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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.

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 MeasuresNCDOT
ApplicabilityNCDOT Adoption DateCRTPO Adoption Date
Percent of person-miles traveled on the Interstate that are reliable80.00%75.00%All State DOTs and MPOsMay 2018October 2018
Percent of person-miles traveled on the non-Interstate NHS that are reliableN/A70.00%All State DOTs and MPOsMay 2018October 2018
Truck Travel Time Reliability (TTTR) Index1.651.70All State DOTs and MPOsMay 2018October 2018
Total Emissions ReductionCO: 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 2018May 2018
Annual Hours of Peak Hour Excessive Delay (PHED) Per Capita on the NHSN/A34 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.May 2018May 2018
Percent of Non-Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) Travel21.00%**21.00%**State DOTs and MPOs in applicable urbanized areas*** that are also in nonattainment or maintenance areas for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter.May 2018May 2018

* 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 is updated regularly. The CRTPO’s current  congestion management process was developed in 2018 and the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) includes updates based on more recent data.

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 2018 CMAQ Performance Plan is available here. The CRTPO revisited the plan in September 2020 but decided not to update its targets.

State DOTs were required to submit a baseline performance period report that included initial system performance targets to FHWA by October 1, 2018. Two years later (by October 1, 2020), State DOTs were required to submit a mid-performance period progress report. State DOTs could update their four-year targets as a part of the mid-performance period progress report.

NCDOT’s performance period reports are available from NCDOT upon request. NCDOT elected not to update its four-year targets as a part of its mid-performance period progress report. 

State DOTs are required to submit a full performance period report by October 1, 2022. 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.

MPOs are not required to develop performance period reports but should coordinate with the State on the development of the state reports. The CRTPO reports its system performance targets to NCDOT via resolution.

FHWA requires State DOTs to assess their progress toward meeting the system performance targets biennially in their performance period report. Significant progress will be determined from an analysis of estimated condition/performance and measured condition/performance of each of the targets.

If applicable, State DOTs will have the opportunity to discuss why targets were not achieved or significant progress was not made. State DOTs that fail to meet or make significant progress toward meeting their targets will be required to document the actions they will undertake to achieve their targets in their next biennial performance report.

MPOs do not currently face repercussions if significant progress is not made toward meeting their targets.