ACB FrameworkChange Forces • Public Expectations

Public Expectations

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Increased customer focus, increased public information requests, more available options for engaging with stakeholders, sustainability, partnerships, agile decision-making

Public expectations for accountability and transparency are not new to DOTs, but these expectations continue to be an important change force – DOTs need to be increasingly customer- responsive and improve how they communicate their performance and demonstrate value. With growth of social media and transition from paper to electronic information, agencies are facing a growing number of public information requests. The public seeks better information access and desires real-time data accuracy, especially given the technology advancements occurring. This presents workload challenges for DOTs and is motivating improvements to capabilities that enable more agile and efficient information delivery.

As a result of changing societal expectations and concerns about impacts of extreme weather and increased competition for natural resources, some DOTs have begun to adopt goals related to sustainability. Sustainability seeks to balance social, economic and environmental needs – considering both current and future generations. Meeting this “triple bottom line” requires agencies to rethink their mission(s) and operating principles. Stronger interagency partnerships, expanded public participation, and adoption of risk-based, adaptable decision making processes may be required.

Sustainability isn’t the only effort gaining public traction. The increase in number and presence of other advocacy groups promoting multi-modal options, equity and equality in transportation, and public health initiatives such as active transportation, air quality, and access to medical facilities add to the response and workload challenges facing DOTs as well.