Transportation improvement program:
FFY 2020

October 3, 2019


Proposed Action

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) reviews this work plan.

Project Identification

Project Number 8220


Boston Region MPO

Project Supervisors

Principal: Matt Genova
Manager: Alexandra Kleyman

Funding Source

MPO Planning and §5303 Contract #108217

Schedule and Budget

Schedule: Ongoing

Budget: $262,660

Schedule and budget details are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2, respectively.



This work plan focuses primarily on development of the federal fiscal years (FFYs) 2021–25 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), but also covers activities associated with ongoing changes to the TIP development process, TIP project selection criteria, and amendments and administrative modifications to the FFYs 2020–24 TIP, which is the active document during FFY 2020.


MPO staff will conduct a TIP process that accomplishes the following:

  1. Maintains compliance with federal regulations and requirements
  2. Implements the vision and goals of the MPO and the program of projects identified in the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)
  3. Enhances decision making regarding the funding of transportation projects in the region by using a transparent, inclusive, and data-driven process
  4. Integrates frequently updated information from the MPO, divisions of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), municipal contacts (TIP contacts), members of the public, and MPO staff
  5. Develops a state-of-the-practice set of resources and tools for collecting, storing, analyzing, and sharing data to inform project selection and increase the transparency of the TIP process

Work Description

This work plan describes the tasks that will be completed in FFY 2020 to ensure that the TIP process is conducted in compliance with all aspects of the cooperative, comprehensive, and continuing (3C) transportation-planning process and meets the objectives stated above. While much of the following work plan mirrors past fiscal years, there are two new additions to the FFY 2020 task list.

First, in order to make the TIP document more accessible to both the MPO and the public, MPO staff intend to investigate the use of ESRI’s StoryMaps as a platform to host much of the content that has appeared in the TIP document in prior fiscal years. This work is outlined in greater detail in Subtask 3.6. Second, Task 4 outlines the process of revising the TIP project selection criteria, an undertaking that only occurs every four years in the wake of the release of a new LRTP.

Task 1  Modify the Current FFYs 2020–24 TIP

Typically, there are several occasions throughout the FFY when estimated construction costs or advertisement schedules for projects are revised, requiring either an amendment or administrative modification to the TIP. MPO staff will collect information about the projects involved, prepare draft TIP tables that reflect the proposed changes, and notify the MPO. Staff estimates that as many as six amendments and/or administrative modifications to the TIP will be made during FFY 2020.

Products of Task 1

Draft and final TIP amendments, administrative modifications, and associated materials for the MPO and the public

Task 2  Conduct TIP Outreach and Communications

Outreach is conducted during each phase of TIP development. One of the main components of outreach during TIP development funded through this work plan will consist of conducting a TIP development webinar with TIP contacts, MassDOT Highway Division District representatives, and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) subregional coordinators. Early in the fiscal year, staff will also attend MAPC subregional meetings in person to share information about the TIP development timeline and answer any questions from municipalities about how to get projects funded through the TIP.

During initial TIP development, staff will confirm the TIP contact in each municipality, and will send materials to each TIP contact and chief elected official to announce the beginning of the TIP process; present the schedule for TIP development; and remind contacts of the process for submitting active projects for consideration by the MPO for federal funding. TIP contacts are key sources of information about currently programmed projects and projects that municipalities would like evaluated and considered for funding in the TIP in FFY 2020.

The public outreach process for the TIP, including web updates, email messages, materials for public meetings, and logging and responding to public comments, is covered both through this work plan and the MPO’s 3C Planning and MPO Support Program, under the Public Participation Program.

Products of Task 2

PowerPoint presentations, letters, emails, handouts, tables, and web-based content to communicate about the TIP process and projects to TIP contacts, chief elected officials, the MPO, the public, and other regional stakeholders

Task 3  Develop the New FFYs 202125 TIP

Each year, the MPO conducts a TIP development process to decide how to spend federal surface transportation funds for capital projects. This process is accomplished through the following subtasks:

Subtask 3.1 Update the TIP Database

Staff will compile and update information about active and eligible projects for the TIP database, which includes both internal and public-facing components. Work in FFY 2020 will build on the work completed in prior fiscal years, as outlined below. Specifically, FFY 2020 work will focus on updating the database to reflect changes in the TIP project evaluation criteria and incorporating new projects that are being considered for TIP funding during the FFY 2020 TIP cycle.

Work in FFY 2018 included initial reorganization of the TIP database to accurately reflect the data inputs into each criteria scoring area, and the total score for each evaluation criteria. Continued updates and reorganization were completed in FFY 2019 both for the purposes of internal TIP project tracking and the public-facing TIP Interactive Database, which was launched in May 2019.

Products of Subtask 3.1

Subtask 3.2 Create TIP Universe of Projects

All active MassDOT projects that align with categories that the MPO considers for funding with its Regional Target funds will be added to a draft Universe of Projects list. Meetings with TIP contacts and MassDOT (Office of Transportation Planning and Highway District Project Development Engineers) will largely inform the Universe of Projects. The MPO, TIP contacts, and MassDOT will review the draft Universe of Projects list, and staff will add any projects that were missed and remove any projects that are either no longer active or have been accomplished with other funding sources.

Products of Subtask 3.2

Draft and final Universe of Projects tables, currently programmed projects table, and other updated handouts, presentations, and analyses to present to the MPO, project proponents, the public, and other stakeholders

Subtask 3.3 Collect Project Data

In coordination with the performance-based planning program manager and MassDOT’s District Project Development Engineers, the TIP manager will contact project proponents for any updated project information in order to analyze currently programmed projects and previously evaluated projects.

This task also includes coordinating with TIP contacts to collect data about new projects that will be evaluated in Subtask 3.4.

Products of Subtask 3.3

Subtask 3.4 Evaluate Projects

Using the existing TIP evaluation criteria, staff will evaluate projects within the Universe of Projects list for which there is a functional design report (or FDR), or for which the project proponent can provide all necessary data needed for the evaluation. Evaluation results will be posted on the MPO’s website to allow project proponents, MassDOT Highway District representatives, MPO members, and the public to review the projects’ scores and provide feedback. Staff will consider the feedback and revise the evaluations, as needed.

Products of Subtask 3.4

Subtask 3.5 Prepare a Staff Recommendation

Staff will develop a recommendation for prioritizing the MPO’s Regional Target funding. Staff will prepare a list of projects that includes the final evaluation results, along with additional supporting content including project readiness information, cost-effectiveness measures, equity considerations, data about the geographic distribution of funding, and LRTP-identified needs and programming.

Accounting for fiscal constraint (available Regional Target funding) and geographic equity (distribution of projects throughout the region), staff will develop a recommendation for programming of projects. This recommendation may involve developing a series of programming scenarios for review and discussion by MPO members.

In addition, staff will prepare and present to the MPO materials related to the selection of projects as part of Statewide Infrastructure Items and Bridge Programs (which are non-target programs overseen by MassDOT) and the transit capital programs for the MBTA, the Cape Ann Transportation Authority, and the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.

The MPO will review, discuss, and take action on all of these proposed investments, which will be included in the draft TIP.

Products of Subtask 3.5

Subtask 3.6 Prepare Draft and Final TIP Documents

Based on Subtask 3.5, staff will prepare a draft TIP document that will be released for a public review period, during which members of the public can submit comments about the document and the programming of TIP funding. Staff will compile and summarize the comments received and present the comments to the MPO for members’ consideration.

To enhance the accessibility of the TIP document and process this year, staff will investigate the use of ESRI’s StoryMaps as an online platform to host much of the content from TIP development, including the Project Universe, scoring results, programming scenarios, and final TIP document. The goal of this effort is to explore the opportunity to make the contents of the TIP document more digestible and engaging to both MPO members and the public.

After the public review period and after the MPO has considered all of the comments, staff will seek the MPO’s endorsement of the final TIP document.

After the MPO endorses the final TIP, staff will prepare written responses to the comments received throughout the TIP development process.

Products of Task 3.6

Task 4  Revise the TIP Project Evaluation Criteria

After the completion of each LRTP cycle, the TIP project evaluation criteria must be updated to reflect the revised goals, objectives, and investment programs outlined in the long-range plan. This process will involve several steps, including initial research by staff and public outreach to gauge priorities for transportation projects, both of which were begun in FFY 2019. In FFY 2020, staff will continue this work by presenting proposals for new criteria to the MPO, re-scoring past TIP projects to demonstrate the effects of the criteria changes on project scores, and crafting a final set of new criteria for MPO approval. This process will also involve significant consultation with other regional stakeholders, including MassDOT, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and MAPC representatives, and will incorporate feedback provided to staff through a technical-assistance partnership with Transportation for America. MPO staff expect to complete this process by the end of FFY 2020 and will implement the new criteria during the FFYs 2022–26 TIP development cycle.

Products of Task 4

PowerPoint presentations, handouts, project scoring tables, and web-based content to communicate information about the TIP criteria revision process, including effects on project scores, to TIP contacts, chief elected officials, the MPO, the public, and other regional stakeholders

Task 5  Track and Analyze Performance Measures

Related to the MPO’s work on performance-based planning and programming, staff will continue to report on progress toward desired performance outcomes, monitor past trends using performance measures, and document how TIP investments, in the aggregate, have improved performance. This work is described in detail in the Performance-Based Planning and Programming work plan and builds on the work that was done to develop Chapter 4 of the FFYs 2020–24 TIP.

As noted in Task 3, staff will review the current TIP project evaluation criteria and recommend revisions as necessary to promote progress toward defined performance outcomes.

Product of Task 5

Updated and expanded FFYs 2020–24 TIP Chapter 4: Tracking and Demonstrating Progress Using Performance Measures

Task 6  Identify Opportunities to Improve the TIP Document and Process

MPO staff continuously seeks to improve the information and analysis provided to the MPO so that the MPO can make well-informed decisions and the public can better understand the federal transportation programming process.

Furthermore, staff will seek opportunities to increase municipal participation in the TIP development process, stay updated on new state policies, and continue to research the best practices of other MPOs.


Exhibit 1
Transportation Improvement Program: FFY 2020

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Modify the current FFYs 2020−24 TIP
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 12, Week 4.
Conduct TIP outreach and communications
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 12, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 1, Week 3.
Delivered by Month 3, Week 1.
Develop the new FFYs 2021−25 TIP
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 9, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 3, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 8, Week 1.
Delivered by Month 8, Week 4.
Revise the TIP project evaluation criteria
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 12, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 12, Week 1.
Track and analyze performance measures
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 12, Week 4.
Identify opportunities to improve the TIP document and process
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 12, Week 4.
A: TIP Contact Webinar
B: Deadline to submit project information
C: Update TIP database to reflect new project information
D: Update TIP database to reflect FFY 2020 programming
E: MPO-endorsed FFYs 2021−25 TIP
F: Revised TIP project evaluation criteria


Exhibit 2
Transportation Improvement Program: FFY 2020

Direct Salary and Overhead


Person-Weeks Direct
M-1 P-5 P-4 P-3 P-2 SP-3 Total
Modify the current FFYs 2020−24 TIP
0.2 0.4 0.2 0.0 2.0 0.0 2.8 $3,687 $3,867 $7,553
Conduct TIP outreach and communications
0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 4.6 2.8 8.2 $6,549 $6,869 $13,419
Develop the new FFYs 2021−25 TIP
4.8 19.3 12.7 4.6 14.2 2.0 57.6 $87,290 $91,558 $178,848
Revise the TIP project evaluation criteria
1.8 0.6 2.2 1.2 8.0 0.4 14.2 $18,155 $19,043 $37,199
Track and analyze performance measures
1.2 1.0 2.0 0.0 0.4 0.0 4.6 $7,557 $7,926 $15,483
Identify opportunities to improve the TIP document and process
0.4 0.0 0.6 0.0 3.0 0.8 4.8 $4,958 $5,200 $10,158
8.6 21.7 17.7 6.0 32.2 6.0 92.2 $128,195 $134,464 $262,660

Other Direct Costs



MPO Planning Contract #108217
MPO §5303 Planning Contract #108217