[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 181 (Monday, September 20, 1999)] [Notices] [Pages 50854-50861] From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] [FR Doc No: 99-24363] ----------------------------------------------------------------------- DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; Guidelines for the Evaluation of Operational Tests and Deployment Projects for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) AGENCIES: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SUMMARY: This document provides implementation guidance for section 5204(j)(1) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA- 21) 23 U.S.C 502 Note. Guidelines and requirements for the evaluation of [[Page 50855]] operational tests and deployment projects for ITS ensure the objectivity and independence of project evaluators to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest or potential influence on the outcome by parties to such tests and projects. They also establish evaluation funding levels based on the size and scope of each test or project to ensure adequate evaluation. The ITS Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) plans to disseminate the TEA-21 Evaluation Guidelines to affected program offices within the DOT. Should it be deemed necessary to establish any requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and/ or deployment projects, these would be established pursuant to rulemaking to be issued in the future. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information: Mr. Joe Peters, (202) 366-2202, ITS Joint Program Office, (HOIT-1) FHWA. For legal information: Mr. Wilbert Baccus, Office of the Chief Counsel, FHWA (HCC-32), (202) 366-0780; Ms. Linda Sorkin, Office of the Chief Counsel, FTA (TCC-24), (202) 366-1936. All are located at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access An electronic copy of the document may be downloaded using a modem and suitable communications software from the Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet users may reach the Federal Register's home page at: http:// www.nara.gov/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's database at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara. The TEA-21 Evaluation Guidelines may also be accessed at the U.S. DOT's ITS home page, through the evaluation link, at http://www.its.dot.gov. Background Section 5204(j)(1) of TEA-21, Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, 455 (1998), states that the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) shall issue guidelines and requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and deployment projects for the ITS. This document sets forth TEA-21 Guidelines that are required to include provisions to ensure objectivity and independence of evaluators so as to avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest on the outcome of project evaluations. The guidelines are further required to establish evaluation funding levels based on the size and scope of each test or project to ensure adequate project or operational test evaluations. Should it be deemed necessary to establish any requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and/or deployment projects, these would be established pursuant to rulemaking to be issued in the future. The objective of the TEA-21 Evaluation Guidelines is to fulfill the requirements imposed on the Secretary in the referenced section by accomplishing the following: 1. Defining the different categories of projects carried out under subtitle C; 2. Defining, in general terms, different types of evaluations to be conducted by projects in the categories defined; 3. Establishing criteria to guide the selection of evaluations to be performed; 4. Defining, in general terms, procedures for ensuring objectivity and independence of evaluating organizations; 5. Defining the funding mechanism to provide project evaluation resources; 6. Providing a general description of the procedures [and requirements] that project partnerships can expect when participating in the types of evaluations defined; 7. Providing access through web site address to detailed evaluation procedures to include examples of specific evaluation plans, test plans, and reports. The TEA-21 Evaluation Guidelines are published in the Federal Register for informational purposes on our approach to satisfying the requirements prescribed in section 5204(j)(1). Specific questions on any of the material published in this notice should be directed to the appropriate contact person named in the caption FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Authority: 23 U.S.C. 315; sec. 5204(j), Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 455 (1998) 23 U.S.C. 502 Note. Issued on: September 13, 1999. Kenneth R. Wykle, Federal Highway Administrator. Gordon J. Linton, Federal Transit Administrator. The text of the TEA-21 Evaluation Guidelines is presented as follows: United States Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Evaluation Guidelines for the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century Operational Tests and Deployment Projects I. Introduction A. Background The enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) [Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107 (1998)] has expanded the focus of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program from one of research and operational tests to one that now includes deployment of ITS across the Nation. Subtitle C (Intelligent Transportation Systems Act of 1998) under title V of TEA-21 authorizes investment to accelerate the rate at which intelligent transportation systems are incorporated in the Nation's surface transportation network to improve transportation safety and efficiency, and to reduce costs and negative impacts on communities and the environment. The effective implementation of the deployment and integration activities specified in subtitle C will rely heavily on active and rigorous evaluations of those activities. Recognizing the evolving nature of the ITS program, Congress included a mandate in TEA-21 which requires the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to issue guidelines and requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and deployment projects carried out under the program. A prerequisite for the continuing support of decision makers addressing policy and investment issues will be a clear understanding of ITS system effectiveness. At the Federal level, the Government Performance and Results Act [Pub. L. 103-62, 107 Stat. 285 (1993)] has established a formal process for program and budget planning. ITS benefits information will be needed for assessing the efficacy of Federal investment in ITS. At the project level, agencies and partners in public-private project initiatives require the means to monitor costs and system effectiveness on a continuing basis to support management of systems and operations. B. Legislative Requirements The Congress has recognized the critical role of ITS evaluation in section 5204(j)(1)(A) of subtitle C which prescribes that: Subparagraph (A): In General.--The Secretary shall issue guidelines and requirements for the evaluation of operational tests and deployment projects carried out under this subtitle. Subparagraph (B): Objectivity and Independence.--The guidelines and requirements issued under Subparagraph (A) shall include provisions to ensure the objectivity and [[Page 50856]] independence of the evaluator so as to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest or potential influence on the outcome by parties to any such test or deployment project or by any other formal evaluation carried out under this subtitle. Subparagraph (C): Funding.--The guidelines and requirements issued under Subparagraph (A) shall establish evaluation funding levels based on the size and scope of each test or project to ensure adequate evaluation of the results of the test or project. C. Objective The objective of this document is to fulfill the ``guidelines'' requirement imposed on the Secretary by TEA-21, title V, subtitle C, section 5204(j)(1)(A), (B), and (C) as referenced above. D. Purposes of Evaluation Guidelines In order to satisfy the applicable title V subtitle C criterion imposed by TEA-21, guidelines must be issued which accomplish the following purposes: 1. Define different categories of projects carried out under subtitle C; 2. Define, in general terms, different types of evaluations to be conducted by projects in the categories defined; 3. Establish criteria to guide the selection of evaluations to be performed; 4. Define, in general terms, procedures for ensuring objectivity and independence of evaluating organizations; 5. Define the funding mechanism to provide resources for evaluations; 6. Provide a general description of the procedures [and requirements] that project partnerships can expect when participating in the types of evaluations defined; 7. Provide access through web site address to detailed evaluation procedures including examples of specific evaluation plans and reports. Guidelines in this document do not address detailed evaluation procedures. II. Terms of Reference The establishment of clearly understood guidelines for evaluation of projects funded with Federal ITS funding requires identification of the categories of projects specified in the law. Similarly, understanding of the Department's concept for conducting project evaluations requires differentiation between types of evaluation. A. Project Categorization Projects to be carried out with Federal ITS funds are identified as follows: 1. Operational Tests--Section 5207(c) specifies the conduct of operational tests of intelligent vehicles and intelligent infrastructure systems. Section 5207(c) further specifies that operational tests conducted under this section shall be designed for the collection of data to permit objective evaluation of the results of the tests, derivation of cost-benefit information that is useful to others contemplating deployment of similar systems, and the development and implementation of standards. 2. ITS Deployment Program--The ITS Deployment Program provides funding for two major project categories specified in sections 5208 and 5209. The two components are the ITS Integration Program and the Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation Infrastructure Deployment Program, commonly known as the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) Program. a. Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program--Section 5208(a) specifies projects to be carried out under the Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program in metropolitan and rural areas. These projects comprise one major component of the ITS Deployment Program defined above. The ITS Integration Program provides Federal funding for the integration of multi-modal ITS components in a variety of settings, including large regional areas (for example, Statewide, multi-State, or multi-city), metropolitan areas, non- metropolitan areas, and rural areas. ITS integration projects should improve transportation efficiency; promote safety; enhance transit integration; improve paratransit/demand-responsive transit operations, including operations of health and human services providers; improve traffic flow, including the flow of intermodal freight at ports of entry; reduce emissions of air pollutants; improve traveler information; promote tourism; enhance alternative transportation modes; or support improved transportation systems operations, management and maintenance. As part of the Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program, section 5208(g), Corridor Deployment and Coordination, requires the Secretary to encourage multistate cooperative agreements, coalitions, or other arrangements intended to promote regional cooperation, planning, and shared project implementation for intelligent transportation system projects. There are two areas of implementation: Great Lakes ITS Implementation and Northeast ITS Implementation. (a) Great Lakes Implementation--Section 5208(g)(2)(A): The Secretary is required to make grants under this subsection to the State of Wisconsin to continue ITS activities in the corridor serving the Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; and Gary, Indiana, areas initiated under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) [Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914 (1991)] and other areas in the State. (b) Northeast ITS Implementation--Section 5208(g)(3)(A): The Secretary is required to make grants under this subsection to the states to continue ITS activities in the Interstate Route I-95 Corridor in the northeastern United States initiated under ISTEA. b. Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Deployment--Section 5209 specifies that the Secretary shall carry out a comprehensive program to deploy intelligent transportation systems that improve safety and productivity of commercial vehicles and drivers, while reducing costs of commercial vehicle operations and regulatory requirements. The term ``Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks'' is defined (section 5211) as the information systems and communications networks that support commercial vehicle operations. Funding in section 5209 is used to support CVISN projects which comprise the second major component of the ITS Deployment Program defined above. CVISN objectives focus on advancing technological capabilities and promoting the deployment of intelligent transportation system applications to commercial vehicle operations, including commercial vehicle, commercial driver, and carrier-specific information systems and networks. Priority areas for projects are those that encourage multi-state cooperation and corridor development; improve the safety of commercial vehicle operations; increase the efficiency of regulatory inspection processes to reduce administrative burdens; improve the efficiency of enforcement efforts; advance electronic processing of registration, driver licensing and fuel tax information, inspection and crash data; promote communication of information among the States; and, enhance safe passage of commercial vehicles across international borders. B. Evaluation Categorization For the purpose of the guidelines, there are two categories of project evaluations. [[Page 50857]] 1. Self-Evaluations--In the interests of accepted sound management practice, it is expected that ITS Deployment Program participants should conduct locally executed and funded evaluations under the auspices of the project partners. These self-evaluations, also identified as local evaluations, incorporate certain minimum evaluation and reporting requirements. Cross-cutting assessments of these local evaluations will be conducted by the ITS Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) at Headquarters (HQ), U.S. DOT, and will include gathering data and dissemination of results. 2. National Evaluations--National evaluations are formal, in-depth, independently conducted evaluations of operational tests of intelligent infrastructure systems and selected projects carried out under the ITS Deployment Program. In the case of selected ITS Deployment Program projects, these evaluations will supplement and expand on the activities of self-evaluations. The added resources available for national evaluations will facilitate assessment of quantitative performance measures and other aspects of project evaluation difficult to pursue with the potentially limited resources assigned for self- evaluations. National evaluations will be conducted under the auspices of U.S. DOT, and will be closely monitored by a designated U.S. DOT representative. The U.S. DOT has established the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) to improve the safety and efficiency of motor vehicle operations by reducing the probability of motor vehicle crashes. Evaluations of IVI field operational tests will be conducted under the auspices of the IVI Program Manager in accordance with procedures defined within the IVI Program and not associated with requirements for national evaluations discussed in these guidelines. Features and requirements of these categories are described below in these guidelines. III. Concept for Project Selection and Evaluation Funding A. National Evaluations 1. Operational Tests--All operational tests of intelligent infrastructure systems carried out under section 5207 shall be administered formal, national evaluations under the auspices of the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator. 2. ITS Deployment Program--Projects carried out under the ITS Deployment Program will be reviewed as follows: (a) ITS Integration Program--Projects selected for funding under section 5208 shall be reviewed, and a limited number will be selected for national evaluations in accordance with appropriate criteria described in these guidelines.
Corridor Development and Coordination--Projects resulting from grants made to the State of Wisconsin to continue activities in the corridor serving Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; and Gary, Indiana, in accordance with section 5208(g)(2)(A) and projects resulting from grants made to the I-95 Northeast ITS Priority Corridors, in accordance with section 5208(g)(3)(A), may be reviewed for incorporation in a national evaluation as determined by the Department's evaluation needs in corridor settings. (b) Commercial Vehicle ITS Infrastructure Deployment--A limited number of CVISN deployment sites funded under section 5209 will be selected for national evaluations in accordance with appropriate criteria described in these guidelines. B. Self-Evaluations All project partnerships are expected to perform locally conducted self-evaluations. C. Funding for Project Evaluations In order to fulfill the mandate specified in section 5204(j)(1)(C) that these guidelines ``shall establish evaluation funding levels based on the size and scope of each test or project that ensure adequate evaluation of the results of the test or project,'' the following procedures apply: 1. Operational Tests--Funding for evaluations of operational tests of intelligent infrastructure systems will be provided by the ITS JPO. 2. ITS Deployment Program--(a) Projects funded under the Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program (section 5208) and the Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Deployment Program (section 5209) selected for national evaluations will use a pooled funding mechanism. During each year authorized by TEA-21, two percent of the amount authorized for the ITS Deployment Program will be placed into a deployment evaluation fund. National evaluations for selected projects will be funded by this account. (b) All projects will fund locally conducted self-evaluations from project resources. D. Selection Criteria for National Evaluation 1. Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program Projects carried out under section 5208 are designed to accelerate the integration and interoperability of intelligent transportation systems in metropolitan and rural areas. Projects resulting from corridor grants may also be reviewed for inclusion in a national evaluation. Projects selected for funding should support the goals of the program as defined in section 5208. Projects selected for funding will be reviewed by the ITS Program Assessment Working Group (ITS PAWG) chaired by the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator. The ITS PAWG is comprised of representatives from the modal administrations at HQ, U.S. DOT, and field representatives from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Resource Centers and Division Offices, to include the Office of Technology Evaluation and Deployment within the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety. Federal Transit Administration field representation is included as well. The ITS PAWG will consider projects for national evaluation through successive iterations designed to narrow the list of candidate projects consistent with available funding and the ITS Program's most compelling information needs. While the specific considerations for project selection may vary in any given year of TEA-21 authorization, the criteria described below will guide the review process. a. Major consideration will be given to ITS areas for which insufficient knowledge was developed during the operational test experience under ISTEA authorization. Metropolitan ITS Integration Program projects will be assessed for their potential to provide benefits-related data in areas where evaluation data are still needed. b. Rural ITS Integration Program projects will be assessed for their potential to provide benefits-related data. It is anticipated that, over the life of TEA-21, the areas reflecting shortfalls in ITS Program evaluation needs will vary. The ITS Program reserves the flexibility to develop a working document with annual updates of these areas of shortfall which would be used to guide the selection process. These areas will be addressed in annual Departmental project guidance documents. 2. CVISN Deployment Projects The FHWA's State CVISN Level 1 deployment strategy consists of three key steps: Planning; Design; and, Implementation and Deployment. Step 1, Planning, includes participation in two ITS/Commercial Vehicle Operations (ITS/CVO) training [[Page 50858]] courses (Introduction to ITS/CVO and ITS/CVO Technical Project Management for Non-Technical Managers) and the development of an ITS/ CVO State business plan. This step is essential to promote ITS/CVO awareness and coalition building among the State agencies involved in CVO and with industry. The focus of Step 2, Design, is for the State to establish its CVISN project team, including at a minimum a CVISN project manager and a system architect. Once these individuals have been selected, a State can participate in the Understanding ITS/CVO Technology training course and in three CVISN workshops. These activities will assist the State in developing its CVISN Project Plan and Top-Level Design. Step 3 is the Implementation and Deployment of CVISN Level 1 capabilities. Only CVISN sites selected for Step 3 funding will be considered for national evaluation. The three elements of Level 1 capabilities subject to national evaluation are: Safety Information Exchange, Credentials Administration, and Electronic Screening. During each year of TEA-21 authorization, the ITS PAWG will convene its CVO Subcommittee comprised of subject matter experts from FHWA's Office of Technology Evaluation and Deployment within the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety. Based on the ITS/CVO Program's information needs about Level 1 capabilities in different operating environments, a limited number of State CVISN deployment sites engaged in Step 3 (Implementation and Deployment) activities will be selected for national evaluation. IV. Selection of Evaluating Organizations A. General Subtitle C, section 5204(j)(1)(B) requires that these guidelines include provisions to ensure objectivity and independence of the evaluator so as to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest or potential influence on the outcome by parties to any such test or deployment project or by any other formal evaluation carried out under this subtitle. B. Provisions for National Evaluations The required provisions are outlined as follows: 1. Organizations demonstrating technical qualifications are eligible for selection to perform a national evaluation of designated operational tests or deployment projects. 2. In the process of submitting necessary documentation demonstrating qualifications to perform a national evaluation, interested organizations should include a statement certifying commitment to the conduct of a completely objective and independent evaluation, and its commitment to ensuring any subcontracting organizations will adhere to that standard. It is expected that this would include a provision for voluntary recusal from evaluating selected aspects of, or technologies involved in, the project to be evaluated, if appropriate. 3. For national evaluations conducted under the auspices of U.S. DOT, the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator will convene selected members of the ITS PAWG to participate in the selection of an evaluating organization with consultations as follows: a. Operational Tests--For operational tests of intelligent infrastructure systems, the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator, in consultation with project partners and the ITS PAWG, will select the evaluating organization. For IVI field operational tests, the selection of organizations will be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the IVI Program Manager. b. ITS Deployment Program--Participants in the evaluating organization selection process are as follows: (1) Intelligent Transportation System Integration Program--For projects in this category selected for national evaluations, the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator in consultation with project partners will conduct a selection process. The selected evaluator will receive direction and oversight by a U.S. DOT representative, and will be required to document compliance with the ``OBJECTIVITY and INDEPENDENCE'' requirements imposed by section 5204(j)(1)(B) of subtitle C, and will forward authenticated certifications described in IV.B.2 of these guidelines to the designated U.S. DOT representative. This representative, in coordination with the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator, will conduct an expeditious review of selected organizations prior to completion of contract arrangements. (2) CVISN Project Evaluations--The selection of an evaluation organization for the conduct of national evaluations of selected CVISN project sites will be led by the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator and the ITS PAWG representative from the Office of Technology Evaluation and Deployment in the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety who will convene a CVO subcommittee of the ITS PAWG. This subcommittee will be comprised of the ITS JPO Commercial Vehicle Operations Coordinator and subject matter experts on the staff of the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety, HQ, FHWA. C. Provisions for Self-Evaluations The guidelines for the conduct of self-evaluations in ITS Deployment Program projects include the following: (1) The evaluations should be conducted under the auspices of the project partners; (2) The partners should form evaluation organizations; and, (3) The process for forming evaluation organizations should strive to adhere to the objectivity and independence principles cited in section 5204(j)(1)(B) of subtitle C. V. Evaluation--Definition, Process, and Guidelines A. General--The purposes of this section are to accomplish the following: Define evaluation as a management process; In general terms, differentiate between procedures and expectations to be encountered in national evaluations and self- evaluations; Convey reporting requirements. These guidelines are not intended to provide detailed procedures for the conduct of evaluations. Extensive documentation addressing detailed procedures, to include examples of evaluation plans and reports will be available at the ITS JPO web site. (See Section V.G.). B. Definition of Evaluation Evaluation is the reasoned consideration of how well project goals and objectives are being achieved. The primary purpose of evaluation is to cause changes in the project so that it eventually meets or exceeds its goals and objectives. Evaluation is an essential ingredient to good project management. Evaluations can be qualitative and quantitative; however, the best evaluations employ the combination of qualitative and quantitative information that compare and contrast converging, non- converging, and diverging evidence to result in a complete diagnosis. The most effective evaluations occur when goals and objectives are explicitly stated, are measurable, and are agreed to by all project partners. Evaluation should be considered as part of the project development process that iterates across stages of strategy [[Page 50859]] formulation, detailed planning, system design and implementation, data collection, data analysis, and reporting of results. Evaluations should be performed by a party who has had no vested interest or stake in the project itself. Independence of the evaluator does not mean uninvolvement with the project. Key roles of the evaluator requiring early evaluator involvement are: (1) Identification of key stakeholder partners; (2) eliciting from the partners a meaningful set of goals and objectives for the project and their relative priorities; (3) obtaining insight and consensus regarding which measures will best reflect the degree of success in achieving prioritized goals; and, (4) communicating changes in goals, objectives, and measures as the project evaluation matures. Data can be collected either by the partners in the project (as long as the independent evaluator maintains some oversight of the process) or by the independent evaluator, or by both. The data analysis phase must be performed completely independently of the partners; however, draft results should be shared to obtain partners' expert insights regarding possible flaws in assumptions or errors in analysis. The best evaluation results are those that can bring about positive and timely changes in system operations or maintenance. In such instances, documentation of results may not be as important as the positive changes influenced by the results. Nevertheless, documentation has tremendous importance to the national interest. A significant goal influencing the approach to ITS Program evaluation planning is the expansion of the knowledge base among transportation community professionals. To the extent that policy makers, planners, engineers, and other influence brokers become better informed about successful ITS deployment practices, project evaluations will make significant contributions. Effective information dissemination techniques will be critical. Information drawn from interim and final evaluation reports will be summarized in electronic media normally accessed by transportation professionals. Project evaluation reports will be crucial to the ITS Program during the years funded by TEA-21. As the tempo of project deployments accelerates, newly formed project partnerships preparing to undertake deployments will need any available experience-based information relevant to their projects. The need for timely information will emphasize the value of interim reports capturing valuable, recent, lessons learned. C. General Evaluation Process The following are general steps successfully used to accomplish an ITS project evaluation for national or local evaluations: 1. Form the Evaluation Team. Each of the project partners and stakeholders designates one member to participate on the evaluation team. The program manager should designate an evaluation team leader. In the interests of conducting an effective evaluation, this team should interact with the independent evaluator periodically throughout the project development and deployment. Experience has demonstrated that formation of this team early in the project is essential to facilitating evaluation planning along a ``no surprises'' path. Participation by every project stakeholder is particularly crucial during the development of the ``Evaluation Strategy.'' 2. Develop the Evaluation Strategy. This evaluation strategy document includes a description of the project to be evaluated and identifies the key stakeholders committed to the success of the project. It also relates the purpose of the project to the general goal areas of an ITS project. Projects deploying intelligent metropolitan or rural infrastructure are expected to allocate resources adequate for evaluating the impact (or impacts) their projects exert in certain major goal areas which can be pursued through deploying and integrating ITS technologies. ITS goal areas include: Traveler Safety Traveler Mobility Transportation System Efficiency Productivity of Transportation Providers Conservation of Energy and Protection of the Environment Others as may be appropriate to unique features of a project A major purpose of the evaluation strategy document is to focus partner attention on identifying which of the above goal areas has priority for their project. Partners assign ratings of importance to goal areas and evaluation priorities and resources are consequently aligned to the prioritized set. This rating process gives partners valuable insights regarding areas of agreement and disagreement and assists in reconciling differences and bolstering common causes. Each of these goal areas can be associated with outcomes of deployment that lend themselves to measurement. These outcomes resulting from project deployment are identified as measures and have been adopted as useful metrics. The association of goal areas and measures is depicted as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Goal area Measure ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Safety....................... Reduction in the Overall Rate of Crashes. Reduction in the Rate of Crashes Resulting in Fatalities. Reduction in the Rate of Crashes Resulting in Injuries. Mobility..................... Reduction in Delay. Reduction in Transit Time Variability. Improvement in Customer Satisfaction. Efficiency................... Increases in Freeway and Arterial Throughput or Effective Capacity*. Productivity................. Cost Savings. Energy and Environment....... Decrease in Emissions Levels. Decrease in Energy Consumption. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *A discussion of the distinction between Throughput and Effective Capacity is included in the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide referred to in Section V.G. at the end of this document. The ``few good measures'' in the preceding table constitute the framework of benefits expected to result from deploying and integrating ITS technologies. While each project partnership will establish its unique evaluation goals, the measures serve to maintain the focus of goal setting on how the project can contribute to reaping the benefits of one or more of the measures. A sample Evaluation Strategy document is provided as part of the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide (see Section V.G. at the end of this document). [[Page 50860]] 3. Develop the Evaluation Plan. After the goals are identified and priorities are set by the partners, the evaluation plan should refine the evaluation approach by formulating hypotheses. Hypotheses are merely ``if-then'' statements about expected outcomes after the project is deployed. For example, a possible goal of coordinating jurisdictions' signal systems is improving safety by reducing rear-end crashes. If the evaluation strategy included this goal, the evaluation plan would formulate hypotheses that could be tested. In this case, one hypothesis might be, ``If jurisdictions coordinate signal timing, then rear-end collisions will be significantly reduced at intersections at jurisdictional boundaries.'' An even more aggressive hypothesis might suggest that such collisions would be reduced by ten percent. The evaluation plan identifies all such hypotheses and then outlines the number of different tests that might be needed to test all hypotheses. In addition to hypotheses regarding system and subsystem performance, the evaluation plan identifies qualitative studies that will be performed. The evaluation should address key components of the project, such as, (but not limited to): Implications of achieving consistency with the National ITS Architecture; Standards implementation; Consumer acceptance; Others as appropriate to local considerations; Institutional issues. Institutional issues require brief elaboration. An area of special emphasis in all evaluation endeavors should be the non-technical factors influencing project performance. ITS projects conducted under ISTEA were profoundly influenced by considerations such as procurement practices, contracting policy, organizational structure, and relationships among major participants such as prime contractors and their subcontractors. The transportation community stands to reap significant benefit from understanding how the varied range of non- technical factors impacts directly on traditional project performance parameters, such as, cost, schedule, and final functionality. As these critical aspects of the project are addressed, the value of the evaluation increases in proportion to its ability to produce lessons learned that can improve project performance. Thus, the measures serve as the foundations of the evaluation as project implementation seeks the best mix of approaches to ensure achieving some level of benefits described by the measures. To the extent that projects define evaluation goals derived from one or more of the few good measures and document the impacts of deployment on transportation performance in their communities, they will have made significant contributions to the ITS Program and the Nation. A sample Evaluation Plan document is provided as part of the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide (see Section V.G. at the end of this document). 4. Develop one or more Test Plans. A test plan will be needed for each test identified in the evaluation plan. A test plan lays out all of the details regarding how the test will be conducted. It identifies the number of evaluator personnel, equipment and supplies, procedures, schedule, and resources required to complete the test. A sample test plan is provided as part of the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide (see Section V.G. at the end of this document). 5. Collect and analyze data and information. This step is the implementation of each test plan. It is in this phase where careful cooperation between partners and evaluators can save money. By early planning, it is possible to build into the ITS project capabilities for automatic data collection. Such data collection can be used by partners after the evaluation is completed to provide valuable feedback with regard to the performance of the system. Such feedback can help in detecting system failures and to improve system performance. 6. Document strategy, plans, results, conclusions, and recommendations in a Final Report. A sample Final Report document is provided as part of the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide (see Section V.G. at the end of this document). D. Self-Evaluation Process 1. ITS Integration Program Evaluation Procedures To the extent that resources allow, project partners should strive to follow the General Evaluation Process outlined in Section V.C. of this document. Partners should also utilize the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide described in Section V.G. at the end of this document. Projects conducting self-evaluation should respond to a minimum of two reporting requirements. a. In an attempt to satisfy significant and critical data needs in the ITS Program, projects should collect and document cost accounting data to include acquisition, life-cycle, and operations and maintenance costs capturing both start-up and sustaining cost factors. Reporting of cost data will be solicited annually for the duration of the deployed system's (or systems'') life cycle(s). Cost data collection guidelines are provided as part of the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide (see Section V.G. at the end of this document). b. Additionally, self-evaluations should result in one or more of the following efforts: Evaluating institutional issues associated with achieving cooperation among public sector agencies and documenting how they were overcome. Providing a brief lessons learned report on the technical and institutional issues encountered in integrating ITS components. Providing an evaluation report on the lessons learned in employing innovative financing or procurement and/or public-private partnering techniques. Producing a lessons learned report on the experiences, challenges, and approaches used in achieving consistency with the National ITS Architecture and/or implementation of ITS standards. Producing a case study on the planning process used to achieve integration into an approved plan and program developed under an area-wide (statewide and/or metropolitan) planning process which also complies with applicable State air quality implementation plans. Providing the appropriate metropolitan planning process with data generated by ITS technologies and services, and provide a report on plans or intentions for archiving the data and using it. 2. Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Deployment Projects All projects participating in the Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Deployment Program are expected to accomplish the following: Document lessons learned in the areas of: --institutional issues --technical challenges --employment of innovating financing --public-private partnering --achieving consistency with the National ITS Architecture and implementation of ITS Standards. Document benefits data. Collect cost data, especially with regard to operations and maintenance cost factors, and briefly address their implications for sustaining the project. [[Page 50861]] E. National Evaluations 1. Initial Procedures for Operational Tests of Intelligent Infrastructure Upon selection of the organization to conduct a national evaluation of a designated ITS operational test of intelligent infrastructure, the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator will establish the initial communications between involved parties. The detailed procedures for the conduct of the evaluation and the scope of the evaluating organization's tasks will be defined in accordance with procedures established by the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator. 2. Requirements for ITS Integration Program Projects During the annual project definition and proposal process, participants in the ITS Integration Program will be offered the opportunity to commit to cooperate with evaluators in the event of selection for a national evaluation. This commitment includes participation in evaluation planning and in-progress reviews to ensure a consensus-based, successfully implemented national evaluation as described in sections V.B. and V.C. of these guidelines. 3. Requirements for CVISN Deployment Projects During the annual project definition and proposal process, participants in the Commercial Vehicle Intelligent Transportation System Infrastructure Program will be offered the opportunity to commit to cooperate with evaluators in the event of selection for a national evaluation. This commitment includes participation in evaluation planning and in-progress reviews to ensure consensus-based, successfully implemented national evaluations. 4. Timing Considerations for ITS Deployment Program Projects Selected for National Evaluations Participants in ITS Deployment Program projects selected for national evaluations may experience a time delay between receipt of notification for project funding and, in the event of selection for national evaluation, notification of such selection. Upon notification of project funding approval, the project participants should proceed with the preparatory steps required for evaluation. The preparatory measures will lay the foundation for an effective self-evaluation. In the event of selection for a national evaluation, that process will build on this foundation. An evaluation team should be formed and an evaluation strategy, based upon the example in the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide, should be developed. It is anticipated that U.S. DOT notification of selection for national evaluation will be accomplished prior to a project's development of an evaluation plan. This will facilitate coordination between the independent evaluating organization and the project partners in proceeding with the development of a consensus-based evaluation plan. F. Reporting Requirements This section prescribes reporting procedures for the categories of evaluations. 1. Projects conducting self-evaluations in the ITS Integration Program are expected to produce: (1) an annual cost report based upon guidelines in the ITS Evaluation Resource Guide; and, (2) a final evaluation report. Projects conducting self-evaluations of the CVISN are expected to produce a final report. All project partnerships conducting self-evaluations are expected to submit two camera-ready reproducible copies and one electronic file to the ITS JPO Program Assessment Coordinator at: Intelligent Transportation Systems, Joint Program Office (HOIT-1), Attn: JPO Program Assessment Coordinator, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, D.C. 20590. Copies which may be required for other addressees will be defined in annual guidance documents transmitting instructions. 2. Reporting procedures in national evaluations will be defined in the appropriate documentation governing the contract entered into by the evaluating organization. G. References In lieu of incorporating detailed procedural guidance for the conduct of evaluations in this document, an ITS Evaluation Resource Guide has been developed. This comprehensive resource for supporting evaluation planning is accessible at the ITS JPO web site (http:// www.its.dot.gov) through the Program Assessment/Evaluation Link. [FR Doc. 99-24363 Filed 9-17-99; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-22-P