On September 13, 2022, planners and engineers from around the country joined Central Florida MPOs to participate in a virtual peer exchange on how MPOs can collaborate to advance transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) in the planning process. “We wanted to share ideas on what makes a successful TSMO program from a regional governance perspective,” said Kristine Williams, PI for the NICR project “Feasibility of a Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) Program.”
The peer exchange was facilitated by Eric Hill of Metroplan Orlando on behalf of the Central Florida Regional TSMO Program Working Group ─ a collaboration of MetroPlan Orlando, Forward Pinellas, Hillsborough TPO, Pasco County MPO, Polk TPO, Sarasota/Manatee MPO, Space Coast TPO, and River-to-Sea TPO. Participating peers included The Eastern Transportation Coalition, Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition, the Atlanta Regional Commission, I-10 Corridor Coalition, and Oregon Metro. Also attending the peer exchange were MPO Executive Directors and representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, Florida Department of Transportation, and the Central Florida Expressway Authority.
Each peer has direct experience addressing TSMO planning objectives at the regional or megaregional level. They shared ideas on a variety of topics including leadership, governance structures, working with partners, funding program activities, and communicating program value, as well as lessons learned. Jeff Kramer also presented a recommended framework for a regional TSMO program in Central Florida based on the NICR research to stimulate discussion of potential future actions. The group discussed a variety of issues including the value of TSMO in planning, motivations for formal collaboration, the role of MPOs in advancing TSMO, the need for more TSMO and local outreach, and the importance of not duplicating existing efforts or creating unnecessary organizational layers.
The exchange culminated in identification of strategies for moving forward, including consideration of potential collaboration on a regional TSMO strategic plan for Central Florida. At the conclusion of the peer exchange, leaders from Central Florida’s Regional TSMO Program Working Group resolved to come together to discuss next steps and peers agreed to continue to provide insight and expertise to the region.