As the metropolitan planning organization for the Columbus Ohio area, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) updates the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) at 4-year intervals per current regulations. Because of the limited available funds, a fair, transparent and rigorous evaluation process becomes critical to determine projects to include in the MTP.

During the latest update of the MORPC’ 2012-2035 MTP, numerous evaluation criteria categorized under six planning goals were established for project evaluation. Criteria performance measures were mainly generated through modeling procedures using MORPC’s activity/tour-based travel demand forecasting model and GIS procedures using data from various sources. Some measures (e.g., Environmental Justice related ones) have taken advantages of the features offered by activity-based models.

A database system was developed to assist MORPC staff in dealing with hundreds of candidate projects considered in the MTP. The system stores and visualizes performance measures for each candidate project. With the system MORPC staff can enter any statements about qualitative criteria, assign scores to candidate projects, rank projects in different ways, create fact sheets of each project, and print final summary reports. The fact sheets and final summary reports were made available to stakeholders and the public for review and comments. This databases system has streamlined the project evaluation process for the MTP and proved to be a good tool for the project selection process for the MTP. This presentation will highlight the model and GIS data developed and show how the database tool was used to evaluate the projects.