The SMART SCALE prioritization process (§33.2-214.1) is about picking the right transportation projects for funding and ensuring the best use of limited tax dollars. Transportation projects are scored based on an objective, outcome-based process that is transparent to the public and allows decision-makers to be held accountable to taxpayers.
More information about the SMART SCALE prioritization process, including a technical guide for applicants, is available at www.vasmartscale.org.
The SMART SCALE team is led by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment and is composed of representatives of Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The team encourages strong key public engagement in developing and implementing the SMART SCALE prioritization process. Public engagement is an integral part of ensuring transparency and accountability.
During an active round, the team works closely to screen and score incoming applications. All project applications are screened to determine if they meet an identified need in VTrans, the Commonwealth’s long range transportation plan, and to determine if they meet eligibility requirements.
The team further evaluates projects through a prioritization process that evaluates each project’s merits using key factors, including: improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility, land use, economic development and the environment. The evaluation focuses on the degree to which a project addresses a problem or need relative to the requested funding for the project.
Once projects are evaluated, the information is presented to Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). The CTB has the best information possible to select the right projects for funding.
Between rounds, the team seeks feedback from various stakeholders to understand what went wrong and what went right from the previous rounds. Lessons learned are utilized to recommend adjustments to the CTB and public comment is accepted. Lastly, the team prepares tools, updates policies and guidance for the next round.
Visit www.SMARTSCALE.org for more information about the project prioritization process and upcoming important dates.