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MOVING PEOPLE

GOODS

COMPENDIUM OF WINNING ENTRIES


WINNER

THANKS
TO OUR
SPONSORS!

Premier
The Roe Foundation Holly and Bruce Johnstone
Cile and Bill Hicks Tish and Stephen Mead

Distinguished
Jane and Steven Akin Adam Portnoy

Individual & Corporate


Emma and Gary Campbell Pamela and Jake Layton

Barbara and Fred Clifford Shawni and Rob Littlehale

Betsy and Stephen Fantone Sandra and Holt Massey

Ellen and Bruce Herzfelder Mary Myers Kauppila

Teak and Chuck Hewitt Mary and Stephen Neff

Pat and Al Houston Lynne and Mark Rickabaugh

James L. Joslin Roger D. Scoville

Susan and Gary Kearney Sally and Peter Wilde

2 Better Government Competition 2019


WINNER

COMPENDIUM CONTENTS

4 Summary 6 Foreword
Winning Entries, Competition By James Stergios
Judges, PioneerPublic Advisory Pioneer Institute, Executive Director
Committee & Pioneer Institute
Board of Directors

8 Winner
Operation Farm Team
by Phillip A. Washington

13 Runners Up
13 Freight Demand Management 22 Bring the Providence Line
in to the 21st Century

17 Alternative Contracting 26 Better Managing the


Method Performance in I-93 Northern Expressway HOV Lane
U.S. Highway Construction

30 Special Recognition
30 
North Station Seaport Ferry 36 Task Force on Regional Transit Authority
Performance & Funding

32 Innovative Approaches 38 Mobility Data from MetroTech


to Improving Pedestrian Safety

34 GoMentum Station & 40 Truck Platooning with PlatoonPro


Shared Autonomous Vehicles

Better Government Competition 2019 3


WINNER

Operation Farm Team


By Phillip A. Washington

RUNNERS UP

Freight Demand Management Bring the Providence Line


by Dr. José Holguín-Veras in to the 21st Century
by Ari Ofsevit
Alternative Contracting Method
Performance in U.S. Highway Construction Better Managing the I-93 Northern
by Arthur L. C. Antoine, PhD, PE, Assoc. DBIA Expressway HOV Lane
and Professor Keith Molenaar by Conrad Crawford

SPECIAL
RECOGNITION

North Station Seaport Ferry Task Force on Regional Transit


by Erin Anderson Authority Performance & Funding
by Astrid Glynn
Innovative Approaches to
Improving Pedestrian Safety Mobility Data from MetroTech
by Wendy Landman by Christian Kotscher

GoMentum Station & Truck Platooning with PlatoonPro


Shared Autonomous Vehicles by Stephen Boyd & Amanda F. Anderson,
by Randell H. Iwasaki & Contra Costa Peloton Technology
County - Planning

4 Better Government Competition 2019


Competition Judges PioneerPublic Advisory Committee
Adam Portnoy Cornelius J. Chapman, Jr.
President and CEO, Burns & Levinson
The RMR Group
Charlie Chieppo
Frederick Salvucci Chieppo Strategies
Senior Lecturer, Katherine Craven
MIT Transit Lab Babson College

Stephen J. Silveira Bruce Herzfelder


Senior Vice President, 1-Group, LLC
ML Strategies
Tom Keane
Mary Skelton Roberts Pat McGovern
Co-Director for Climate, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Barr Foundation
Paul S. Russell, M.D.
Adam Vaccaro Massachusetts General Hospital
Transportation Reporter,
The Boston Globe Brian Wheelan
Beacon Health Strategies

Pioneer Institute Board of Directors


OFFICERS
Stephen Fantone C. Bruce Johnstone Jim Stergios
Chairman Vice-Chair Executive Director

Lucile Hicks James Joslin Mary Z. Connaughton


Vice-Chair Treasurer Clerk & Assistant Treasurer

MEMBERS
Steven P. Akin Brackett Denniston Pamela Layton Diane Schmalensee,
Nancy Anthony Ellen Roy Herzfelder Nicole Manseau Chairperson Emerita

David Boit Charles Hewitt, III M. Holt Massey William B. Tyler,


Chairperson Emeritus
Brian Broderick Alfred Houston Adam Portnoy
Gary Campbell Keith Hylton Mark V. Rickabaugh
Frederic Clifford Mary Myers Kauppila Eileen Shapiro
Andrew Davis Gary Kearney Peter Wilde

Better Government Competition 2019 5


FOREWORD

W hen Pioneer chose “Moving People,


Moving Goods, Moving Forward” as
the topic for the 2019 Better Government
Several runners up also
have the promise of delivering
quality results for taxpayers.
Although trucks make up less
Competition (BGC), we knew transportation than 5 percent of registered
was an important issue. But no one could have motor vehicles, they consume
more than a quarter of all
known it would become as hot as it is today.
fuel and are responsible
After multiple derailments on the MBTA and a for more than 40 percent of
report finding that Boston is the nation’s most greenhouse gas emissions. To
address this issue, Rensselaer
congested city, transportation seems to be on Polytechnic Institute Professor
the tip of everyone’s tongue. José Holguín-Veras proposes
off-hour deliveries and
As always, Pioneer sought out entries that delved into the receiver-led consolidations,
nuances needed to solve very complex problems. Competition an approach that has been
Director Shawni Littlehale and her team did that by sharing the effective in other parts of the
BGC guidelines with countless institutions, government officials, country and internationally,
non-profits and — as always — interested citizens. and holds the promise of
For 29 years, the BGC has highlighted programs and ideas reducing emissions produced
from around the country that improve lives by raising the quality of by freight trucks by nearly
services, while at the same time saving taxpayer money. This year two thirds in congested
is no exception. metropolitan areas like Boston.
In recent decades, delivery
Enhancing transportation talent, improving efficiency, methods other than the
reducing emissions traditional design-bid-build
LA Metro, Los Angeles County’s transportation agency, is the have often been shown
2019 Better Government Competition winner for “Operation to deliver better results
Farm Team.” LA Metro is slated to deliver 40 major transportation for highway construction.
projects over the next 40 years as it faces the prospect of losing 42 To help transportation
percent of its workforce to retirement over just the next five years. officials determine which
To address the challenge, the agency has launched a career delivery method is best for
pathways program that combines education, mentoring and a given project, the Federal
hands-on learning opportunities. Its centerpiece is a new Highway Administration, in
transportation academy that will train high school students to be conjunction with the Colorado
the next generation of the sector’s workers. Department of Transportation,

6 Better Government Competition 2019


FOREWORD

has developed a project for his entry, “Employer- Scheller, as well as Kelley
delivery selection matrix. Its Incentive Traffic Reduction Babphavong, Grace Golder,
application can result and Regional Economic and Kylie Tomasiak.
in work being done faster, Development Tax Credit Plan.” I am grateful for the
more efficiently and with At the heart of the Better support we received from
less disruption to the Government Competition’s dozens of state legislators,
traveling public. effectiveness and impact executive branch officials
Another promising idea is are its panel of independent and media outlets. Their
a market-based reform that judges. This year we were involvement improved
would make better use of fortunate to benefit from the the quality of the contest
the high-occupancy vehicle expertise of Pioneer board submissions. With the winners
(HOV) lane on Interstate 93 member Adam Portnoy, selected, we will ask them
north of Boston. Instituting president and CEO of The to share these innovative
dynamic road pricing on the RMR Group; Frederick proposals and programs.
2.6-mile stretch would reduce Salvucci, senior lecturer Of course, none of the
congestion and decrease at the MIT Transit Lab and ideas included here that
pollution in communities that former Massachusetts hold the promise of
have long borne the brunt of Secretary of Transportation; improving the economy
tailpipe emissions. Stephen J. Silveira, who by increasing individual
The final runner up is a chaired the Commonwealth’s and freight mobility,
plan to improve rail service Transportation Finance improving air quality,
between Boston and Commission and is a reducing greenhouse
Providence by converting senior vice president at ML gas emissions and saving
the trains from diesel to Strategies; Mary Skelton taxpayer dollars would be
electrical power and building Roberts, co-director possible without Pioneer’s
new station platforms that for climate at the Barr generous donors and
allow for level boarding. Foundation; and Boston our many 2019 Better
The upgrades would increase Globe Transportation Government Competition
the frequency of rush hour Reporter Adam Vaccaro. We sponsors. Your support will
service, while reducing thank each of them for their allow Pioneer to disseminate
travel time and per-trip invaluable contributions to the ideas included in this
staffing costs. ideas that have the potential volume to the policy makers
Six entries earned special to benefit people across and opinion leaders who
recognition. They focus Massachusetts and beyond. can turn them from
on improving pedestrian As she has for over two proposals to policy.
safety, reforming the decades, Shawni Littlehale
Commonwealth’s Regional again did an outstanding
Transit Authorities, and job leading the herculean
utilizing technology and water effort that culminates in the
transportation to improve extraordinary proposals
both passenger and freight included in this volume. She James Stergios,
Executive Director
mobility. The Citizens Award was ably assisted by Robert
goes to Jacob Ventura “Cole” Wirtz and Saylor

Better Government Competition 2019 7


WINNER

OPERATION FARM TEAM


Global Transportation Infrastructure Workforce Initiative

by Phillip A. Washington

PROBLEM STATEMENT

G
rowing up in Altgeld Gardens, a public housing connections; programs for
complex on the south side of Chicago, Phillip seniors, students, and the
Washington, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Los Angeles disabled; and maintaining
County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), a state of good repair to
saw people who did not look like him building infrastructure — keep the system in working
transportation, utilities, streets & sidewalks — in his community. condition. Together the
As a teenager, he sought employment on those projects. He was projects will create 778,000
either told that he was too late to get employment or that he was jobs over the next four
not trained to work on the projects. He came away thinking that decades. The question is who
it was a tragedy, that as a resident of the oldest public housing will fill those jobs.
complex in the United States, he could not get a job or even 50% of transportation
training to help build his own community. industry professionals are
In November 2016, the voters of Los Angeles County eligible to retire in the next 10
overwhelmingly approved LA Metro’s Measure M transportation years1. LA Metro itself will be
sales tax ballot measure. The Plan will deliver 40 major projects losing 42% of its workforce to
over the next 40 years, with funding carved out for expanding bus retirement in the next 5 years;
and rail operations; local transportation projects in all 88 cities 68.5% of its workforce is over
and unincorporated areas in LA County; bike and pedestrian 40. Even more alarming is

HE CAME AWAY THINKING


THAT IT WAS A TRAGEDY...
HE COULD NOT GET A JOB OR
EVEN TRAINING TO HELP BUILD
HIS OWN COMMUNITY.

ALTGELD GARDENS, Credit: Zol87 from


the oldest public housing Chicago, Illinois, USA,
complex in the United States. Creative Commons

8 Better Government Competition 2019


WINNER

that 27% of its workforce could LA METRO transportation. Thus, LA Metro’s


walk out the door today due to itself will be Career Pathways Program begins
retirement. LOSING at a foundational level. Drawing
on the same basic logic that
PROPOSED SOLUTION 42% itsof inspired Branch Rickey’s farm
In the early 1920s the St. Louis WORKFORCE team system, LA Metro initiated
to Retirement
Cardinals baseball club struggled in the
a concept called E3 — expose,
to obtain players of quality Next 5 Years educate, and employ. The goal
from the minor leagues, outbid is to provide students with
by teams with more money. STEAM (science, technology,
In other words, the Cardinals 68.5% engineering, arts, and math)
had a workforce development of its workforce is programs, mentorships, hands-on
problem. In response, the great OVER 40 learning, and other opportunities
baseball management legend to expose and connect youth to
EVEN MORE ALARMING
Branch Rickey developed the transportation infrastructure-
“farm” system and forever
changed the way Major League
27% itsof
workforce could
related career opportunities.
The centerpiece of the
Baseball cultivates new players. In walk out the door E3 initiative is an actual
developing the farm team system, transportation school. LA Metro,
Rickey created a “production line
TODAY due to
in partnership
of talent” for the Cardinals. When retirement with the County of Los Angeles,
assessing his accomplishment, is developing a transportation
Rickey said, “I do not feel that academy, an educational and
the farming system we have vocational program to train high
established is the result of any school students to become the
inventive genius — it is the result of next generation of professional
stark necessity. We did it to meet transportation workers.
a question of supply and demand Built on 4.2 acres of land in
of young ballplayers.” 2 Drawing on South Los Angeles, the charter
At a time when the the same public high school (grades 9–12),
transportation workforce is basic logic the SEED LA Transportation
graying, LA Metro’s Career that inspired School (SEED LA), will be the
Branch
Pathways Program is an innovative first public boarding school
Rickey’s farm
and progressive training nationwide to focus on the future
team system,
model to prepare tomorrow’s workforce needs of the global
LA Metro
transportation infrastructure initiated a transportation infrastructure
leaders. concept industry, and will recruit students
Perhaps the biggest called E3 — who can most benefit from the
barrier to building a career structured boarding school
pathways program, and in turn experience, including from the
a transportation workforce, is EXPOSE, more than 18,000 youth in foster
getting young people to realize EDUCATE, care and nearly 78,000 homeless
they can even have a career in AND youth in Los Angeles County.
The selected school operator,
EMPLOY.

Better Government Competition 2019 9


WINNER

the SEED Foundation, has industry certifications to START-UP COSTS


demonstrated success at its successfully transition after The pre-development
three established campuses graduation to transportation budget for the School is
in Washington, D.C., related careers with LA Metro, $3.6 million, to be funded
Baltimore, and Miami, in other transportation industries, by $1 million from LA Metro,
creating positive educational or to pursue related Bachelor approved at its September
and personal experiences for degrees. 2018 board meeting; $1
young people with multiple This is an opportunity to million from LA County,
poverty indicators. The build a qualified workforce for approved in February 2019;
SEED Foundation’s college the transportation industry, and $1.6 million raised by
enrollment rate at its existing while giving local youth a the SEED Foundation. The
campuses is 94% and SEED pathway to global careers and LA Metro contribution will
graduates are 3.5 times more meaningful lives. go towards the architectural
likely to complete college and engineering work
than other low-income, first to design the project,
generation students. Though environmental assessments,
it will be open to all youth in and administration
Los Angeles County, SEED (including support of the
LA will focus on recruiting development of the school)
“opportunity youth” who during the pre-development
have, or are at risk, of THE SEED phase of the project.
contact with Los Angeles FOUNDATION’S
County’s public safety, child COLLEGE FUNDING
protection and welfare
ENROLLMENT SOURCES
departments, or youth who FOR FUTURE
have historically been under-
RATE AT ITS EXISTING OPERATIONAL
served educationally. CAMPUSES IS COSTS

96
A transportation The SEED Foundation
infrastructure curriculum will
be embedded in both the
% provided a proforma for the
costs associated with the
traditional academic setting round-the-clock, boarding
and as part of after-school school services provided in a
programming. Focus areas & 5-day week. Once the school
will include engineering, is fully operational, serving
SEED GRADUATES
information technology, 450 students, 52 staff
public administration and
ARE members will be dedicated

3.5x
policy, operations, urban to the non-academic
and regional planning, portion of the boarding
and logistics and supply school facility. Their duties
chain management. The will range from dedicated
curriculum will be developed
More Likely to mental and physical health
such that students will have Complete College service delivery, facility
the opportunity to attain than other low-income, operations and maintenance,
first generation students.

10 Better Government Competition 2019


WINNER

resource coordination, and follows: $2.875 million in FY21, charitable contributions to


management. The total $3.631 million in FY22, $4.494 the SEED Foundation. SEED
expenses associated with million in FY23 and, once the has committed to raising any
these personnel costs are school is fully operational, necessary funds beyond the
approximately $3.76 million $5 million annually from $10 million annual operating
per year. FY24 through FY35. Annual subsidy that is required from
Other costs associated budgeted commitments from LA Metro and the County of
with the school include LA Metro shall be no greater Los Angeles.
debt service for the facility, than $5 million. The maximum
estimated at approximately cumulative program allocation PROJECTED
$2.25 million per year, food shall be no greater than $71 OUTCOMES
at $1.3 million per year, million. In February 2019, the The Los Angeles metropolitan
student transportation Board of the County of Los area struggles with one
at $350,000 per year, Angeles formally approved the of the highest youth
and various building, same amounts for program/ unemployment rates in the
programmatic and operating costs for a period of country. At the same time, the
administrative-related 15 fiscal years. transportation infrastructure
expenses at $2.34 million The annual LA Metro industry is struggling to
per year. allocation can be reduced meet the national demand
In October 2018, the depending on external state for a skilled workforce. The
LA Metro Board approved and federal grants sought Transportation School effort
program/operating funds as by LA Metro, and other is being implemented to meet

IN OCTOBER 2018,
THE LA METRO BOARD APPROVED
PROGRAM/OPERATING FUNDS AS FOLLOWS

$4.494 MIL $5.0 MIL

$3.631
MIL

$2.875
The Los Angeles Economic Development
MIL
Corporation (LAEDC) estimates that 778,000
FISCAL YEAR 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
jobs and $133.6 billion in economic output will
result from transportation infrastructure projects Better Government Competition 2019 11
funded by LA Metro’s Traffic Improvement Plan
WINNER

(LAEDC) estimates that


778,000 jobs and $133.6
billion in economic output
will result from transportation
TO FOSTER A PIPELINE OR X infrastructure projects
FARM TEAM OF QUALIFIED, X
funded by LA Metro’s Traffic
Improvement Plan over the
LOCAL INDIVIDUALS FOR
next half century.
X

THOSE PROJECTED 778,000 X

To foster a pipeline or
JOBS, LA METRO IS X
farm team of qualified, local
ENGAGING YOUTH X
individuals for those projected
778,000 jobs, LA Metro is
AS PART OF THEIR
engaging youth as part of
X

SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. X

their school experience. The


Career Pathways Program,
through E3 and SEED LA, will
change the lives of thousands
the needs of both industry 4 - a history of contact with of young people by providing
and Resilience Youth: the child welfare and/or training and skills that allow
“Students for whom high juvenile justice systems them to lead productive
quality, trauma-informed through the Department lives, while at the same time
education, healthcare, of Children and addressing the growing need
housing, mentoring, Family Services or the for a skilled transportation
nutrition, recreational Probation Department. infrastructure workforce.
opportunities, and/or
supportive services would Following the passage of REFERENCES
have a measurable impact Measure M, LA Metro is poised 1. 2018 Labor Force Statistics
from the Current Population
on well-being, motivation, to transform the region’s Survey (https://www.bls.gov/
and self-sufficiency and offer transportation infrastructure cps/cpsaat18b.htm)
significant prospects they and, in doing so, develop 2. Farrington, Dick, “Branch
may otherwise not have been a workforce to support the Rickey, Defending Farms,
able to access.” 3 planning, construction, Says Stark Necessity Forced
System,” The Sporting
The school will annually operations, and maintenance News, December 1, 1932, p. 3.
serve 450 students who have of the expanding system.
3. County of Los Angeles
faced adversity in their lives. The Los Angeles Economic Probation and Children and
Students eligible to attend Development Corporation Family Services Departments
will meet criteria such as:
1 -living below 200%
of the federal poverty
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
threshold;
2-e  xperience with
PHILLIP A. WASHINGTON
housing instability;
CEO, LA Metro
3 - eligibility for Title IV-B
dollars; and P: 213.922.7599 (assistant, Maritza Romero)
L: 1 Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012

12 Better Government Competition 2019


WINNER
RUNNER UP

FREIGHT DEMAND
MANAGEMENT
Experiences, Research Results, and Potential to Help Address
Climate Change and Foster Economic Productivity

by Dr. José Holguín-Veras

PROBLEM STATEMENT

T
he transportation sector consumes 27.8% Doing so is urgent because
of the total energy and 70% of the petroleum used of the impact of e-commerce
in the United States; it produces 53% of the carbon on the number of internet
monoxide, 31.3% of the nitrogen oxide, 24.2% of the volatile deliveries to households. The
organic compounds, and 39.3% of the carbon dioxide. Though figure on the next page shows
only 4.3% of all motor vehicles registered, trucks generate 9.8% that the commercial FTG rate
of the vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT), consume 26.5% of the fuel declined from 0.15 to 0.12
and produce 41% of the greenhouse gas emissions 1. Yet we need freight trips/person-day in the
freight. Without an efficient flow of supplies modern life would 46 years between 1963 and
not be possible. 2009, but the rate of household
Policy-makers have been tightening fuel efficiency standards deliveries jumped from 0.04 to
for decades. As a result, between 1970 and 2014 energy use per 0.12 freight trips/person-day
vehicle-mile decreased at an annual rate of 1.4% and 0.3% for light in the subsequent eight. The
and medium/heavy trucks respectively, but, still, total energy use result is that the total FTG in
by these vehicles increased annually by 4.0% and 3.1%1. 2017 was 50% higher than it
This is the 21st century version of the “Efficiency Paradox,” was in 2009, and double what
whereby technological advances in efficiency help induce it would have been if not for
demand that outpaces reductions. Demand driven by just-in- internet home deliveries: 0.12
time production and internet delivery is undermining advances freight trips/person-day absent
in supply-side energy efficiency. This does not imply that internet home deliveries and
technological advances are not needed, but is merely to point 0.24 percent with them.
out that (1) technological advances are only part of the solution;
and (2) without behavioral changes to counteract the tendency to
induce demand, the Efficiency Paradox will materialize. In other
words, managing freight demand is key.

Better Government Competition 2019 13


RUNNER UP

receivers in commercial areas


are interested in enhancing
FREIGHT TRIPS
quality of life and walkability,
PER PERSON-DAY which translate into more
attractive shopping districts,
.25 receivers are naturally inclined
.12 to support FDM.
TRIPS PER PERSON-DAY

.2
The focus here is on two
0 FDM initiatives: off-hour
.15
.04 deliveries and receiver-led
.15 consolidation.
.1
.12 .12
1 - Off-Hour Deliveries
.05
(OHD) Programs
Freight carriers travel during
0
congested hours only because
YEAR 1963 2009 2017
receivers of the supplies
demand it. If receivers were
COMMERCIAL
to accept deliveries during
HOUSEHOLD (INTERNET)
off-hours (7PM to 6AM) most
carriers would gladly alter
their operations. Achieved
SOLUTION congestion and pollution are through incentives offered to
Freight Demand Management most acute in busy commercial receivers in exchange for their
(FDM) is: “…the area of areas, modifying the time participation, OHD leads to:
transportation policy that and number of deliveries at reduced urban congestion
seeks to induce the demand these locations can have a and air pollution; increased
generator to enact changes in noticeable effect where its economic productivity
demand patterns to increase impact can be most felt. and lower costs; enhanced
economic productivity and/ The majority of receivers sustainability and quality of
or efficiency; and/or enhance in urban areas are small life, with reduced conflicts
sustainability, quality of businesses of less than nine between freight traffic
life, and/or environmental employees, estimated to and passenger vehicles,
justice…”. Receivers set the produce between 45% and pedestrians, and bicyclists.
operational constraints that 60% of the freight traffic. New York City is where
must be satisfied by carriers Typically, the owners of these OHD research started and
and shippers. By seeking businesses do not think much the first successful pilot took
to change the behavior of about their ordering patterns place. Leading private-sector
the receivers who generate and their environmental partners include: Manhattan
freight demand, FDM can impacts. They are preoccupied Chamber of Commerce, Truck
improve the economic, with surviving in the market, Association of New York,
social, and environmental but there are ways for FDM SYSCO, Anheuser-Busch,
performance of urban supply to help receivers make more Whole Foods, Footlocker, CVS,
chains. Moreover, because informed decisions, and since Duane Reade, Waldorf-Astoria,

14 Better Government Competition 2019


RUNNER UP

and Beverage Works. program that reads GPS data the case of NYC and São Paulo,
Estimates for NYC indicate and applies appropriate where OHD took place deep
that the annual economic emission factors. The into the night and early hours
benefits amount to between pollutants estimated are of the morning, reductions
$100 and $200 million. A CO2, CO, NOX, total organic reached 48% and 64%. To put
major portion of these savings gases (TOG), reactive organic these impacts in perspective,
represent reductions in gases (ROG), and particulate the emission standards
delivery costs, estimated to matter with aerodynamic promulgated by President
be between 35% and 45%, diameters of less than 10 mm Obama sought engine
similar to those achieved in and 2.5 mm (PM10 and PM2.5, efficiency increases of 25% in
OHD programs in Bogotá and respectively). The GPS data ten years. Assuming that these
São Paulo, where 30% delivery come from the OHD programs OHD programs capture a 30%
cost reductions have been in Bogotá, NYC, and São Paulo, market share, the emission
reported. though the data from Bogotá reductions accrued would
The estimated impacts are from vehicles operated reach the amounts in Table 2.
on emissions are even from 6PM to 10PM, while in On a worldwide basis, if
more compelling, even São Paulo and NYC, the data only 10% of deliveries in metro
though they consider only represent vehicles operated areas with more than 10 million
the reduction in emissions from 7PM to 6AM. Table 1 residents switch to OHD,
from the freight vehicle shows the results. emission reductions would be
themselves. To estimate the Even the small shift in 11 times greater than the totals
emission reductions, the delivery times in Bogotá in Table 2. Implementing OHD
team developed a computer reduced emissions by 13%. In in all metro areas with more

TABLE 1: OFF HOUR % OF EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS PER KILOMETER


CITY\POLLUTANT ROG TOG CO CO2 NOX PM10 PM25 TOTAL

BOGOTÁ 13.49% 13.49% 13.50% 13.12% 12.70% 13.41% 13.41% 54.8%


(6PM–10PM)

NEW YORK CITY 67.17% 67.17% 67.00% 55.14% 59.47% 65.53% 65.53% 100.0%
(7PM–6AM)

SAO PAULO 49.98% 49.98% 51.43% 42.52% 44.64% 45.90% 45.90% 79.7%
(7PM–6AM)

TABLE 2: REDUCTIONS IN EMISSIONS DUE TO OHD IN STUDIED CITIES


CITY Veh-km ROG TOG CO CO2 NOX PM10 PM25
shifted (tons) (tons) (tons) (million tons) (tons) (tons) (tons)
(millions)

NEW YORK 10.5 1,733.2 1,973.2 2,5273.5 8.9 3,616.3 591.8 566.2

SAO PAULO 5.2 806.9 918.6 9,015.2 2.9 1,197.0 221.0 211.4

BOGOTÁ 2.3 333.3 379.4 4,762.2 1.7 671.0 114.8 109.8

TOTAL 17.9 2,873.4 3,271.2 39,051.0 13.5 5,484.3 927.6 887.5

Better Government Competition 2019 15


RUNNER UP

than two million residents in Manhattan is expected to FDM provides city


would reduce total emissions generate between $57.10 governments with a new
by 22 times Table 2’s totals. In and $84.42 million per year set of tools to foster urban
terms of CO2, these scenarios in economic benefits. The freight sustainability. The
would lead to reductions of environmental benefits are estimates produced through
148 million tons/year and 298 also likely substantial, though the research, based on
million tons/year respectively 2. they have yet to be quantified. professionally collected
surveys, indicate that between
2 - Receiver-Led CONCLUSION 40% and 70% of urban
Consolidation FDM has demonstrated deliveries could be influenced
Receiver-Led Consolidation great potential to foster in a beneficial manner by
(RLC) exploits the power sustainability, economic FDM. Undertaking a global
of receivers to foster cargo productivity, and efficiency FDM effort is a cost-effective
consolidation across supply in urban supply chains. way to start addressing the
chains. By doing so, receivers These initiatives exploit threat of climate change, while
reduce interruptions produced the power of receivers to at the same time increasing
by receiving supplies; establish how, when, and economic productivity and
suppliers benefit from how frequent deliveries health across the world.
increased productivity; while are made. With increasing
the city benefits from reduced freight activity produced by REFERENCES
traffic. Surveys indicate household internet purchases, 1. Oak Ridge National
Laboratory. Transportation
that 20.6% of respondents FDM techniques provide a Energy Data Book 35th Edition.
are interested in “asking … template for action to contain 2016 3-9-17]; Available from:
vendors to reduce the number the negative externalities http://cta.ornl.gov/data/.
of individual deliveries … associated with internet 2. Holguín-Veras, J., et al., Direct
through consolidation.”3 deliveries to households. Impacts of Off-Hour Deliveries
on Urban Freight Emissions.
Depending on the scenario, Amazon recently took a Transportation Research Part
RLC could reduce by 3.0% to tentative step into FDM by D: Transport and Environment,
8.8% the total delivery traffic providing an option to its 2018: p. 1–20.
in the NYC metropolitan area, Prime customers, allowing 3. Holguín-Veras, J. and I.
and between 3.5% and 11.2% them to consolidate their Sánchez-Díaz, Freight Demand
Management and the Potential
in Manhattan3. The estimated deliveries on a single day.
of Receiver-Led Consolidation
total savings for the carriers Essentially, Amazon is inducing Programs. Transportation
could range between $376,906 its customers to practice RLC. Research A, 2016. 84: p.
and $1,186,128 per day, as a 109–130.

result of the 4,740 to 15,062


hours saved in operations.
In terms of vehicle-miles
traveled (VMT), the expected CONTACT THE AUTHOR

savings range from 33,445


to 104,255 VMT per day. In DR. JOSÉ HOLGUÍN-VERAS
addition to the savings for the William H. Hart Professor, Director of the Center for
Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment
carriers participating in RLC,
a reduction in truck traffic of P: 518.276.6221
E: jhv@rpi.edu
between 6.49% and 14.10%
L:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th St, Room JEC 4030
Troy, NY 12180

16 Better Government Competition 2019


WINNER
RUNNER UP

ALTERNATIVE CONTRACTING
METHOD PERFORMANCE IN
U.S. HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION
by Arthur L. C. Antoine, PhD, PE, Assoc. DBIA and Professor Keith Molenaar

PROBLEM STATEMENT

T
here are three primary contracting THE PRIMARY
methods for federally funded highways: design–bid– OBJECTIVES OF
build (D-B-B)1, design–build (D-B) 2, and construction
THE PDSM ARE TO:
manager/general contractor (CM/GC) 3. The vast majority
of the U.S. highway system was built employing D-B-B. P
 resent a structured
D-B delivery began in the 1990s; CM/GC delivery began approach to assist
after 2005.4 Potential benefits of using D-B and CM/GC agencies in making
include expedited project delivery, shortened construction project delivery decisions.
schedules, project cost savings, improved constructability, Assist agencies in
enhanced innovation, and reduced risk. Notwithstanding, the determining if there is
two alternative contracting methods can create challenges. a dominant or optimal
How do state transportation agencies know when and when choice of delivery method.
not to employ alternative contracting methods? Provide documentation of
the selection decision.
SOLUTION
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in conjunction
with Colorado’s Department of Transportation, developed What follows is a discussion
a Project Delivery Selection Matrix (PDSM) 5 into which of the data informing the
the results of its report, “Alternative Contracting Method matrix. The findings are
Performance in U.S. Highway Construction,” have been based on empirical data
integrated. The PDSM provides a formal approach for from the Federal Highway
selecting highway project delivery methods. The process Administration (FHWA)
uses evaluation worksheets and forms to guide agency staff study Quantification of
and project team members through a delivery selection Cost, Benefits and Risk
workshop. The result is a Project Delivery Selection Report Associated with Alternative
that matches the unique goals and characteristics of each Contracting Methods and
individual project.

Better Government Competition 2019 17


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Accelerated Performance Index was used to convert


Specifications. The research EIGHT RISK all project costs for those
team collected data from FACTORS WERE included in the study to
291 completed projects that PERCEIVED equivalent costs in June 2015.
met the methodological The projects ranged in cost
TO HAVE A
specifications6, with an from $69,108 $357,760,287,
eye toward answering, HIGH IMPACT with an average award cost of
among others, the following ON PROJECT $27,140,3637.
questions: PERFORMANCE Publicized success of large,
For what project size, high-profile D-B and CM/GC
complexity, and risk
REGARDLESS
projects gives the impression
characteristics are OF DELIVERY that alternative contracting
agencies currently applying METHOD: methods are applicable
alternative contracting
only to larger projects. The
methods?
data collected for this study,
1 Delays in
How do alternative however, show that alternative
completing
contracting methods contracting methods are
railroad
affect cost certainty and widely applied on small
agreements.
cost growth?
projects. More than half of the
How do alternative CM/GC and D-B/LB projects
2 Project
contracting methods affect included in the research are
complexity.
project delivery speed and under $20 million in value,
schedule growth?
Uncertainty in and more than half of the D-B/
How do alternative 3 LB projects are less than $5
geotechnical
contracting methods million in value. And though,
investigation.
affect production rates on average, D-B/BV is used
or project intensity? on larger projects, 45% of the
4 Delays in
The research team began right-of-way D-B/BV projects are less than
by assessing risk. From process. $20 million in value.
the data, eight risk factors Agencies frequently
were perceived to have Unexpected choose alternative contracting
a high impact on project
5 methods not just based on
utility
performance regardless of encounter. cost, but to shorten project
delivery method: 1. Delays durations. Data from the study
in completing railroad Work zone show they are achieving this
6
agreements. 2. Project traffic control. objective.8 When compared
complexity. 3. Uncertainty in to D-B-B, the mean project
geotechnical investigation. Challenges duration for the CM/GC
4. Delays in right-of-way
7
to obtain projects was 48% shorter,
process. 5. Unexpected utility environmental and the mean D-B/BV project
encounter. 6. Work zone traffic documentation. duration was 15% shorter,
control. 7. Challenges to obtain despite the fact that the
environmental documentation. 8 Delays in mean project costs for CM/
8. Delays in delivery schedule. delivery GC and D-B/BV projects
Next, FHWA’s National schedule. are approximately twice
Highway Construction Cost that of the D-B-B projects.

18 Better Government Competition 2019


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Essentially, projects twice as


PROJECTS WITH A GREATER INTENSITY CAN
large are being built in half
the time by using alternative HAVE A SHORTER IMPACT ON TRAFFIC...
contracting methods.
Mean agency design
durations are notably shorter
for CM/GC and D-B projects.
D-B/LB project had the lowest RESULT
mean construction durations, THE SHORTER HIGHER in a
perhaps due to the smaller PROJECT CONTRACT MUCH
DURATION COST
size of these projects and HIGHER
the higher level of design
OF CM/GC AND D-B/BV PROJECTS PROJECT
completion at the time of
award. And though D-B/
INTENSITY
BV had the highest mean than D-B-B.
construction durations, this
was probably because D-B/BV
projects had the largest mean
cost, and the construction these projects, and the mean Both results suggest that
durations included the D-B/LB construction time, agencies gain substantial time
design builder’s design time which included both the savings by using alternative
and coordination with other design-builder design and contracting methods.
agencies. construction time, was still Alternative contracting
Because the mean approximately 25% shorter on methods also provide agencies
costs of the projects average. D-B/LB appears to be with earlier cost certainty.
vary so substantially, the delivering substantially shorter For smaller D-B-B and D-B/
research team analyzed two durations on smaller projects. LB projects, D-B/LB cost
smaller pools of projects For larger projects the certainty is known more than
independently. The first pool mean cost of the CM/GC 60% earlier. On larger projects,
involved the smallest projects projects was approximately when compared to D-B-B, the
($2 to $10 million), the second 11% higher than D-B-B and average point of cost certainty
larger projects ($10 to $50 22% higher than D-B/BV, but for CM/GC is more than
million). Since D-B-B and D-B/ the mean CM/GC project 60% earlier and for D-B/BV
LB are most frequently chosen duration was 69% and 43% approximately 40% earlier.
for projects in the lower cost shorter than D-B-B and D-B/ Project intensity is a
range, only those two methods BV, respectively. Shorter CM/ measure of how much money
were analyzed within it. GC mean durations were is spent per day on a project.
The mean D-B/LB duration observed in both design and Projects with a greater
for smaller projects was 49% construction. D-B/BV also intensity can have a shorter
shorter than that of D-B-B showed substantially shorter impact on traffic, providing
projects. Agencies took mean durations as compared an excellent measure of how
approximately 77% less time to D-B-B. Like CM/GC, this agencies are serving the
for design for D-B/LB as shorter construction duration commuting public. The shorter
compared to the mean D-B-B is likely because of contractor project duration and higher
agency design duration on involvement with the design. contract cost of CM/GC and

Better Government Competition 2019 19


RUNNER UP

ALTERNATIVE CONTRACTING
METHODS ARE:

40 – 60%
SHORTER IN DURATION

EARLIER
COST CERTAINTY

HAVE A
HIGHER PROJECT
INTENSITY

D-B/BV projects result in a final contract cost was found contracting methods, as
much higher project intensity between any of the contracting reflected in the fewer change
than D-B-B. methods, CM/GC did see the orders with CM/GC methods.9
Award growth is the ratio lowest growth — only 0.9%. Increases due to plan
of the difference between the In summary, agencies are quantity changes, plan errors,
engineer’s initial estimate of expediting overall project and omission changes agree
the cost of a project and the delivery and gaining early cost with what would be expected
actual contract award. Any certainty using alternative between delivery methods.
differences can indicate trends contracting methods without D-B-B has the largest
in the accuracy of agency seeing additional cost growth. percentage of plan quantity
cost estimating and highlight As for change orders, changes, which is likely
projects that experience no delivery method seems attributable to the designs
significant change in cost to be immune to the effect being performed by the
during procurement. The mean of unforeseen conditions. agency and the pricing being
award growth is lowest for However, agencies could predominantly unit price. Plan
D-B-B projects and highest be transferring some risk to errors and omissions are also
for CM/GC projects. The low contractors through alternative highest in D-B-B.
award growth in D-B-B projects
could be a result of more
competition and agencies’
CONTACT THE AUTHORS
use of historic unit pricing for
estimates, whereas CM/GC
ARTHUR L. C. ANTOINE, PHD, PE, ASSOC. DBIA
uses negotiated pricing. Senior Project Manager, Shrewsberry
Conversely, CM/GC
P: (d) 720.210.5676 (m) 917.645.2095
projects provide, over the
E: AAntoine@shrewsusa.com
course of the project, slightly W: shrewsusa.com
more award certainty. Though
no statistically significant
PROFESSOR KEITH MOLENAAR
difference in cost growth from
Professor and Associate Dean for Research
the time of the award to the University of Colorado Boulder
P: 303.735.4276
E: keith.molenaar@colorado.edu

20 Better Government Competition 2019


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CONCLUSION
The information used to inform delivery, with 40% to 60% contracting methods are
the PDSM provides an up-to- savings over D-B-B average facilitating project delivery at
date perspective on the types project durations. They are a faster pace in terms of the
of alternative contracting also greatly accelerating rate of resources invested in
methods. Agencies are the point of cost certainty the project per day.
using alternative contracting in the project development In summary, alternative
methods on projects of all sizes process. Contrary to intuition, contracting methods are
to reap benefits, as illustrated the alternative contracting shorter in duration, have
by the high frequency of methods do not seem to have an earlier cost certainty,
use of the CM/GC, D-B/ an impact on cost growth and have a higher project
BV, and D-B/LB methods on when compared to the intensity. In essence, agencies
projects valued under $20 traditional D-B-B method. are getting more work in
million. Agencies are saving With regard to project place with less disruption to
substantial time in project intensity, the alternative the traveling public.

REFERENCES
1. Design-Bid-Build is the traditional delivery method 5. Transportation Construction Management Pooled
where the agency contracts separately for design Fund. (2014). “Alternate Contracting Methods.”
and construction services, the construction (website) Available online: http://www.colorado.
bid is based on complete (100%) plans and edu/tcm/projects/alternate-contracting-methods,
specifications, and design and construction last accessed October 11, 2016.
occur sequentially. D-B-B is typically a unit-priced
6. For a discussion of data collection and
contract, but it can also include lump-sum items.
methodology, see “Alternative Contracting
2. In Design-Build the agency contracts with Method Performance in U.S. Highway
one entity to complete both the design and Construction,” FHWA Publication No: FHWA-
construction of a project under a single contract, HRT-17-100.
typically a lump sum with allowances or unit cost
7. It should be noted that contractor design costs are
items to address risk. D-B has been implemented
included for the D-B projects; no design costs are
using various procurement approaches, including
included for the D-B-B and CM/GC projects.
qualified low bid (LB) and best value (BV).
8. Final project durations include all contractual
3. With a Construction Manager/General Contractor,
changes and/or builder delays. Please note that
the agency procures professional services
the mean project duration is longer than the
on a qualifications or best-value basis from a
sum of the design and construction durations
construction manager during the design phase
because procurement times and other agency
to offer suggestions on innovations, cost and
administrative tasks are not shown. Additionally,
schedule savings, and constructability issues.
note that construction duration for D-B projects
Upon completion of the design or individual
includes design-builder design and construction
design packages, the contractor and agency
duration (i.e., the D-B contract duration from
negotiate a price for the construction contract,
award to completion).
and then the construction manager acts as a
general contractor to complete construction. The 9. It should be noted here that agency changes are
contract can employ a guaranteed maximum price not automatically bad. They can also have positive
administered on a cost-reimbursable basis, unit impacts on project goals. Negative impacts occur
price, or lump-sum contract. with incomplete scopes or lack of clarity in the RFP.
Positive changes can add value to a project that
4. Federal Highway Administration. (2015). Every Day
was awarded below budget, as with more than half
Counts, EDC-2 Final Report, pp. 22–25 and 69–72,
of the agency-directed change orders across the
Federal Highway Administration, Washington,
analyzed projects, projects whose initial award
DC. Available online: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/
was lower than the engineer’s estimate. In these
everydaycounts/reports/edc-2-final-report/, last
instances, the changes could have added value to
accessed June 10, 2016.
the project.

Better Government Competition 2019 21


WINNER
RUNNER UP

BRING THE PROVIDENCE LINE


IN TO THE 21ST CENTURY
by Ari Ofsevit

PROBLEM STATEMENT

P rovidence is only 40 miles from Boston, diesel trains are not only less
but at rush hour, driving between the cities can take up reliable and more polluting
to two hours, and the rail line between them hosts outdated than electrified trains, but
commuter trains that are slow at peak hours and infrequent the considerably slower: some
rest of the day. average only about 40 miles
First opened in the 1830s, the railroad has been upgraded per hour over the same
over the years: in the mid-20 th century to remove roadway grade distance, and when they do
crossings, and in the 1990s when Amtrak upgraded the tracks reach their top speed, it's only
and electrified the line to make it a high-speed corridor. Nearly 75 mph. Passengers board
two centuries after it opened, the Boston-to-Providence line is and alight via narrow, steep
still in heavy use, Amtrak running fast, reliable, electrified service, stairs, leading to long waits —
with trains from Westwood to Providence averaging 102 mph, called “dwell times”— and
start-to-stop. safety requires that each door
Yet the MBTA, which owns the railroad itself, does little to take be staffed by a conductor,
advantage of operating in the fastest corridor in the country. Its resulting in an inefficient
use of both equipment and
people, and a failure to attract
as many passengers as would

DIESEL TRAINS ARE NOT


ONLY LESS RELIABLE AND
MORE POLLUTING THAN
ELECTRIFIED TRAINS, BUT
CONSIDERABLY SLOWER

THE BOSTON AND 31 March 1977. American


PROVIDENCE RAILROAD, Engineering Record,
22 Better Government Competition 2019 built the Canton Viaduct in 1835. HAER: MASS,13-BOST,83-7
RUNNER UP

otherwise ride transit if the speed more quickly. If a diesel COMBINING


trains were faster. and an electric train pulled
ELECTRIFICATION &
out of Route 128 at the same
PROPOSED time, the diesel would arrive at
LEVEL BOARDING
SOLUTION Sharon in seven minutes, but WOULD
The Caltrain line between the electric train in five.
San Jose and San Francisco At many stations, low-level CUT
is approximately the same
distance as between Boston
platforms are still in use, as
they have been since 1835. 15–20
MINS
and Providence. It, too, has Every passenger getting on
been operated in about the or off has to use a narrow,
same manner for more than steep staircase to board
150 years. Yet with growing or alight, which is much off the trip to
congestion on parallel slower than stepping off Providence
highways and increasing onto a platform. The doors
ridership, Caltrain made are operated manually, and
a decision to electrify the regulations require that each
railroad, and buy newer, faster, pair of doors be attended by a
more-efficient rolling stock. crew member; so conductors
And they're doing it from keep half the doors shut even that allow passengers to
scratch. Every catenary pole when hundreds of people get on and off trains as if
and electrical feed has to be wait to board. Combining they were subways. The rest
installed and tested and every electrification and level of the stations on the line,
track at the terminal station boarding would cut 15 to however, would need these
needs electrification. Between 20 minutes off the trip to platforms. These stations
Boston and Providence, the Providence. already have ramps to provide
infrastructure is already built. “vertical circulation” to keep
It’s just not fully used. START-UP COSTS passengers from crossing
In addition to local-source Nearly all the physical the high-speed tracks at
pollution, diesel trains are infrastructure is in place. The grade; so the main cost would
limited in their acceleration right-of-way was built in the come from building the new
and do not have top speeds as 1800s, roadway crossings platforms. 2 In addition to
high as electric trains. Carrying removed in the 1900s (today improving travel times, this
a power plant on board, it is the only MBTA Commuter would create a fully-accessible
diesels are also significantly Rail line with no grade service for passengers with
more prone to mechanical crossings), the tracks upgraded mobility needs.
issues. In fact, the MBTA's for high speeds in the 1990s, New rolling stock would
diesel fleet breaks down and the electrification built be required as well. The
between 10 and 50 times as around the same time. Only MBTA's fleet is relatively old,
often as electric commuter some minor modifications and some cars are downright
trains in other American cities1. would be required. ancient, dating to the 1970s.
Greater acceleration at low The largest cost would It’s as if 15,000 commuters
speeds and higher top speeds be building new stations. rely on a Dodge Dart to get
mean that an electric train Providence, Route 128, Back to work every day. New trains
cannot only go faster than a Bay and South Station already acquired for operation on the
diesel, but it can attain that top have level-boarding platforms Providence Line would allow

Better Government Competition 2019 23


RUNNER UP

its current equipment to move per commuter. If passengers


to the rest of the system or, value their travel time at $15
for the oldest railcars and per hour, this yields a net
GIVEN CURRENT
locomotives, be removed from benefit of $22.5 million per
RIDERSHIP, the system altogether. Since year, a benefit that would only
COMMUTERS the MBTA will need to acquire increase as more commuters
WOULD SAVE new equipment anyway, the ditch their cars for a faster train.
net capital cost is at worst As faster trains will draw
A TOTAL OF
negligible and the long-term more people out of their
APPROXIMATELY operating costs are quite cars, service, as necessitated
6,000 HOURS favorable. by demand, may need to be
OF TRAVEL TIME provided more frequently
PER DAY — FUNDING SOURCES during both peak and off-peak
When Caltrain wanted to hours. Will this cost more?
electrify its main line, it used Not necessarily. Faster service

1/2
$650 million in Federal Transit times allow the same number
Authority money known of staff and vehicles to provide
as Core Capacity funding, more service, and will attract
HOUR reserved for existing fixed-
guideway systems in corridors
more passengers, resulting in
increased fare revenue.
per commuter that are at or over capacity and Today, the first train leaves
where the project in question Providence at 5:00 a.m. and
will increase capacity by at arrives at South Station at
least 10%. This pot of money 6:10. It turns around and
is only applicable to about half heads back to Providence at
a dozen cities in the country. 6:25, arriving there at 7:35,
Since a portion of federal and leaving again at 7:50 to
funds have been carved out for arrive back in Boston at 9:00.
these sorts of projects—and the The "cycle time" from when
Bay Area has already applied it leaves a terminal to when it
this funding to a very similar makes its second trip, is nearly
corridor — there is no reason three hours. Thus, this single
to believe the Providence Line train provides two rush hour
would not be eligible. trips in the peak direction.
But the next train at 5:30
PROJECTED completes only one; its second
OUTCOMES trip wouldn’t arrive in Boston
While the trains in use on until 9:30. So to provide eight
the Providence line today trips to Boston during rush
are comparatively slow, they hour — approximately one every
still provide a faster trip 30 minutes — current service
than driving. Given current requires seven trains, most of
ridership, commuters would which then sit idle in Boston
save a total of approximately until the evening rush hour.
6000 hours of travel time per Now, imagine a train that
day — more than half an hour makes the same trip in 45

24 Better Government Competition 2019


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TODAY
IT 5 75 A
TAKES STAFF MINS DECREASE OF

GIVEN THE CHANGES DESCRIBED HEREIN

IT WOULD
2 45
76
PERSON-HOURS
%
TAKE
JUST STAFF MINS PER TRIP

TO OPERATE A TRAIN FROM PROVIDENCE right BOSTON

minutes. This train would leave boarding through eight REFERENCES


Providence at 5:00, arrive narrow doors. The dwell time 1. http://transitmatters.org/
regional-rail-doc#
in Boston at 5:45, return to at the busiest Providence
Providence by 6:45 and be Line stations is four minutes, 2. Mansfield is a special case:
it sits on the STRACNET
ready for its next trip at 7:00. when those for a train with
military route which links
The next train, starting at 5:30, all its doors open and a level Joint Base Cape Cod to the
would be able to complete the platform would be only one. national rail network and
With off-board fare would require significant
7:30 trip, and so forth. By 9:00,
changes to build new
the same number of trips — one payment, a single conductor switches and bypass tracks
every half-hour — could be run and single engineer could to allow freight movements
with only four trains. operate a Commuter Rail to pass a passenger track.
Still, compared to the cost
Finally, allowing passengers train. Today, it takes five staff of building a high speed rail
to board trains at high-level 75 minutes — 6.25 person- line, these costs are orders
platforms would improve hours — to operate a train of magnitude less, and the
benefits, in terms of passenger
the efficiency of Commuter from Providence to Boston.
time savings, decreased
Rail staff. Today, a Red Line Given the changes described highway congestion, and
train with 1000 passengers herein, it would take just two reduced operation costs,
staff 45 minutes to make the would pay dividends on the
requires one staff person. A
investment.
Commuter Rail train with the same trip —1.5 person hours,
same number of passengers a decrease of 76% in person-
requires five. When the Red hours per trip.
Line train stops at Broadway
or Harvard, it takes less than a
minute for 400 passengers to CONTACT THE AUTHOR

board: 24 doors open, each


door accommodating only 16 ARI OFSEVIT
passengers with a step-free Transportation Planning Fellow
Transit Matters
entry to the train. Yet a similar
number of people boarding a E: ari.ofsevit@gmail.com
T: @ofsevit
Commuter Rail train requires
four staff (plus the engineer),

Better Government Competition 2019 25


RUNNER UP

BETTER MANAGING THE


I-93 NORTHERN EXPRESSWAY
HOV LANE
by Conrad Crawford

PROBLEM STATEMENT

G reater Boston has the worst traffic


congestion in the United States.1 The typical driver wastes
more than $2,200 each year stuck in traffic. Traffic is holding
Since the late 1990s, the
Northern Expressway has
included a 2.6-mile High-
back our economy and hurting our quality of life. 2 According Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lane
to recent polling from the MassINC Polling Group, 3 two-thirds in its southbound direction.
of drivers have rearranged their schedule to try to beat traffic, The lane starts in Medford and
and about one-third have considered leaving the region entirely is physically separated from
because of their frustration with our transportation system. the general lanes until the
Interstate 93’s “Northern Expressway” was completed in Zakim Bridge in Cambridge.
1973. The highway bisects Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge, On weekdays from 6:00AM to
north of Boston. Originally envisioned to accommodate just 10:00AM, the lane is reserved
45,000 vehicles per day each way,4 it now carries on a typical exclusively for vehicles with at
weekday between 75,000 and 85,000 in each direction.5 Average least two occupants (HOV2+).
daily traffic counts have grown by more than 25% since 2012. Outside of those hours, it
Research shows that burning gasoline and diesel fuel releases serves as a general-purpose
particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and lane open to all. The HOV lane
volatile organic compounds.6 This tailpipe exhaust increases is enforced by State Police. 
risks of cancer, asthma, heart disease, and pre-term births. Because of the higher
People living within 1,000 feet of a highway are most at risk, but occupancy per vehicle, the
vehicle emissions can travel up to a mile away. Traffic congestion HOV lane moves more people,
compounds the negative impacts, and residents of Medford, in fewer vehicles, than general-
Somerville, and Cambridge bear the greatest risk. purpose lanes during peak
In addition to creating public health problems, Boston’s periods. The latest analysis
congested highways contribute to climate change. shows that the HOV lane moves
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases of any an average of 2,250 people
sector of the Massachusetts economy, comprising more than per hour, with vehicles taking
40% of total emissions. Idle car engines also contribute heat to about three minutes to traverse
already warming urban climates. it. Each general-purpose lane

26 Better Government Competition 2019


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moves an average of 1,500 Converting the I-93 Northern


people per hour, with vehicles Expressway’s 2.6-mile HOV
taking about ten minutes to go lane to a dynamically-priced
the same distance.7 The HOV Tolled Express Lane at some
lane is working. or all hours of the day would
However, the lane is still ensure the free-flow of
“underutilized” in that it could vehicles. At times when the
accommodate some additional general-purpose lanes are
vehicles without degrading congested, users of the priced
the speed and experience of lane would be guaranteed
existing HOV users. Because of uncongested travel of at least
this underutilized capacity, in 45 miles per hour, but would
May 2019, MassDOT decided pay a higher toll in exchange.
to temporarily eliminate the At times of less congestion, the
HOV lane and open it to HOV lane price would go back
general-purpose traffic at down. MassDOT could choose USERS OF THE
all times, arguing that this one of two options:  PRICED LANE WOULD
capacity could be used by BE GUARANTEED
commuters avoiding the Tobin Option 1: Full conversion to
UNCONGESTED
Bridge’s active construction a 24/7 Tolled Express Lane,
zone. This action, however, eliminating accommodations TRAVEL OF AT LEAST
seems to run contrary to a for high-occupancy vehicles: 45 MILES PER HOUR,
key recommendation of the This would be the simplest BUT WOULD PAY
Governor’s Commission on option from an operational
A HIGHER TOLL IN
the Future of Transportation: perspective and might deliver
that the state needs to focus greater benefits, though it
EXCHANGE.
on moving more people, not would represent the more
more vehicles.8 radical shift from past practice.
MassDOT is right to Under this option, the exclusive significantly during busy rush-
identify the HOV lane’s extra availability for HOV2+ from hour periods when the demand
capacity as an opportunity, 6:00AM to 10:00AM on for the road is high.
but the agency’s decision to weekdays would be eliminated.
eliminate the lane squanders Instead, any and all vehicles Option 2: Conversion to a
that opportunity rather choosing to pay a variable Tolled Express Lane outside
than leveraging it. Now that toll to use the lane would be of existing HOV2+ hours:
it is open to all vehicles, allowed to do so. Drivers would This option would preserve
the lane will likely become be guaranteed a fast trip on the exclusive reservation of
oversubscribed by the crush the Express Toll corridor, but in the lane for HOV2+ vehicles
of single-occupancy vehicles exchange would pay a rate that from 6:00AM to 10:00AM on
using I-93.9 fluctuates depending on real- weekdays, consistent with
time demand. The lane would MassDOT’s long-standing
PROPOSED operate 24 hours a day, 365 practice. But outside of those
SOLUTION  days a year. Prices would be low hours the existing “free” lane
Dynamic road-pricing is a (perhaps a minimum of $0.25 would convert to a tolled
market-based reform of a for the 2.6-mile trip) during express lane for all vehicles
poorly utilized public asset. off-peak periods, but increase (with no preference for HOV2+

Better Government Competition 2019 27


RUNNER UP

at these times). This option and revenue for Option 1 (full conversion to a 24/7 Tolled Express
would be somewhat more Lane). These estimates indicate that the priced lane could produce
operationally complex, an operating surplus of $1.6 million per year, providing MassDOT
as it would require strong a roughly two-year payback period on its capital costs. Option 2
and clear communications would have similar capital and operating costs, but would produce
with drivers about whether less revenue, and would have a longer payback period.
the lane was “available” for Both options would be integrated into the state’s existing EZ Pass
non-HOV vehicles. However, and open-road-tolling systems.
enforcement would be similar
to what it is today, and it CAPITAL COSTS
would remain open to all CONSTRUCTION $1,500,000
vehicles for the 20 hours each (E.G., OVERHEAD GANTRY, ELECTRONIC SIGNS,
NETWORK EQUIPMENT, FIBER AND WIRING)
weekday outside of morning
rush-hour (as long as drivers DESIGN & ADMINISTRATION $300,000
are willing to pay the toll). SYSTEM STARTUP COSTS $1,500,000
There are many examples
across the country of state TOTAL CAPITAL COSTS $3,300,000
departments of transportation
converting existing HOV
NET OPERATING REVENUE/COSTS
lanes into Tolled Express AVERAGE TRANSACTIONS PER DAY 15,000
Lanes. The Federal Highway
AVERAGE REVENUE PER TRANSACTION $0.50
Administration (FHWA) has
approved at least eight AVERAGE TRANSACTION COST $0.15
(E.G., PROCESSING, ADMINISTRATION, POSTAGE)
HOV conversions in the last
few decades, including in NET REVENUE PER TRANSACTION $0.35
California, Colorado, Florida,
Minnesota, Texas, Utah and Once up-and running, the priced lane would be among a small
Washington.10 number of MassDOT programs producing revenue in excess of
costs. These revenues would pay back startup costs of less than
START-UP COSTS $4 million, which could come from MassDOT’s $18 billion five-year
The costs of a well-run capital plan.
electronic tolling system
are negligible compared to LEGISLATION AND REGULATION REQUIRED
those of constructing new MassDOT would need to receive approval from FHWA and the
highway capacity. Using Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. However,
FHWA data11 to calculate the recent change in the status of the HOV2+ lane demonstrates
capital and operating costs regulatory feasibility.
for converting the HOV lane Converting to a tolled express lane would also likely require
to a tolled express lane, state legislation, both to enable or mandate the new toll and to
rough estimates show that specify the uses of any net revenue. This could either be done as a
conversion will generate standalone “session law”, or as a change to Section 13 of Chapter
sufficient revenue to offset 6C of the General Laws.
the capital and operating
costs of the project. The table PROJECTED OUTCOMES
below lays out estimated First, by efficiently moving vehicles at a consistent speed, the
capital costs, operating costs, Tolled Express Lane would improve traffic flow and reduce

28 Better Government Competition 2019


RUNNER UP

congestion for commuters fund public transportation, biking, and walking improvements in
and other road users. Medford, Somerville, and Cambridge, options that could be used
Second, improved traffic flow by residents and commuters alike. Revenue could also be used to
will reduce air pollution in fund investments to grow and maintain urban tree canopy or high
communities that have long performing green infrastructure that filters harmful pollutants and
borne the brunt of tailpipe improves local air quality.
emissions.12 Third, the use of
pricing to manage demand REFERENCES
would create a test case 1. http://inrix.com/press-releases/scorecard-2018-us/

for other state roads, bring 2. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/05/20/boston-traffic-only-


predictable-thing-that-unpredictable/z7Ojm14EHcQTnLMhAGKkgM/
MassDOT more in line with
story.html
peer agencies, and build
3. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59a6d1d0e9bfdf582649f71a/t/
the necessary institutional
5cc043534192025ff55e3892/1556104021235Report+2019+03+Barr+T
expertise. ranspo+Issues.pdf
A successful pilot would
4. http://www.bostonroads.com/roads/northern/
advance the road-pricing
5. https://mhd.ms2soft.com/tcds/tsearch.asp?loc=Mhd&mod=
conversation. Conservative
thinkers have long-supported 6. http://www.somervillestep.org/2008/11/studies_on_some.html
road pricing because it is a 7. https://www.ctps.org/data/html/programs/cmp/HOV_Trends/HOV_
market-based reform of a Trends.html
poorly-managed government 8. https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/12/14/FOTC-
resource, the public right- ExecutiveSummary.pdf
of-way. In 1993, the Reason 9. https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/citylab-university-
Foundation wrote, “A induced-demand/569455/
consensus is emerging among 10. https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/congestionpricing/value_pricing/projects/
transportation economists involving_tolls/hot_lanes/index.htm
that the best way to deal 11. https://www.itscosts.its.dot.gov/its/benecost.nsf/
with freeway congestion is ID/51762470144A12B28525731E0068506C

to charge for driving during 12. https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/


peak hours...[a Tolled Express articles/2018-04-10/better-air-means-better-health-in-somerville-
massachusetts
Lane] would utilize more of the
lane's capacity, demonstrate 13. https://reason.org/wp-content/uploads/
files/22b593c21e642143157e65dc5223ce9a.pdf
congestion pricing on a
wide scale, and generate 14. https://ny.curbed.com/2018/10/2/17929588/nyc-transit-congestion-
pricing-fix-subway-coalition
revenues.”13 More recently,
progressive advocates have
begun to rally around road
pricing for its justice and
environmental benefits.14 CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Finally, the net revenue


generated could mitigate the
CONRAD CRAWFORD
detrimental effects of I-93 Member, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority

on nearby neighborhoods P: 617.492.6800


by enabling investment and E: crawford@cambridgeredevelopment.org
improving equity. For example,
net revenue could be used to

Better Government Competition 2019 29


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

NORTH STATION SEAPORT FERRY


by Erin Anderson

PROBLEM STATEMENT

T he Seaport District has in the last two


decades been one of Boston’s fastest growing
neighborhoods. However, development has generated an acute
in the Seaport District.1 A
subsequent business and
implementation plan was
need for more transportation. In the South Boston Waterfront funded by A Better City, Fan
Sustainable Transportation Plan (“the Plan”), released in Pier Owners Corporation,
2015, access to the Seaport District from North Station was PricewaterhouseCoopers
highlighted as a critical need. LLP, WS Development, the
Several large employers in the area have in the past Seaport TMA, Skanska, Vertex
attempted to address the issue by providing shuttle-bus service Pharmaceuticals, Fidelity, and
for employees, but the cost was prohibitive and led to increased John Hancock. The result—the
traffic. One solution was to consolidate employer-operated Seaport Ferry—is a public-
shuttle service between North Station and the Seaport District, private partnership: companies
which was done in 2015, operated by the Massachusetts cover service costs while
Convention Center Authority (MCCA). However, the Plan also set administrative and operational
a long-term goal to transition from shuttle buses to ferry service responsibilities are managed
on the underutilized Boston Harbor. by the MCCA.
A 2017 study funded by MassDOT and DEP analyzed Analysis included two
potential dock locations and route options to operate a options for service: a two-
ferry between Lovejoy Wharf at North Station and Fan Pier vessel option with ferries
running every 20 minutes and
a bus at alternating 20-minute
intervals for an overall service
frequency of every 10 minutes,
THE SEAPORT DISTRICT... and a three-vessel option
ONE OF BOSTON’S FASTEST running every 15 minutes.
GROWING NEIGHBORHOODS... Both would operate between
HAS GENERATED AN ACUTE NEED 6am–9am and 3:30pm–7pm.2
Ultimately, based on the bids
FOR MORE TRANSPORTATION
received and feedback from
the funding companies, the
two-vessel option was selected,

30 Better Government Competition 2019


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

A COMFORTABLE, RELIABLE TRIP

14 MINS
JUST

FROM NORTH STATION right THE SEAPORT DISTRICT

but the alternating service with costs incurred by the MCCA.


the shuttle was removed from By taking individual
the plan. companies’ shuttles off the
The fees charged to road, the ferry reduces traffic
participating companies congestion and mitigates the
are based on percentage of impact of air pollution. For
ridership. During shuttle-bus riders, the service provides a
service, riders were allowed comfortable, reliable trip of
on by showing their corporate just 14 minutes from North
ID and ridership was tracked Station to the Seaport District.
by what stop in the Seaport If participating companies
riders were using, as most continue the service, next
of the larger companies had steps will include recruiting
REFERENCES
dedicated drop-off locations. new companies to increase
1. Fan Pier was ultimately
Since ferry service has a ridership and, in turn, decrease chosen due to its central
single stop, it is necessary member fees, and potentially location and, because the
to establish which riders are integrating the Seaport Ferry’s dock there is owned by one
of the participating companies,
coming from the respective payment system with the it did not require fees.
companies via a mobile-app MBTA to allow commuters to
2. “Lovejoy Wharf to South
for ticketing. travel seamlessly between the Boston Waterfront Ferry
Ferry service began two modes. Alternatives Analysis” 2017
in January for corporate
employees and opened to the
general public in February,
which had been part of the CONTACT THE AUTHOR

plan from the outset. The ferry


costs $5 for the public to ride.
ERIN ANDERSON
The final cost of the winning Transportation Manager, Projects
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
bid was $2,275,380, which
P: 617.954.2337
included start-up costs for the
boats, website, app for riders, E: eanderson@SignatureBoston.com

and staffing and administrative L: 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210

Better Government Competition 2019 31


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

INNOVATIVE APPROACHES
TO IMPROVING
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
by Wendy Landman

WALKBOSTON

I n 2018, 72 pedestrians were hit and killed in


Massachusetts. In Boston alone, almost 700 pedestrians were
injured as a result of traffic crashes. In addition to these alarming
the last decade, WalkBoston
has developed the capacity to
provide technical assistance to
statistics, a robust body of research documents walking’s grassroots organizations and
benefits for personal, economic, environmental, and civic health, municipal and state staff.
further building the case for enhancing the walkability of the WalkBoston maintains
Commonwealth’s communities. For instance, a 2013 study in strong relationships with city
the academic journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and and state transportation,
Prevention, found that walking at least 7 hours per week is environmental, and public
associated with a 14% lower risk of developing breast cancer safety officials. WalkBoston’s
after menopause. approach to effecting change
In light of the many benefits that come from improving combines working from
walking conditions, municipal staff who have spent years trying “inside” to improve state
to solve transportation problems by adding roads and parking, and municipal policies and
now need help reclaiming their streets as multi-modal places programs, with building
that serve pedestrians alongside bicycles, buses, and cars. Local a cohort of effective and
organizations and residents also seek technical assistance to committed community voices
enhance the walkability of their communities. to press for improvements
WalkBoston’s technical assistance, advocacy, and education from the “outside.”
initiatives increase pedestrian
safety and advance the
work of achieving walkable
communities across IN BOSTON ALONE,
Massachusetts. WalkBoston ALMOST 700
was founded in 1990 as the
PEDESTRIANS WERE
first pedestrian advocacy
group in the country. During INJURED AS A RESULT
OF TRAFFIC CRASHES.

32 Better Government Competition 2019


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

A key goal for WalkBoston


is to reduce pedestrian
injuries and fatalities across
the state by:
Developing strategies for
Massachusetts’ communities
beyond Boston, Cambridge,
and Somerville to adopt
data-driven approaches to
improving safety modeled
on Vision Zero1.
Addressing signal
timing in Boston and
other Massachusetts
municipalities.
VISIONZERO
Conducting walk audits
https://dashboard.cityofboston.gov
in high-crash locations to
identify built-environment
improvements to reduce WalkBoston is also Lastly, WalkBoston works to
crashes and enhance focused on fostering policies ensure safe access to transit
pedestrian safety. and practices that increase across the state and promotes
pedestrian safety for walkability in rural communities.
Another focus of children and older adults by: While almost everyone is
WalkBoston’s work is Implementing policy a pedestrian, walkers do not
influencing design and and built-environment have a natural way to organize
policy on the state and changes to support and voice concerns about
local levels by: Age-Friendly Communities safety, accessibility, and the
in Massachusetts’ cities quality of their community’s
Strengthening advocacy
and towns.
in communities outside built-environment. WalkBoston
metro Boston. Continuing built- strengthens local voices,
environment improvements convenes municipal staff
Promoting legislation,
near schools to enhance and concerned community
regulation, and funding
“walk to school” efforts.
to improve walking. residents, and advocates for
Broadening the reach of the rights of pedestrians across
Reviewing and influencing
walkable school-campus Massachusetts.
transportation and
design principles.
development proposals.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

REFERENCES
1. Vision Zero is a multi-national
WENDY LANDMAN
road traffic safety project that Executive Director, WalkBoston
aims to achieve a highway
P: 617.367.9255
system with no fatalities or
serious injuries involving E: wlandman@walkboston.org
road traffic. See https://www.
boston.gov/transportation/
vision-zero and https://
visionzeronetwork.org/

Better Government Competition 2019 33


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

GOMENTUM STATION &


SHARED AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
by Randell H. Iwasaki & Contra Costa County - Planning

CCTA

F ounded in 2014, GoMentum Station is a


5,000-acre miniature “city,” a partnership between the
Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the City ZERO-EMISSION,
of Concord, to repurpose the decommissioned Concord LOW-SPEED
Naval Weapons Station as a site for testing autonomous
AUTONOMOUS
and connected vehicles and smart infrastructure, including
hands-off-wheel, feet-off-pedal capabilities; smart cars that
SHUTTLES HAVE THE
communicate with each other and their surroundings; and POTENTIAL TO EASE
driverless, shared electric autonomous vehicles. CONGESTION,
At GoMentum Station, CCTA partners with infrastructure REDUCE EMISSIONS,
owners/operators, local jurisdictions and transit agencies,
& PROVIDE ACCESS
vehicle manufacturers, in-vehicle and roadside equipment
vendors, technology companies, and academia to study TO TRANSPORTATION
infrastructure, connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, HUBS THROUGHOUT
and other innovative applications. CONTRA COSTA
COUNTY.

34 Better Government Competition 2019


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

California, CCTA advanced


to testing on public streets,
which required permission
from NHTSA and the California
Department of Motor Vehicles.
Permission was granted in
Photos left & right: https://gomentumstation.net/about/
early 2018, and by March the
EasyMile shuttle was traveling
Recently acquired by AAA of Bill 1592 to allow CCTA to pilot public streets within the Bishop
Northern California, Nevada & a program to integrate electric Ranch business park. It marked
Utah, GoMentum Station gives autonomous, shared shuttles the first time the California
partners space to test new with public transit. The shuttle Department of Motor Vehicles
technology in a setting that was tested at GoMentum allowed a shared autonomous
includes: Station. vehicle to travel on public roads
20 miles of roadway with The shuttle selected for in the state.
a wide array of pavement the pilot is manufactured in Zero-emission, low-speed
textures, from the recently France by EasyMile. CCTA autonomous shuttles have the
refinished to 40-year old was the first agency to bring potential to ease congestion,
pavement and striping;
it to North America, going reduce emissions, and provide
The infrastructure of a through the U.S. Department access to transportation hubs
typical city—buildings, of Transportation’s National throughout Contra Costa
parking lots, stop signs, Highway Traffic Safety County. CCTA’s vision is for
sidewalks, curbs, gutters, Administration (NHTSA) the shuttles to serve as a
and striping—plus more
process to obtain a waiver complement to existing public
complex elements such as
from the Federal Motor Vehicle transit infrastructure, not as a
bridges, undercrossings,
Safety Standards—required replacement. In surveys, county
railroad crossings, cattle
guards, profile and because the vehicle was residents say they want to use
elevation changes, and not made by a traditional public transit, but often do not
curvilinear alignment. automobile manufacturer, and because the bus stop is too far
was heavier than a golf cart—to from their house, or by the time
A large grid of streets
with sections striped test the vehicle on public they arrive at the train station
according to US standards roads. the parking lot is full. CCTA
and, in the future, After successful testing can eliminate those barriers by
according to European at GoMentum Station and in deploying automated shuttles to
and Asian standards. parking lots at Bishop Ranch provide Mobility-on-Demand for
Long straightaways to test Business Park in San Ramon, first-and-last mile trips to transit.
at high speeds.
Twin-bore 1,400-foot long CONTACT THE AUTHOR
tunnels—with diameters of
14 feet, 3 inches—cut RANDELL H. IWASAKI
through a hillside to test
Executive Director
in a scenario that lacks Contra Costa Transportation Authority
GPS reception.
E: riwasaki@ccta.net

In 2016, the California State


Legislature passed Assembly

Better Government Competition 2019 35


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

TASK FORCE ON REGIONAL


TRANSIT AUTHORITY
PERFORMANCE & FUNDING
by Astrid Glynn

PROBLEM STATEMENT

O utside Greater Boston, 15 Regional Transit


Authorities (RTAs) provide public transportation to
Massachusetts residents. For those who must rely on public
PROPOSED
SOLUTION
The Massachusetts
transit, RTAs are often the only option. However, RTA ridership
Legislature created a
declined by 9% from 2016 to 2018. A host of factors— shifting
Task Force on Regional
demographics, climate change, new travel options such as
Transit Authority
Uber and Lyft, higher levels of automation, telecommuting and
Performance and Funding
e-commerce—create uncertainty about the future of mobility.1,2
to investigate challenges and
To thrive RTAs not only need stable funding sources but must
opportunities facing RTAs.
find ways to improve and innovate.

SPECIFICALLY
HOW TO:

Provide service that
meets identified
community needs;
Conduct service
planning to maximize
ridership using
available resources; and
Ensure fares, local
contributions, and
other revenues cover
an appropriate share
of costs.

THE NEWLY OPENED


SPRINGFIELD UNION STATION
8 February 2018, Source: own work,
by Newflyer504, License: https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-
36 Better Government Competition 2019
sa/4.0/deed.en
SPECIAL RECOGNITION

The Task Force’s Quality of Service resulting increase in RTA


recommendations3, across To improve the transparency funding requires the RTAs
five categories, included: of decision-making, RTAs to establish performance
should use social media metrics, baselines and targets
Investment and Performance to increase feedback and in a Bilateral Memorandum
RTAs should receive include the public in planning of Understanding with
predictable increases in state new projects, fare changes, MassDOT. Additionally, acting
operating assistance starting and service expansion and on the recommendation to
in 2020, but also be required redesign, and maximize multi- reinvigorate the RTA Council,
to adopt performance targets modal connectivity to cut MassDOT convened the first
for ridership, customer travel times for commuters.  meeting on April 30, 2019.
service and satisfaction,
asset management, and Environmental Sustainability
REFERENCES
financial performance. The RTAs and MassDOT
1. Commission on the Future
should collaborate to of Transportation in the
Accountability determine the mode shift that Commonwealth. 2018.
RTAs should report on will help Massachusetts meet Choices for Stewardship:
Recommendations to Meet
recommended metrics its goal to reduce greenhouse the Transportation Future –
quarterly to MassDOT, and gas emissions (GHG) 40% by VOLUME I. The Commonwealth
MassDOT and the RTAs should 2040. The Task Force urged of Massachusetts. Pgs. 1–74.
reinvigorate an existing RTAs to change to purchasing 2. Polzin, S.E., Godfrey, J. 2019.
legally required body, the zero-emission buses by 2035.  Understanding Ridership
Trends in Transit. Florida
RTA Council, to sustain the Department of Transportation,
momentum of the Task Force. OUTCOMES Freight Logistics and
At the time of the Task Passenger Operations, Transit
Office. Pgs. 1–280.
Service Decisions Force’s final report, the
RTAs should periodically House and Senate were 3. Task Force of Regional Transit
Authority Performance and
update their Comprehensive preparing for the budget
Funding. 2019. A Vision for
Regional Transit Plans cycle. The Commonwealth the Future of Massachusetts’
to identify where riders of Massachusetts has since Regional Transit Authorities.
are, target expansion Massachusetts Department of
passed the Fiscal Year 2020
Transportation, Rail &
to demonstrated need, and Budget Act which became Transit Division. Pgs. 1–75.
identify partnerships. The law on July 31, 2019. The
Task Force recommended
pilot programs to test
innovative transit delivery
models, increase cross-border CONTACT THE AUTHOR

services for communities


ASTRID GLYNN
that sit on the border of
Administrator, Rail & Transit Division
two RTAs, enhance access
MassDOT
to rural services, improve
P: 857.368.8725 (assistant)
the reliability of paratransit
E: elizabeth.mccarthy@dot.state.ma.us (assistant)
service, and adopt fare
policies that include regular, L: 10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
equitable, and modest fare
adjustments.

Better Government Competition 2019 37


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

MOBILITY DATA
FROM METROTECH
by Christian Kotscher

PROBLEM STATEMENT organizational innovation

L ack of accurate, timely data feeds congestion.


Most signal-timing systems are not driven by real-time traffic
measurements. Precise data is unavailable and predictive data
as much as technological
application. The theory that
unites the following solutions,
based on historical averages, not accurate trends. some of which MetroTech
Yes, state and local governments are investing in fiber already deploys, is that
networks and deploying more sensors and cameras. But even if many sensors will need to be
a single metro entity did deploy a cloud-based Internet of Things integrated across multiple
(IOT) exchange to store and analyze the data, the system would systems. Wireless, cloud
not include data from surrounding jurisdictions. The problem, computing, IoT, Big Data, etc.,
then, is both lack of data and siloed data. will all have to be incorporated
into the infrastructure to keep
SOLUTIONS up with the hyper-evolving
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) will require better CAV industry.
information to increase safety and efficiency. Sensors will need to
be synchronized to coordinate with mobile devices in both time 1 - Leverage Existing
and location. The type of coordination required will encompass Infrastructure for Better
whole ecosystems. The solution MetroTech suggests is about Signal Timing
To date roadside video is used
to see what happened, not
help predict what will happen.
Santa Clara County (CA) has over Santa Clara County (CA) has
500 cameras producing more than over 500 cameras producing
700 Terabytes of video daily. more than 700 Terabytes of
THE METROTECH RTT SERVER video daily. The MetroTech
RTT server analyzes the video,
ANALYZES THE VIDEO,
producing real-time traffic
PRODUCING REAL-TIME counts and speeds to change
TRAFFIC COUNTS AND signal-timing patterns.
SPEEDS TO CHANGE
2 - Traffic Safety Alerts
SIGNAL-TIMING PATTERNS.
The start of congestion after
an accident, or a hazard like

38 Better Government Competition 2019


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

a wrong-way driver, is best information from exchanges,


captured and measured by such as the Digital Streets
sensors in the infrastructure. Platform, and put it into a
MetroTech has deployed standard that all CAVs could METROTECH’S
pilots where existing cameras access, allowing vehicle PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
were used for identifying makers and app developers to SOLUTION USES LIDAR
suspected wrong-way drivers. share data.
(LIGHT DETECTION AND
The data were processed to
avoid false alarms, confirmed 5 - CAV Data Subscriptions
RANGING) SENSORS TO
wrong-way drivers tracked CAVs, smart fleets, and PINPOINT PEDESTRIANS
by other nearby cameras, apps will be enhanced by TO A 10-CENTIMETER
and safety alerts sent to subscribing to infrastructure
ACCURACY 10 TIMES
connected vehicles and apps data. Audi already has a
type of subscription service
PER SECOND.
to warn drivers or autonomous
vehicles. Following the that allows their connected
example of Amber Alert, cars to communicate with
MetroTech’s solution could infrastructure. is then sent to devices
broadcast wrong-way on vehicles five times per
driver alerts, road closures, 6 - Pedestrian Safety second, using the US DOT’s
evacuation instructions, and CAVs have blind spots V2X standard on a 5.9GHz
other information to mobile that infrastructure could local network.
devices or connected vehicles illuminate. Let CAVs navigate
in an affected area. with assistance from CONCLUSION
infrastructure. MetroTech’s The emerging era of
3 - The Digital Streets pedestrian safety solution connected and autonomous
Platform (DSP) uses LiDAR (Light Detection driving will demand accurate,
MetroTech’s DSP, functioning and Ranging) sensors to real-time information that
regionally, will ingest IOT data pinpoint pedestrians to a cannot be estimated from
from multiple infrastructure 10-centimeter accuracy GPS probes. Life-saving
owners through a transparent 10 times per second. applications and greater
information exchange. The A pedestrian’s path is harmonized driving will
sensor data will be normalized followed as an object and require that the “Autonomous
and analyzed before being their predicted path is then City” can communicate with
broadcast over various converted into exact GPS pedestrians and vehicles
networks to both drivers coordinates. The information moving around its streets.
and autonomous vehicles as
maps or as dashboards that
can depict lane-level volume,
speed, and headway. The CONTACT THE AUTHOR

network types include V2X,


CV2X, and Satellite. CHRISTIAN KOTSCHER
Founder & CEO
MetroTech
4 - The Autonomous City
P: 678.478.7614
Safety Network (ACSN)
E: kotscher@metrotech-net.com
The ACSN is the suggested
name for a nationwide
network that would take

Better Government Competition 2019 39


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

TRUCK PLATOONING
WITH PLATOONPRO
by Stephen Boyd & Amanda F. Anderson, Peloton Technology

PROBLEM STATEMENT

T ypical trucking operations have slim


margins (an average of 6% in 20171), high fuels costs
(fuel comprised ≈ 22% of total costs for an average trucking A CON-WAY STUDY
company in 2018 2), and the need to ensure safety (the FOUND A
number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10%

71 %
from 2016 to 2017 3).
Driver-Assistive Truck Platooning (DATP) can make trucking
safer and more fuel efficient. DATP uses electronic vehicle-to-
vehicle communication to connect advanced safety systems
between pairs of trucks, allowing them to accelerate and brake REDUCTION
as a single system, while reducing fuel consumption through IN
safe aerodynamic drafting. The connected safety systems allow
for a small gap between the two linked trucks—less than 60
REAR-END
feet. Similar to Adaptive Cruise Control, the follow truck driver COLLISIONS
has hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, but feet off the
pedals. The lead driver continues to drive normally, controlling for trucks equipped
the platoon’s speed, and benefiting from collision avoidance with FCAM 4
always monitoring the road ahead.
Peloton Technology, Inc. has developed PlatoonPro, a
DATP system that links pairs of heavy trucks for connected
driving. When the lead truck brakes, the follow truck responds
automatically in approximately one tenth of a second,
significantly faster than a human driver’s reaction time. Peloton’s
cloud-based system pre-maps a network of approved roads for
platooning which includes multi-lane, divided, limited access
highways. Platooning is automatically disabled outside this
geofenced road network including in unsuitable platooning
areas such as construction zones or on lower capacity bridges.
Trained drivers can also relay safety information or coordinate
lane changes through a dedicated push-to-talk radio link and a
real-time video feed of the roadway ahead.

40 Better Government Competition 2019


SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Fuel efficiency benefits of operations. A uniformity of Research Institute, 2018, An


Peloton’s PlatoonPro average state following-distance laws Analysis of the Operational
Costs of Trucking: 2018
approximately 7.25%. Analysis would allow for DATP and Update, atri-online.org/wp-
has shown a 10% fuel savings help to optimize interstate content/uploads/2018/10/
for the follow truck and 4.5% commerce. The U.S. National ATRI-Operational-Costs-of-
Trucking-2018.pdf.
fuel savings for the lead Renewable Energy Laboratory
truck at a 40-foot gap and determined that ≈ 65% of total 3. United States, U.S. Department
of Transportation, Federal
65 mph4, bringing with them miles driven by commercial Motor Carrier Safety
corresponding reductions in trucks could be in platoon Administration, Analysis
carbon emissions and other air formation6. Higher utilization Division. “Large Truck and
Bus Crash Facts 2017.” Mar.
pollutants. rates are expected for long/
2019. www.fmcsa.dot.gov/
Safer than average regional haul trucks that sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/
American commercial trucks, operate mostly on-highway. docs/safety/data-and-
statistics/452366/ltcbf-2017-
platooning trucks are built If remaining state close-
early-release-3-13-2019.
on top of leading active truck following statutes are revised pdf#page=18.
safety technologies, including to consider DATP, states
4. Roberts, Jack, et al. Confidence
radar-based Forward Collision could see significant safety Report on Two -Truck
Avoidance Systems (FCAM) and environmental benefits. Platooning. North American
with Automatic Emergency Concurrently, freight carriers’ Council for Freight Efficiency,
2016, pp. 37–38, Confidence
Braking, Electronic Stability cost of moving goods Report on Two -Truck
Control, Tractor Air Disc would decline, with savings Platooning
Brakes, and Trailer Anti-lock potentially passed on 5. United States, National
Braking Systems. These to consumers. Transportation Safety Board,
systems can dramatically “The Use of Forward Collision
Avoidance Systems to Prevent
reduce the frequency and REFERENCES
and Mitigate Rear-End
severity of truck rear-end 1. Biery, Mary Ellen. “Trucking
Crashes.” May 2015 https://
Companies Hauling in
collisions—a Con-way study www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-
Higher Sales.” Forbes,
studies/Documents/SIR1501.
found a 71 percent reduction Forbes Magazine, 4 Mar.
pdf
in rear-end collisions for trucks 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/
sageworks/2018/03/04/ 6. Lammert, M.P., Bugbee,
equipped with FCAM5 —but
trucking-companies- B., Hou, Y., Mack, A. et al.,
can cost thousands of dollars hauling-in-higher- “Exploring Telematics Big
upfront. DATP’s fuel savings sales/#644c7ac23f27. Data for Truck Platooning
provide an economic incentive Opportunities,”
2. Hooper, Alan, and Dan
SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-
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safety features. docs/fy18osti/70869.pdf
American Transportation
State following-distance
laws can pose a barrier to
commercial deployment of
truck platooning. In about CONTACT THE AUTHORS

half of all U.S. states, a


AMANDA F. ANDERSON
numeric following-distance for
External Affairs Manager, Peloton
commercial vehicles—ranging
from 100 to 500 feet—is P: 650.395.7356
found in statute, most based STEPHEN BOYD E: aanderson@peloton-tech.com

on an assessment of the Founder & Vice President L: Mountain View, CA

ability of human-only driving of External Affairs, Peloton W: www.peloton-tech.com

Better Government Competition 2019 41


P
ioneer Institute’s Better Government Competition,
founded in 1991, is an annual citizens’ idea contest that seeks out and
rewards the most innovative public policy proposals. The Competition
grand prize winner receives $10,000; four runners-up receive $1,000 each, and
other proposals receive special recognition. Recent winners have included
proposals on pension reform, virtual schooling, job training, housing, and
many other pressing topics.

HISTORY
2018 Making Higher Education
& Career Training Options MAKING HIGHER EDUCATION
& CAREER TRAINING OPTIONS

Affordable & Effective AFFORDABLE


& EFFECTIVE
2017 Aging in America
2016 Improving Care for Individuals
Living with Mental Illness
2015 Fixing Our Troubled Justice System
2014 Leveraging Technology
to Improve Government COMPENDIUM OF WINNING ENTRIES

2013 Revving Up the


Great American Job Engine
2012 Restoring Federalism 25th Annual
BETTER GOVERNMENT COMPETITION 2016

Improve the Quality & Access to Care for

Individuals Living
with Mental Illness

PIONEER INSTITUTE
PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH Fixing Our Troubled Justice System
WINNER

2011 20 th Anniversary - 2000 Ideas Into Action


Budget Busters
1999 A Wise & Frugal Government
2010 Governing in a Time of Crisis
1998 Streamlining Government
2009 Health Care Reform
1997 Bringing Competition to
2008 Sustaining School Reform State & Local Government
2007 Improving Government at 1996 Public Safety & Fight Against Crime
the State and Municipal Levels
1995 Local Solutions to Public Problems
15th Anniversary -
2006 
1994 Welfare in Massachusetts
Better Government Competition
1993 Improving Policies &
2005 Streamlining Government
Programs Affecting Children
2004 State & Local Focus
1992 Improving Environmental
2003 Innovative Ideas on Key Public Issues Policies & Programs
2001 Law Enforcement, Education, 1991 Restructuring/Privatizing
Housing, Family Preservation State Operations

Better Government Competition 2019 43


P
ioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
is an independent, non-profit organization that
specializes in the support, distribution, and
promotion of research on market-oriented approaches to
Massachusetts public policy issues. As a tax-exempt 501(c)
(3) organization, Pioneer Institute relies solely on donations
from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and does
not solicit or accept government funding. Contributions are
tax-deductible.

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