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)

HTML version of the presentation
Image descriptions are contained in brackets. [ ]
Back to Webinar Files

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

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

Next >>  RCTO: Pima Association of Governments

back to top