Federal Reauthorization

MAP-21, the federal transportation reauthorization bill, was signed into law on July 6, 2012 after several years of SAFETEA-LU continuing resolutions . The bill is a two-year $105 billion surface transportation reauthorization. PennDOT had been operating under continuing resolutions, along with the rest of the nationís DOTs, since September 30, 2009, when SAFETEA-LU expired.

MAP-21 is an acronym that stands for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. The text of the MAP-21 legislation, along with summaries of the bill, are available at the Federal Highway Administration and Congressional links
located below.

MAP-21 includes many of the recommendations that have been offered over the years. It consolidates and streamlines highway and transit programs. This
includes expanding the National Highway System (NHS) to incorporate principal arterial roads not included and preserves the National Highway Performance Program.

A performance-based program is also created, as a means to provide a more efficient investment of Federal transportation funds and also to increase the
accountability and transparency of Federal highway programs. In addition,
performance-based planning and programming is a feature. The bill builds on and refines many highway, transit, bike, and pedestrian programs and policies.

$82 billion of the $105 billion bill is authorized for FY2013 and FY2014 for road, bridge, bicycling, and walking improvements. In addition, private sector
investment is encouraged as a way to innovate financing. These will fuel both job growth and economic growth.

Finally, the bill extends the Highway Trust Fund through federal fiscal year 2016, which is two years beyond MAP-21ís reauthorization mandate. The Highway Trust Fund will face a deficit beginning in 2015, however. MAP-21 will cover that deficit via transfers of $19 billion from general funds with offsets to cover the transfer of those funds.

 

It is the mission of the PennDOT NextGeneration initiative to engage PennDOTís management and rank-and-file forces to undertake a proactive approach for refreshing and advancing the standard business practices and the technology that is place at PennDOT.†

 

PennDOTís current organizational structure was established in the late 1970ís.† At that time highway operations were changed from a centralized decision-making structure to a decentralized structure with design, construction, and maintenance managed in the district and county offices. The Central Office functions evolved to primarily statewide policy development and assistance to the districts with project planning and delivery.†

PennDOT leaders have an interest and duty in keeping current with technology and engaging a proactive approach for
advancing its business practices. The focus of the PennDOT NextGeneration is two-fold: process/technical and regionalization. The intent of the process/technical element is to create new efficiencies through the assessment and revision of current policies, procedures and processes. PennDOT policies and procedures are, in general, necessary to comply with state and federal regulations and to establish methodologies for conducting operations. However, in some cases current policies and procedures are outdated, unnecessarily exceed regulatory requirements, or have outcomes and implications that would suggest a change in regulation ought to be considered. Additionally, operational processes often become more efficient through advancement in technology, and this effort will explore process improvement opportunities that have either been undisclosed or on-hold. While assessment of every PennDOT policy, procedure, and process is beyond the scope of this effort, all appropriate opportunities for creating efficiencies should be considered.††

 

The intent of the regionalization element is to implement statewide a mode of resource sharing amongst district and central offices. Maximizing the use of resource sharing will enhance efforts to fully utilize internal staff before engaging assistance from external business partners while also serving to

PennDOT Next Generation

level off the localized peaks and valleys of workload
demand. Additionally, the transfer of expertise from talented PennDOT staff regionally and statewide via resource sharing will serve to expand PennDOTís ability to perform business operations at the highest quality and least cost.†

 

Although the initial function PennDOT NextGeneration is to explore internal PennDOT opportunities for creating
efficiencies, there will be an opportunity to work jointly with other state agencies. There are services that overlap with other state agencies.† For example, both PennDOT and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintain roads, inspect bridges, and provide licenses for all types of vehicles.† PennDOT Next Generation staff will explore at how these two agencies can use technology and resources to be more efficient while providing even better customer service.