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A framework for assessing transportation sustainability rating systems for implementation in U.S. state departments of transportation




Simpson, Sherona Patrice, author
Clevenger, Caroline M., advisor
Ozbek, Mehmet E., advisor
Atadero, Rebecca A., committee member

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Sustainability has increased in popularity as a key indicator for planning transportation projects. With that movement, evaluating the sustainability of transportation projects has become necessary for state departments of transportation (DOTs). Transportation Sustainability Rating Systems (TSRS) have been adopted for this purpose; however, different TSRSs employ different methods for determining or quantifying sustainability, and emphasize different sustainability factors. Given the number, variability, and specificity of TSRSs available, an evaluation and pairing exercise of available systems is needed to help the state DOTs select a system by determining to what extent a given system suits the state DOT's preferences. This thesis presents a four step framework which identifies the most important capabilities in a TSRS as preferred by a state DOT and then facilitates weighting of those capabilities via a well-established methodology, the Analytical Hierarchy Process. The thesis also presents the implementation of this framework for Colorado DOT (CDOT), South Dakota DOT (SDDOT), Utah DOT (UDOT) and Wyoming DOT (WYDOT). The framework resulted in the identification of INVEST to be the most suitable TSRS for CDOT and WYDOT, GreenLITES as the most suitable TSRS for SDDOT and the results for UDOT were inconclusive. The framework developed for assessing TSRSs was proven to be a viable means for determining rank and suitability of TSRS for DOTs.


2013 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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climate change
transportation sustainability
sustainability rating systems


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