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Public Roads - Winter 2024

Winter 2024
Issue No:
Vol. 87 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Using TSMO to Improve Current Transportation Systems

by Jim Hunt and Sabrina Sylvester
A highway with various vehicles and a city landscape at night with a series of numbers and graphics on the right side of the highway. Image Source: © metamorwork /

Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) is a set of strategies, activities, and mobility services that maximize the performance of existing transportation systems. TSMO enables more efficient use of transportation infrastructure, better aligns travel demand with system capacity, and provides integrated and comprehensive solutions that can typically be implemented quickly and at low cost relative to traditional capacity expansion. The benefits of TSMO include the following: improving safety, enabling smoother and more reliable traffic flow, reducing congestion, providing real-time highway and transit traveler information, and enhancing environmental conditions.

To support improved TSMO implementation, the Federal Highway Administration’s National Highway Institute (NHI) now offers a series of training courses that provide the fundamentals of TSMO and shows how agencies can institutionalize TSMO practices in their organization.

Achieving Success With NHI

NHI currently offers four TSMO training courses, including three, newly developed courses. The first two courses are Web-based Training (WBT) that provide a detailed introduction to TSMO, its concepts, and how to apply these strategies to the transportation planning process. The third course is a Web-conference Training (WCT) that helps learners apply these concepts to real-world scenarios in a live, virtual space with subject matter experts. The fourth TSMO training discusses the benefits of various institutional, organizational, and procedural changes to make TSMO practices more effective.

Planning for TSMO Introduction (FHWA-NHI-133131)

This WBT is an introductory course that focuses on how agencies plan and effectively integrate TSMO into their transportation planning and programming processes. Participants will get an overview of TSMO planning and methods for institutionalizing TSMO practices and collaboration.

Planning for TSMO—Concepts and Applications (FHWA-NHI-133132)

This WBT builds on the Planning for TSMO Introduction (FHWA-NHI-133131) course. The training teaches how TSMO can be integrated into a transportation planning process; enhance planning, programming, and project development outcomes; and be evaluated.

Planning for TSMO—Putting Concepts Into Action (FHWA-NHI-133133)

This WCT is an interactive course that uses engaging activities and applies a scenario that brings the concepts of planning for TSMO to life. Learners can apply concepts to their specific interests and needs when integrating TSMO into their transportation planning, programming, and project development processes.

This three-course training series is designed for transportation planners and operations staff with TSMO experience who want to deepen their knowledge and learn strategies for integrating TSMO within their agency.

National Highway Institute logo. Image Source: NHI.

Making the Business Case for Institutional, Organizational, and Procedural Changes for TSMO (FHWA-NHI-133128)

This WBT identifies the benefits and considerations for implementing TSMO practices and recommended TSMO business case components. This training also describes the role and importance of leadership in instituting TSMO practices.

Additional TSMO Courses

The following NHI TSMO-related courses will soon be available through the NHI website:

  • TSMO 101.
  • TSMO Benefit-Cost Analysis.
  • Understanding and Applying the Capability Maturity Model to Advance TSMO Programs.

Beyond the NHI training courses, information on other FHWA’s TSMO initiatives and resources can be found at

How to Attend or Host a Course

NHI invites all transportation professionals interested in a course to visit to learn more information on how to register or host a course. The course catalog lists over 350 courses in 18 program areas.

NHI is an approved Accredited Provider by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). As an IACET Accredited Provider, NHI offers continuing education units for its programs that qualify under the American National Standards Institute/IACET Standard.

Jim Hunt is an FHWA TSMO program manager.

Sabrina Sylvester is the senior marketing analyst contractor for NHI.