California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Date: August 21, 2014
District: Headquarters
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

Caltrans Continues its Efforts to be Transparent and Accountable by Reporting on its Achievements and Where it Needs to Improve

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans today released the second issue of The Mile Marker: A Caltrans Performance Report, an ongoing assessment to share with the public the department’s performance and progress as it works to protect, improve and modernize California’s transportation system.

"Caltrans is continually moving forward to be a successful, performance-driven, transparent organization,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “The Mile Marker is our way of being accountable to the public and stakeholders on how we are doing on critical transportation metrics."

This issue shows that Caltrans needs to make improvements in certain aspects related to its key performance areas: safety, mobility, sustainability, delivery and maintenance. Caltrans met 5 of its 17 performance targets during this reporting period, up from four during the last reporting period due to an increase in the percentage of Caltrans’ total annual state expenditures going to small businesses. Of the 12 goals not yet met, progress is being made on seven of them.

"We are investing in an integrated multi-modal transportation system to move people and goods throughout California,” continued Dougherty. “Our newly adopted goals of safety, sustainability, stewardship, system performance and organizational excellence are clearly articulated and discussed in this issue. We hope you enjoy it."

The articles within this issue of The Mile Marker take a look at several projects and efforts currently underway by Caltrans that reflect a new mission and focus – providing a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system. These include:

  • Retrofits of California’s highway lighting system to LED fixtures, which will reduce up to 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year once complete.
  • The construction of a new rock shed and bridge along State Route 1 at Pitkins Curve, which will greatly reduce the cost of maintaining the highway from an estimated $112 million to only $1.7 million over the next 50 years.
  • An increase in the number of zero-emission and hybrid vehicles in its fleet in order to meet Governor Brown’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • The creation of new partnerships with the bicycling community, allowing them to test different road surface treatments during a pavement improvement project on State Route 1, and ultimately being able to provide a pavement surface that meets the needs of everyone using the road.

The Mile Marker is one of the steps Caltrans is taking to improve its transparency and accountability by making the department’s work more accessible and understandable to the public. Its intention is also to quantify and measure the department’s performance – what’s working, what’s not and what could be improved – based on consistent markers.

“I applaud Caltrans’ continuing efforts toward introducing performance management within the department, as evidenced by the release of the second edition of The Mile Marker,” said Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation. “By monitoring performance data and by reporting on that data, we can better work together to deliver our highest priority transportation services to the public.”

This report is an extension of reforms begun by Dougherty since being appointed director in 2012. That year, Dougherty initiated a program review to evaluate the entire department and make it more efficient. Caltrans incorporated input from local transportation partners and worked with the independent State Smart Transportation Initiative group. Caltrans is using the data from those reviews as the foundation for a new five-year strategic plan. In partnership with the California State Transportation Agency, Caltrans has already crafted a new mission, vision and set of goals for the department.

As part of the program review, Dougherty also made significant changes to the department’s organizational structure, making Caltrans a leaner, better-organized agency by merging divisions and functions. Caltrans is also strengthening its relationship with other agencies by changing the way it does business as it works with counties and cities to improve transportation across California.

Copies of this issue of The Mile Marker are available here: (online)

Caltrans also releases 23 statutorily required reports on a periodic basis on subjects including project delivery, finance, fish passage, state rail and highway maintenance. These reports are located here:

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