Transportation System Performance Evaluation

The Transportation System Performance Evaluation is a comprehensive review of the Twin Cities transportation system. That system includes the various ways that people and goods travel — highways, transit, freight, biking, walking, and air travel — and the infrastructure that supports these modes.

The evaluation considers data from a variety of sources to fill in the picture of how our transportation system is meeting various performance standards.

  • Demographic context from the US Census
  • Peer region comparisons from national data sources
  • Data from local agencies and researchers
  • Travel data from the Met Council Travel Behavior Inventory

Goals and performance-based reporting

Each planning cycle, Met Council staff work to create an evaluation that meets the needs of the region and employs new tools and technology. In this cycle, staff have brought this data to life by creating a web-based report that focuses on interactive charts and maps over static content, allowing for more in-depth exploration of trends that can be easily updated when new data becomes available.

In this cycle, staff has also reorganized the performance evaluation to align with the goals and objectives of the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan. To better line up with the strategic direction of the policy plan, staff have focused the measures to those that best illustrate how the region is meeting those goals and objectives.

Each goal and objective can include measures related to the variety of transportation modes found in the region. As we move through the next planning cycle for the 2050 Transportation Policy Plan, these goals and objectives are expected to change. This report format is flexible and can be restructured to reflect the new goals and objectives as they are finalized in 2024.

Each measure tells a story

Here are few examples of the kind of data you’ll find in the Transportation System Performance Evaluation:

Pavement condition targets are set based upon the forecasted ride quality of roadways derived from the expected condition and any programmed projects that address pavement. The measure includes overall roughness, rutting, faulting, and cracking calculations.

Figure 1.10 Map of pavement condition in Twin Cities

Figure 4.1 shows how people’s responses to the question "How safe do you think your community is for walking (or using a wheelchair or personal mobility device)?" over time. In recent years, the amount of people who felt “not very safe” or “not at all safe” has increased. For instance, those who felt “not at all safe” increased from 2% in 2015 to 4% in 2019.

From 2010 to 2019, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased from 73.1 to 80.9 million miles per day. VMT fell in 2020, but rebounded somewhat in 2021.

Figure 14.4 shows average daily vehicle miles traveled in the metropolitan planning area from 2010 to 2021. 2010, 2011, and 2012 VMT data include only the 7-county metro.

Figure 14.7 shows the number of EV registrations, separated by battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Results from the Travel Behavior Inventory suggest that total walk miles traveled has increased since 2010. Walk miles traveled in 2019 was 1.7 times greater than that of 2010; and grew again by 58% from 2019 and 2021. The black lines indicate the standard error.

Figure 15.4 shows total miles traveled by walking (2010, 2019 and 2021).

From 2019 to 2021, Twin Cities workers drastically changed their commute. On a typical weekday in the Twin Cities metro area in 2021, 526,000, workers telecommuted or worked from home in 2021 — more than double the number in 2019.

Figure 11.5 shows changes in work commute from 2019 to 2021. Source: Travel Behavior Inventory. Estimates and standard errors are derived using day-level weights. Only residents of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) region who worked are shown.

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Jonathan Ehrlich