A multi-objective sustainable model for transportation asset management practices

Marketa Vavrova, University of Texas at El Paso


Transportation Asset Management (TAM) practices have gained popularity in the United States and worldwide with the aim to provide the required level of service for the transportation infrastructure network in the most cost-effective manner. However, TAM is a complex decision-making process because many objectives and different perspectives, often producing conflicting goals, must be considered. This dissertation presents a Multi-Objective Sustainable (MOS) model to integrate economic, social, and environmental sustainable objectives into TAM decision-making. The objective is to develop a holistic multi-objective asset management approach integrating environmental and social sustainability related performance measures with traditional indicators, such as asset condition and agency cost, in order to improve the current decision making process in asset management practices. Examples of sustainable performance measures for TAM are on-road vehicle emissions, pedestrian safety, and multimodal livability. In the MOS model, the environmental sustainability objective is to improve air quality by reducing on-road vehicle emissions, measured by CO2 emission savings and the social cost of CO2. The economic sustainability objective is to improve local employment by providing jobs, measured by new jobs created as a result of maintenance scenarios. The focus of social sustainability is to foster community livability through two objectives: by preservation of the multimodal transportation system, measured by the condition of bikeways and crosswalks; and also by improving safety of vulnerable road users, measured by improvements in pedestrian crossing opportunities. The Quality Deployment Matrix (QFD) is proposed for selection of the performance measures. MOS can be used by transportation agencies to evaluate different scenarios in the context of Target-Driven or Budget-Driven decisions. An application of the MOS model is demonstrated in a case study for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. The implementation of MOS-TAM can help agencies to prioritize projects for funding while considering the needs of motorized vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. MOS enhances the traditional TAM methods and improves the communication to stakeholders by providing helpful insights of the environmental and social consequences of TAM decisions. It helps to answer questions like: How much CO2 emissions can be saved by timely maintenance? Which locations are high-risk for pedestrians and how can marked crosswalks be implemented in the most cost-efficient manner? How can new bike lanes be implemented in the most cost-efficient manner? How many new jobs will be created by maintenance and construction activities? What are the levels of funding for motorized and non-motorized transportation infrastructure assets?

Subject Area

Civil engineering|Transportation planning

Recommended Citation

Vavrova, Marketa, "A multi-objective sustainable model for transportation asset management practices" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10241566.