A new report from the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Ottawa, prepared by MORR Transportation Consulting of Winnipeg, aims to help government agencies make better performance-based decisions about their various infrastructures, such as roads, bridges, railroads and garages.
According to its title, “Performance-Based Decision Making for Asset Management: Lessons Learned and a Toolkit for Practitioners,” the report summarizes current practices, describes lessons learned by Canadian transportation agencies, and provides practitioners ways to make better asset management decisions. It can be downloaded from the ATC website as a free PDF file.
The report findings are based on a review of over 100 national and international publications on performance-based decision making, an online survey of TAC member agencies regarding their asset management programs, other interviews with agencies, a workshop to develop the toolkit and case studies to illustrate the applications of inter-asset optimization, resource allocation and pavement management.
As agencies face budget cuts and commit to improving accountability, TAC suggests that the emerging field of performance-based decision-making allows them to compare the value of investments in different types of assets and make more transparent choices in long-term plans and annual budgets, such as when allocating funds between road resurfacing, bridge repair or culvert replacement projects. However, agencies will need more information, including practical tools and case studies.
“This project has shown how agencies can adopt performance-based methods to improve asset management and fiscal accountability,” said James Smith, director of technical programs and research for Ontario Good Roads. Association (OGRA), which co-chaired the report’s steering committee with Michael Bateman, Rehabilitation Program Analyst for the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The processes, techniques and recommendations conveyed in the report will support the agencies’ strategic objectives. The toolkit will help them put the applications of the report into practice.