Regional Concept for Transportation Operations (July 25, 2007)

Portland, Oregon Pilot Project

Presenter:   Jonathan (Jon) Makler
Presenter's Org:   Metro (MPO in Portland, Oregon)

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Slide 1: Who sought the program?

  • Metro (Metropolitan Planning Organization)
  • TriMet (Regional Transit Operator)
  • Oregon DOT
  • Portland Office of Transportation

Slide 2: Why?

  • Engage MPO as a means to increased institutional support in the region
  • Formalization of relationships that have enabled unique culture of collaboration

Slide 3: Preliminary Decisions (Fall '05)

  • Use grant to create full-time (temporary) staff position - a catalyst
  • Focus in three areas:
    • Traveler Information
    • Network Management
    • Integrating TSMO into RTP

Slide 4: Project Management

  • Committee of liaisons from each of the four partner agencies
  • Good source of advice for new staffer
  • Lesson: missed opportunity to engage leadership of four partner agencies at the outset

Slide 5: Results: Traveler Information

  • Great stakeholder interest and participation
  • Lack of champion = lack of momentum
  • Focused on the means rather than the end

Slide 6: A Second Wind (Fall' 06)

  • Elected official gets ambitious regarding:
    • Incident management
    • Snow/ice event management
    • Downtown construction information
  • RCTO Process is welcomed as a tool

Slide 7: Results: Incident Management

  • Strong champion
  • Clear, outcome-based objective
  • Effective delegation from committed managers to relevant staff
  • Straightforward identification, narrowing, and selection of actions

Slide 8, 9, 10: Findings

  • RCTO fits a situation that has
    • Focus on a specific outcome
    • Consensus regarding the need
    • A champion
  • All parties comparably invested in the process and the outcome (including both policy makers and implementing staff)
  • RCTO does NOT fit a situation...
    • That identifies a program area but not a specific outcome (i.e., traveler information)
    • In which implementers don't agree something needs to be done
  • Relation to ITS Plans and Architectures
    • The cart got in front of the horse
    • RCTO fits in the family of strategic decision-making tools that also includes systems engineering
    • Weak architectures need RCTOs most of all:
      • Objects outweigh outcomes
      • Punted on planning
      • Cloudy on coordination

Slide 11: MPO Engagement: Challenges

  • Low status for ITS in the policy arena
  • Difficulty competing for funding
  • Absence of staff relationships between MPO and operating agencies
  • Lack of connection between regional ITS coordinating committee and other MPO committees

Slide 12: MPO Engagement: Solutions

  • Staff Activity (UPWP)
    • Short-term: provide education/outreach
      • "Metropolitan Mobility the Smart Way"
    • MPO as analytical resource
    • Facilitate training/capacity building
    • Provide technical assistance to regional efforts
  • Refine TSMO policy in the RTP
  • Create sub-allocation of funding for ITS
  • Establish new intermediary committee for system management policy

Slide 13: Conclusion: Personal View

  • Use the RCTO tool where success depends upon the existence of a deliberate, rational process. Such as:
    • A leader and an implementer agree something needs to be done but need help communicating about how to proceed
    • The need to act has been established but success depends on the coordination of multiple agencies.

Slide 14: Thank you

For more information:

Jon Makler
City of Portland / Metro
maklerj@metro.dst.or.us
503-797-1873

Next >>  RCTO: Pima Association of Governments

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