What is Tracker?

South Station View from Dewey Square

Tracker is the annual report card of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to our stakeholders, including state and local elected officials, DOT administrators, and all who use and rely on our network. It is a review of our progress, designed to track and clarify where we are succeeding in meeting our goals – and where we are falling short. This report responds to Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2009 requiring that “a report of the project information system and performance measurements shall be published annually and made available to the public” by providing a high-level summary – expressed in performance measures – of the work that MassDOT employees are managing day in and day out.

In addition to communicating our work to external audiences, Tracker is an important exercise and tool for MassDOT employees. The identification of representative measures and selection of appropriate targets help each operating division isolate key activities and data that are crucial to tracking progress. The report helps the executive leadership team make strategic decisions, management-level staff to best allocate personnel resources on a daily basis, and front-line employees view the impact their work has on our transportation system and the experience of our customers. Where appropriate, the content presented in Tracker aligns with federal performance reporting requirements as described in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), the federal transportation legislation enacted in 2012, and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which supports the performance management aspects of MAP-21.

MassDOT Performance Measures

The performance measures selected for inclusion in this report are the result of a number of inputs. The publication of Tracker is grounded in the 2009 legislation (updated in 2013), which provides specific performance measures to be included in the report. In addition, the Office of Performance Management and Innovation (OPMI) has worked to add to, or align, these measures with those that are federally mandated in final rule-making through MAP-21. Along with those, each operating division has selected measures that provide the most accurate picture of performance on core practices to legislators, partners, and the public.

To produce Tracker each year, OPMI works in coordination with each operating division to review and assess the performance measures. In some cases, performance measures are no longer valid or valuable due to a lack of data, programmatic changes, or policy adjustments. In other cases, performance measures that were considered “in development” become reliable enough even though available data can be limited (e.g. only one year’s worth of data has been collected).

MassDOT Performance Goals

Each of our measures is categorized under one of our goals:

  • Customer Experience
    Customer Experience: Provide reliable and accessible services to MassDOT and MBTA customers and ensure that they are satisfied with the services provided.
  • Safety
    Safety: Provide and support a multi-modal transportation network that is safe for our workers and all users.
  • System Condition
    System Condition: Ensure that the transportation system is well maintained and follows best practices for maintaining, preserving, and modernizing assets.
  • Budget & Capital Performance
    Budget & Capital Performance: Maximize capital investment effectively and efficiently by delivering programs and projects that produce the greatest benefits to the Commonwealth, its residents, and its visitors.
  • Healthy & Sustainable Transportation
    Healthy & Sustainable Transportation: Invest in and support a transportation system that promotes and protects the health of all users and the natural environment.

MassDOT Performance Targets

In 2016, MassDOT conducted a target-setting process to establish two-year (FY18) and four-year (FY20) targets for the measures included in the original installment of Tracker. In addition, each measure has a long-term, or aspirational, target. These time horizons were adopted to maintain consistency with the MAP-21 target-setting time frame. Every two years the targets are revisited and adjusted if needed, based on availability of new data and insights on unfolding trends in performance across metrics.

This biennial target-setting process is informed by consultation with division and department experts for each measure. Trends are considered within the context of Massachusetts-legislated targets, fiscal constraints and associated projections (e.g. the Planning for Performance tool used for the Capital Investment Plan), and any other previous or existing targets identified by the division in related efforts (e.g. the MBTA’s updated Service Delivery Policy).