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Performance-Based Planning & Programming - System Performance



System Performance System Performance is a key component of the federal performance-based planning process. FHWA published the System Performance/Freight/Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Performance Measures Final Rule on January 18, 2017 (effective date of February 17, 2017) to assess the performance of the Interstate and non-Interstate National Highway System (NHS), freight movement on the Interstate System, and traffic congestion and on-road mobile source emissions.


Performance Measures & Targets

The system performance measures in the table below were established as part of the System Performance/Freight/CMAQ Performance Measures Final Rule. Some measures require 2-year and 4-year targets, while other measures only require 4-year targets. All State DOTs and MPOs are required to set targets for some system performance measures, while other targets only apply to certain State DOTs and MPOs. See the table below for details.

State DOTs were required to set initial system performance targets by May 20, 2018. Targets that were required to be set jointly also had to be set by May 20, 2018. For the remaining targets, MPOs had until October 2018 (180 days from the date the State DOT set its targets) to either adopt the State DOT’s initial targets or develop its own quantifiable targets.

NCDOT adopted its initial (current) targets in May 2018. These targets included total emissions reduction targets since the Metrolina Region is within an 8-hour ozone (2008) maintenance area. CRTPO adopted these NCDOT targets in October 2018.

Since the Charlotte Urbanized Area (UZA) has more than one million people, NCDOT, South Carolina DOT (SCDOT), Cabarrus Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization (CRMPO), Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization (GCLMPO), Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study (RFATS), and CRTPO were required to coordinate to adopt collective, single, unified 2-year and 4-year targets for annual hours of peak hour excessive delay (PHED) per capita and percent of non-single occupant vehicle (SOV) travel. The agencies met twice, and joint targets were adopted by all respective agencies in May 2018.

Information about when the targets must be updated can be found in the Reporting section. The initial (current) system performance targets are shown in the table below:

Performance Measures



NCDOT Adoption Date

CRTPO Adoption Date







Percent of person-miles traveled on the Interstate that are reliable



All State DOTs and MPOs

May 2018

October 2018

Percent of person-miles traveled on the non-Interstate NHS that are reliable



Truck Travel Time Reliability (TTTR) Index



Total Emissions Reduction

CO: 11.522 kg/day

VOC: 0.252 kg/day

NOx: 2.360 kg/day

CO: 23.044 kg/day

VOC: 0.504 kg/day

NOx: 4.720 kg/day

State DOTs and MPOs whose geographic boundaries include any part of a nonattainment or maintenance area for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter.

May 2018

Annual Hours of Peak Hour Excessive Delay (PHED) Per Capita on the NHS


34 hours per capita, 3:00-7:00 pm peak**

State DOTs and MPOs in applicable urbanized areas*** that are also in nonattainment or maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter.

Percent of Non-Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) Travel



* Initial system performance targets are for the performance period of January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021, except the Total Emissions Reduction measure which has a performance period of October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2021.

** Targets were set jointly by NCDOT, SCDOT, CRMPO, GCLMPO, RFATS, and CRTPO.

*** For the first performance period, an urbanized area is defined as an area of more than 1 million people. For all subsequent performance periods, the population threshold changes to more than 200,000 people.


No plans are required to be developed by State DOTs as a part of the System Performance/Freight/ CMAQ Performance Measures Final Rule.

MPOs that are also a Transportation Management Area (TMA) (population exceeding 200,000) are required to maintain a congestion management process, which must be updated every four years. CRTPO’s congestion management process was last updated in 2018.

MPOs that serve a population of one million or more and represent a nonattainment or maintenance area are required to develop and update a performance plan biennially to achieve air quality and congestion reduction targets. CRTPO’s CMAQ Performance Plan is available here.


State DOTs were required to report initial system performance targets to FHWA by October 1, 2018 as a part of a baseline performance period report. Within two years, by October 1, 2020, State DOTs are required to submit a mid-performance period progress report. State DOTs may update four-year targets at this time. Within four years, by October 1, 2022, State DOTs are required to submit a full performance period report. The full performance period report will include progress toward achieving the initial targets and set two-year and four-year targets for the second performance period (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2025), except the Total Emissions Reduction measure which has a reporting period of October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2025.

A new performance period begins once every four years, on the first day of the year (except emissions-related performance, which begins on the first day of October every four years).

NCDOT’s baseline performance period report can be found here. CRTPO coordinates with NCDOT as these reports are developed and reports its system performance targets to NCDOT via resolution.

Accountability & Transparency

In progress

Additional Resources