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Oct 18 -- The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT, invites comments by December 18, 2023 regarding the extension of the Travel Monitoring Analysis System.

The purpose of this document is to request OMB's three-year extension for a currently approved information collection titled “Heavy Vehicle Travel Information System (HVTIS),” covered by OMB Control No. 2125–0587. This information collection is due to expire on August 30, 2021. The Travel Monitoring Analysis System (TMAS) is the current system used to collect HVTIS information; therefore, the extension should now be titled Travel Monitoring Analysis System.

23 USC 150 National Goals and Performance Management Measures requires that the U.S. DOT to establish a performance management system for its Federal-aid highway program. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated the performance management via 23 CFR 490: National Performance Management Measures. Traffic data, including volume (# of vehicles and travelers), class (types of vehicles), weight (weight of vehicles), and travel time (speed), are parameters the performance management program relies upon.

The FHWA is planning to continue to collect these traffic data through the TMAS system. To carry out the data collection, the FHWA will request that State Departments of Transportations (SDOTs) provide traffic volume, vehicle classification, vehicle speed, vehicle weight data, and nonmotorized data, which they collect as part of their traffic monitoring programs.

In addition, 23 CFR 1.5 and 49 CFR 1.48 provide the Federal Highway Administrator with authority to request such information deemed necessary to administer the Federal-aid highway program. Traffic data are used for assessing highway system performance under FHWA's strategic planning and performance reporting process in accordance with the requirement of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA, Sections 3 and 4).

Finally, both the 23 U. S. Code 503 and the 23 CFR 420.105(b) require States to provide data that support FHWA's responsibilities carrying out the Federal-aid highway program to Congress and the public.

The data to be collected will continue to be used by the FHWA and other DOT agencies to (a) manage its Federal-aid highway program through the performance management mechanism, (b) evaluate changes in vehicular and nonmotorized travel to assess impacts on highway safety, (c) analyze the role of travel in economic development and productivity, (d) assess impacts from truck travel on infrastructure demands, and (e) maintain and improve our Nation's mobility while protecting the human and natural environment.

The data submitted through TMAS will provide the amount and nature of vehicular travel at the national, regional, and state levels. The data also provide information on how vehicular travel pattern varies by hour of the day, day of the week, the month of the year, and year to year.

Data submitted under the TMAS program are essential to the FHWA and the U.S. DOT in determining:

-- The effectiveness of current highway programs in supporting travel demands, safety improvement, and travel reliability
-- The potential of possible modifications to the Federal-aid highway program, and
-- The need for new programs
-- The adequacy of the U.S. DOT Strategic Goals in areas of:
i. Safety exposures: providing accurate and detailed exposure information related to travel and especially the roles of different vehicles in the same traffic stream
ii. Mobility: providing data on the relative usage of system capacity by various vehicles by time of day and the associated share of congestion that may be implicit in such travel
iii. Productivity: providing data necessary to estimate the tonnage of goods and number of people being moved by time of day, and season of the year over the various highway systems and
iv. Human and Natural Environment: providing data needed for the highway noise and air quality effect assessments.

State highway agencies use the traffic data for project and program level applications such as geometric design, pavement design, safety analysis, overweight and oversize vehicle permitting, designating truck routes, estimating trends in freight movement, highway noise abatement needs assessment.

In addition to the usage by the Federal and State governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning, industry, consultants, professional organizations, and the public are using the data for research and education, business development, and general information.

All data for the TMAS will be submitted electronically to the FHWA by all State highway and local agencies, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico Departments of Transportation. Reliance on electronic reporting is responsive to limited staff resources at both the local, State and Federal levels. With the unlimited data upload file size, online electronic submission reduces burden to all respondents.

The collected data will be further inserted into a Geographical Information System by the FHWA in order to support the analysis of point-specific vehicle travel data on a network basis. This is expected to allow:

-- Correlation of pavement loadings generated by vehicles to data in other FHWA systems that report pavement condition;
-- Major truck and interregional passenger corridors will be more readily identifiable among the links comprising the Nation's highway network, and;
-- Weather, natural disaster and other geographically related phenomena can be more readily related to associated changes in travel patterns

All data summarization, processing, and editing are fully automated. The TMAS is supported by various software browsers for use by the local, States and FHWA staff in order to report, edit and summarize the collected data.

FHWA Operating the Travel Monitoring and Analysis System (TMAS) - (SWES) https://highways.dot.gov/research/projects/operating-travel-monitoring-and-analysis-system-tmas-swes
BTS Travel Monitoring Analysis System Volume: https://geodata.bts.gov/datasets/usdot::travel-monitoring-analysis-system-volume/about
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-22908

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