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TPCB Logo Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program

Annual Report Fiscal Year 2003


DOT Logo U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration ยท   Federal Transit Administration




The mission of the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program is to support effective transportation planning in state, metropolitan, rural, and tribal settings. The TPCB Program provides technical assistance, peer networking, training, and other methods of support. The Program provides products and services designed to help decision-makers, transportation officials, and staff resolve the increasingly complex issues they face when addressing transportation needs in their communities. The primary audiences for the Program include:
  • Members of policy boards or executive committees;
  • Non-metropolitan local officials and staff, including elected and appointed officials with an interest in transportation planning;
  • Staff who participate in the statewide, metropolitan, and local transportation planning processes as members of technical committees, advisory groups, or MPO subcommittees; and
  • Tribal government officials and staff.
In FY 2003, the TPCB Program provided transportation planning information and resources in a number of cross-cutting topic areas, including:
  • Freight Planning
  • Metropolitan Transportation Planning
  • Public Involvement
  • Statewide and Rural Transportation Planning
  • Transit Program Coordination
  • Air Quality Conformity
  • Community Impact Assessment
  • Coordinated Land-Use and Transportation Planning
  • Environmental Justice
  • Financial Planning
  • Information and resources were provided through technical assistance, information dissemination, training and education, and outreach.The TPCB Program’s accomplishments in these areas during FY 2003 are highlighted in this report. Detailed information on work in these topic areas is available on the TPCB website at
    The TPCB Program brings transportation planning peers together to share perspectives on effective practices, common challenges, and problem-solving techniques.The Program enables experts to share and exchange knowledge at formal stakeholder conferences, informal roundtables, and similar events.The Program also provides technical materials to assist transportation planning.
    • The TPCB Program conducted five peer exchanges in FY 2003, on the following topics:
    • - Financial planning and programming (Denver, CO)
      - Freight planning (Philadelphia, PA)
      - Land-use models (Tucson, AZ)
      - Public transportation in rural areas (Philadelphia, PA)
      - Transportation planning for rural and small communities (Indianapolis, IN)
    Hand Gestures
    • The TPCB Program sponsored and facilitated five peer roundtables and workshops in FY 2003, on the following topics:
    • - Community impact assessment (Indianapolis, IN)
      - Context-sensitive design/solutions (New York, NY)
      - Federal funding for transportation in rural communities (Hagerstown, MD)
      - Public involvement, land use, and regional council leadership, National Association of Regional Councils Annual    Meeting (Pittsburgh, PA)
      - Transportation Planning Exchange (TRANSPLEX) Conference workshop on public involvement (Orlando, FL)
    Complete reports of these events are available at
    • In order to improve program delivery, the TPCB Program also:
    • - Improved customer service through standardization of procedures for event planning and logistics.
      - Initiated evaluation of the Program to gather feedback from participants and propose improvements.
      - Reorganized and restructured Peer Program application procedures to increase efficiency and improve program    management capabilities.
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    The TPCB Program is committed to providing information through a variety of media to best reach different professional and decision-making audiences.This includes print and electronic media as well as materials that can support face-to-face interaction at Program events.
    • Updated and redesigned suite of Program publications
    • - Peer Program Brochure
      - Technical Papers and Information Available
      - The Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues:A Briefing Notebook for    Transportation Decisionmakers, Officials, and Staff
      - TPCB Program Overview
      - Training Courses Available
      - Transportation Planning Fundamentals: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • Fulfilled 144 requests for Program materials. Distributed 4,655 folders of Program publications, 301 Metropolitan Transportation Planning videotapes, and 1,700 Metropolitan Transportation Planning CDs.

    • Requests were made by organizations in 37 states and were concentrated in California (17), the District of Columbia (14),Virginia and North Carolina (9 each),Texas and Ohio (8 each), Florida (7), and Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado (6 each).

    • Thirty percent of publications were distributed by USDOT staff at conferences and professional meetings.
    Image of TPCB Peer Program Cover Page
    Program Materials Distribution: SDOT, 6%; Non-Profit, 8%; MPO, 8%; Other, 11%; Academic, 11%; Transit Agency, 2%; Conferences and Meetings, 30%; Local Government, 24% Image of the TPCB Program Technical Papers Cover Page
    • Completed renovation of Program website and moved site to, effective July 2003.

    • Major changes included increase in available resources, streamlined design, and enhanced functionality.

    • The most visited sections of the site were the Metropolitan Transportation Planning, the Peer Program, and the Technical Assistance main pages, in that order. The most requested document was the Briefing Book.

    Image containing 4 snapshots of TPCB web pages
    D Bar graph showing visits after website renovation
    • There were 35,900 visitor sessions on the TPCB website in FY 2003.The site experienced a significant increase in activity following a complete renovation in July.

    This area is an important complement to the distribution of materials and direct interaction through the Peer Programs. Training and education include tasks that support continued professional education, as well as introduction of material to students as part of formal academic programs. Program activities in this area include training courses offered cooperatively through the National Transit Institute (NTI) and National Highway Institute (NHI), academic curricula modules, and sponsorship of workshops.
    • Delivered the following Planning Courses:
    • - Fundamentals of Title VI/Environmental Justice (7 deliveries)
      - Introduction to Statewide Transportation Planning (1 delivery)
      - Introduction to Transportation/Air Quality Conformity (8 deliveries)
      - Metropolitan Transportation Planning (11 deliveries)
      - National Environmental Policy Act and Transportation Decision-Making (3 deliveries)
      - Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making (7 deliveries)
      - Statewide and Metropolitan Transportation Programming (3 deliveries)

    • Updated the NTI/NHI Metropolitan Planning Course

    • Conducted expert roundtable in conjunction with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
    NTI NHI Logo
    The TPCB Program also includes outreach to promote awareness of the Program, as well as to evaluate practitioner and decision-maker interests and needs in transportation planning. This occurred through direct engagement at the following national and regional meetings.
    • Participated in 8 national and regional conferences and events
    • - AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning (Monroe County, FL)
      - APTA Transit Board Members Seminar (Baltimore, MD)
      - National League of Cities Conference (Salt Lake City, UT)
      - National League of Cities Congressional City Conference    (Washington, DC)
      - Rail~Volution Conference (Atlanta, GA)
      - Statewide Planning Stakeholders Meeting (Chicago, IL)
      - TRB Statewide Intermodal Committee,TRB Metropolitan Policy,    Planning and Processes (Monroe County, FL)
      - USDOT Scenario Planning National Roundtable (Washington, DC)

    Image of a Conference Table
    • Supported participation of experts in 12 national and regional events
    • - AASHTO 2003 Annual Meeting (Minneapolis, MN)
      - APTA/AASHTO State Public Transit Conference (Albuquerque, NM)
      - APTA Annual Meeting (Las Vegas, NV)
      - APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference (Milwaukee,WI)
      - APTA Rail Conference (Portland, OR)
      - Arrowhead East (Washington, DC)
      - Community Transportation Association (CTAA) EXPO (Philadelphia,    PA)
      - Midwestern Planning Meeting (St. Louis, MO)
      - National Association of Counties (NACO) Western Interstate    Regional Conference (Reno, NV)
      - National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) Annual    Conference and Exposition (Pittsburgh, PA)
      - National Association of City Transportation Officials (New York, NY)
      - TRANSPLEX Annual Meeting (Orlando, FL)

    Image of a Conference Table
    • Designed flexible program display for use at conferences and meetings
    The TPCB Program will continue to expand in FY 2004 both in the range of planning topics for which assistance is provided and in the planning partners assisted.Technical Assistance, especially the Peer Programs, remains a high priority and one of the most valuable aspects of the Program. Topic areas for Peer Programs will be driven by customer requests.The TPCB Program has a goal of doubling the number of Peer Programs in FY 2004, bringing the total to 20.

    The TPCB Program will support innovative applied research in a wide variety of transportation planning areas and will continue to identify flexible ways to reach its audiences with the products and services they need. Along with meeting with stakeholders throughout the year to understand their needs and refine the list of key subject areas, the Program will provide support at regional and national conferences and participate in panels, round-tables, and other sessions to provide information on the transportation planning process.
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    TPCB Logo Training efforts will increase significantly in FY 2004. Several new and revised courses under development will become available for delivery, including: Financial Planning in Transportation, Integrating Freight in the Transportation Planning Process, Freight Forecasting, Statewide Planning, Linking Planning and NEPA, and Safety-Conscious Planning. Other new courses will begin development in FY 2004.These courses will complement the existing transportation planning courses, such as Metropolitan Transportation Planning, Public Involvement, and Fundamentals of Environmental Justice.

    The Program will identify opportunities to work with State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, public transportation providers, tribal governments, and other transportation decision-makers and their staff to identify key areas of interest, including:
    • transit operator participation in planning and decision-making,
    • consideration of flexible funding opportunities in plan and program development,
    • freight,
    • the relationship between public health and transportation, and
    • performance measurement.

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    The TPCB Program continues to grow and develop based on the needs of the customers and the expanding nature of issues addressed in transportation planning. A multi-year Program Plan will be developed to define the various aspects of the program, the operating principles and objectives, the intended audiences, and anticipated outcomes. FY 2004 activities will move the planning community ever closer to the vision of the TPCB Program—effective transportation planning in state, metropolitan, rural, and tribal settings.
    TPCB Logo
    A Publication of the
    Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program

    Federal Highway Administration - Federal Transit Administration

    For more information, contact:

    Federal Highway Administration
    Office of Planning
    400 7th Street, SW (HEPP)
    Washington, DC 20590
    Phone: 202.366.0106

    Federal Transit Administration
    Office of Planning and Environment
    Attn: Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program, TPE-12
    400 7th Street, SW, Room 9413
    Washington, D.C. 20590
    Phone: 202.366.6385





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