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Why and When would I Score a System Planning Program?

INVEST can be used to show the benefits of sustainable practices to decision-makers to help justify decisions and show the social, environmental, and economic benefits of moving towards more sustainable practices. FHWA hopes to provide agencies the rationale and guidance for incorporating sustainability into their transportation planning and programming by providing a framework for discussion and self-reflection. It is not expected that an agency will achieve many of the SPS or SPR criteria in INVEST right now. It is designed to be an "above and beyond" tool that should foster excitement by showcasing opportunities for action and progress. Agencies should not become discouraged when they do not receive points for meeting regulatory requirements in INVEST; rather they should see this as an opportunity to focus efforts to progress the sustainability of their Program.

INVEST can be used at any time to evaluate an agency's transportation system planning program. It is both a prospective tool and a retrospective tool; INVEST can be used to evaluate where the agency is today, to set goals for incorporating sustainability into its transportation plans and programs, and to chart the agency's progress toward meeting its sustainability goals now and in the future. As INVEST is a self-evaluation tool, agencies can choose when to utilize the scoring feature. Scores are never "final" but are more of a snapshot in time of the sustainability of a program. Agencies can save and update their scores as their transportation plans and programs evolve and the tool allows you to save snapshots of scoring at different points in time so that you can see the progression of sustainability within your programs.

The options for using INVEST to evaluate and enhance transportation plans and programs are numerous, including:

  • Retrospectively evaluating the sustainability of a completed program (or part of a program).
  • Proactively setting goals, providing guidance, and measuring the sustainability of a developing program. INVEST can be used as a tool at this point to encourage broad participation, evaluate sustainability tradeoffs, communicate benefits and goals, and reward excellence. The user can choose to what extent to measure success against the absolute scale of how many overall points are achieved by a given program or set an achievement level they'd like to reach and use this tool to meet those goals.
  • Assisting owners, stakeholders and program teams with understanding new technologies and best practices in sustainability and helping them anticipate new, related requirements that may emerge.
  • Estimating the sustainability of a System Planning program (including processes, procedures, policies and practices) at a statewide level to facilitate the decision-making process.


Next > Who Can Use the System Planning State Module?