Corridor Performance Reports

Use this template to create a report that describes the performance of a corridor over a selected time period (quarterly, yearly) and compares that performance with previous periods.

Overview

  1. Click to download the PowerPoint template to create a report that describes the performance of a corridor over the course of a year and compares that performance with previous years. Additional design resources are also available.
  2. Download Agency Use Case examples below to see how other agencies have used these templates or have created similar reports using content from RITIS.
  3. Scroll down to learn how to create this report or click on the 'How To Create Report' in the navigational menu.

Tools Used In This Report (click on the links for a brief video tutorial on using a tool)

Design Recommendations To Keep In Mind

We've strived to make the Guides simple and easy to understand, but if you have any questions or need help, please contact us at support@ritis.org. To start off, we think these abbreviated Lessons Learned from FHWA's Performance Reporting Prototype Technical Report are very instructive and important to keep in mind:

  • Tailor report content and format to engage and inform your audience

    • Keep reports for the general public engaging and simple
    • Reserve greater complexity for professional transportation audience
    • Consider how the audience experiences transportation - the general public typically doesn't care about agency business process silos
  • Relevant, easy-to-understand graphics are likely to be shared

    • ‟Single issue, single page” graphics-heavy infographics are a valuable tool to draw in a larger audience
  • Snapshots are not enough

    • Make sure to include trends and contextual information
    • Link to actions being taken by the organization
  • Don't empasize appearance over effectiveness

    • Information should be conveyed clearly and concisely
    • Simplicity over embellishment is usually best
  • Tell a story so the data comes alive

    The story must be delivered at the right technical level for the audience and targeted on an area of interest

How to Create the Report

Click on each numbered box below to learn how to create the content in each section and how we used RITIS to generate charts and produce performance data.

For this report, we're using actual conditions and information for a section of US Route 1 (from I-495 to Meade Road) located in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area.

1

How to make the cover pages

  1. Select cover page

    1. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the front cover template.
    2. Gather your agency’s logo and some applicable background images to choose from.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Using high-resolution images will give your report a more professional look. If desired, choose some images that you can use other places in your report, like the back cover, as a supplement to maps, etc.

    3. Another option is to add a background map image with highlights from Google Earth Pro (described below).
  2. Create background map image

    1. In Google Earth Pro, select the roadway you’re analyzing, then click Map Options, Options.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      This example uses a desaturated color base map that greatly tones down the map color saturation. This allows for better highlighting of the study roadway, making it pop.

    2. Click Resolution and select Maximum.
    3. Save the image as a JPEG, then import into PowerPoint.
  3. Overlay a road highlight

    1. In PowerPoint, select “Curved Line” from the shape menu.
    2. Left-click along the path of the roadway to draw the line. Double-click to end the curve. Right-click the finished line to bring up an edit menu to add or move curve points.
    3. Under Shape Effects, apply Glow. Using the Format Shape dialog, change the color to the same color as the line. Adjust the size and transparency bars to produce the effect based on your personal preferences.
  4. Assemble your cover page

    Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

    Tip

    Clicking on the magnifying glass icon maximizes the size of the image to full screen. Clicking anywhere in that expanded image takes you back to this page.

    1. Copy and paste your image and agency logo into the cover page template.
    2. Right-click on the image and select “Send to Back” from the drop-down menu so the image lays behind the cover graphics and text.
    3. If there’s not enough contrast with the background image, double-click your agency’s logo and select Color from the Adjust ribbon to select a more suitable color.
    4. Edit the Project Name / Description, date and report type placeholders.
    5. You can change the colors of the bottom graphic by double-clicking it and selecting “Color” from the “Picture Format” ribbon.
  5. Create a back cover

    Photo of cars on a road at sunset, overlaid with similar template placeholders as shown before
    1. For the back cover, simply flip the front cover template, add your agency's logo and pertinent contact info.
2

How to make the overview page

  1. Select background/summary page

    Screenshot of the template background/summary page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the Background / Summary page template.
  2. Create a background image

    Side-by-side aerial photographs of the study area; the photo on the left is in full color with an arrow pointing to the right photo in greyscale
    1. Use the same process as described above for how to make the cover page to select, scale and crop an appropriate image.
    2. To make your desired roads stand out, greyscale the image.
    3. From the Shapes dropdown, "Curve", then left-click along the path of a roadway to draw the line. Right-click the finished line to bring up an edit menu to add or move the curve points for fine-tuning.
    4. Under Shape Effects, apply "Glow". Use a low point size and transparency of 0% to create a contrasting border along the line.
  3. Insert image in the overview page template

    Two-column page. The left column has placeholders for "Heading", "Corridor Description", and "Study Purpose". The right column is the aerial image from before with labels to help orient the viewer.
    1. Apply highlights in different colors to other significant roads according to your preferences.
    2. Add road shields and road names.
    3. For customized route shields — such as SR 200 and 212 — use PowerPoint drawing tools along with the Interstate font.
    4. Add a north arrow, or any other annotations, texts or highlights that will help give the reader important location map information.
  4. Add text and any finishing touches to the project overview page

    Same two-column page as before, but with the left column filled in with example text. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Add a Heading describing the study route, limits, Township, County, etc.
    2. Add a Corridor Description that describes the road and environs — location, length, number of lanes, daily or peak volume, geographic context, etc.
    3. Finally, add a Study Purpose that lays out the focus and importance of analyzing the corridor.
3

How to make the hourly travel time graph

  1. Select the travel time/heat index page

    Screenshot of the template travel time/heat index page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the Travel Time/Heat Index page template.
    2. You will also use this template for Step 4.
  2. Start by opening PDA Performance Charts

    Dialog box allowing the user to select roads to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select a time period to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select daily time ranges to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Under Select roads, enter your state and a road name. A list will appear. Click on the appropriate choice, then to query a smaller segment, click on Partial, then use the From: and To: intersection dropdowns to focus on your analysis segment.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the Save as segment set button to save your selected road(s) for later analysis with any PDA tools. Then, just click on the Saved tab at the top instead of searching for a road, find your road and click it.

    2. Next, use Select one or more time periods to choose specific days, months, or year to analyze. Choose the specific days of the week by checking or unchecking the days, then add the time period by clicking on the Add time period button.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can add multiple time periods to your query for creating a chart for each pair of periods and time ranges by clicking on the Add time period button.

    3. Select a time range to analyze within each time period. Here you can specify peak hours or periods of interest.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can add multiple hour ranges to your query for creating a chart for each pair of periods and time ranges by clicking on the Add another time range button.

    4. Next, select a data source (INRIX, HERE or TomTom or various NPMRDS datasets).
    5. Finally, click the Submit button.
  3. Tailor the chart results

    A window in PDA Performance Charts that has customization options in a left-hand column next to two line charts with confidence ranges, one above the other, on the right. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Tailor the chart results by selecting, deselecting or editing:
      • Mode (chart by direction or time period)
      • Type (column, line, plot, candlestick)
      • Layout (vertical, tile)
      • X/Y axis (full range customization)
      • Metric (11 choices)
      • Chart data (line width, data line color options and % ranges appearance)
      • Charts (view one or both roadway directions)
  4. Save your charts using "Customize Image Export..."

    A screenshot showing the save icon, with a dropdown menu including a "customize image export" link.
    A dialog box with graph customization options such as title, description, and axis labels. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Click on the Save as icon.
    2. You can save the chart data as an XML file, for further analysis using Excel, or save as an image for inserting into a report.
    3. Clicking on the Customize image export brings up a customization popup for editing various aspects of the chart:
      • Axes (color, width)
      • Image (size & background color)
        Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

        Tip

        Change the image size to improve legibility at the scale you will be utilizing.

      • Graph Titles (labels, font sizes & type)
      • Include definition of data type if desired by checking the box
    4. Click Save export settings as default (if desired) then click Save image.
    5. Your image will be automatically downloaded.
  5. Insert the final image into your document

    Screenshot of PowerPoint's "Insert" ribbon, with the "Pictures" button highlighted
    1. In PowerPoint, insert the image into the document using the "Picture" button on the "Images" toolbar.
  6. Apply some finishing touches

    Two graphs, side-by-side, showing northbound and southbound travel times with AM and PM peaks annotated with average and peak times Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In PowerPoint, align the Southbound and Northbound graphs side-by-side and label them.
    2. Draw callout boxes for each graph that highlight the AM and PM peaks, and using results from PDA, annotate the boxes with specific data results.
    3. Add the AM and PM peak period times at the bottom of the graph.
4

How to make the heat index map

  1. Start by opening PDA Congestion Scan

    Dialog box allowing the user to select roads to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select a time period to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In the Congestion Scan query screen, use the same parameters as you did with Performance Charts.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can open Congestion Scan results from the previous Performance Charts results simply by clicking the Open with... button and selecting Congestion Scan.

  2. Your results screen will look like this

    Screenshot of a PDA Congestion Screen heat index map with customization controls at the top Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Make the following changes to the Use PDA Congestion Scan results:
      • Use the full 12AM to 12AM time range (shown)
      • Select "Travel Time Index" as the data type
  3. Add some finishing touches

    The same heat index map as before, but without the customization controls and with annotations to help readers interpret the results Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    A completed report page with performance charts, congestion scan, and a descriptive paragraph. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In PowerPoint, align the Congestion Scan results directly underneath the travel time charts so that the timelines match
    2. Use callouts to highlight locations of typical slowdowns for each direction
    3. Add some detail at the bottom denoting where those slowdowns are occurring
    4. Align the Performance Chart results and Congestion Scan results for a "multi-view look" of conditions for the peak periods
    5. Add a discussion at the top that summarizes the important changes to the roadway from the preceding analyses
5

How to make the travel time column charts

  1. Select the travel time column/travel time % differential page

    Screenshot of the template travel time column/travel time % differential page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the Travel Time Column/Travel Time % Differential page template.
    2. You will also use this template for Step 6.
  2. Start by running PDA Performance Summaries

    Dialog box allowing the user to select roads to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select a time period to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Under Select roads, enter your state and a road name. A list will appear. Click on the appropriate choice, then to query a smaller segment, click on Partial, then use the From: and To: intersection dropdowns to focus on your analysis segment.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      Use the Save as segment set button to save your selected road(s) for later analysis with any PDA tools. Then, just click on the Saved tab at the top instead of searching for a road, find your road and click it.

    2. Next, use Select one or more time periods to choose specific days, months, or year for your analysis. You can create a single time period for your range, or in this case, create a time period for each month with the specified range.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can add multiple time periods to your query for creating a chart for each pair of periods and time ranges by clicking on the Add time period button.

    3. Select a time range to analyze within each time period by using the time sliders and hour or hour range. You can click on the Add another time range button to add more ranges.
      Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

      Tip

      You can add multiple hour ranges to your query for creating a chart for each pair of periods and time ranges by clicking on the Add another time range button.

    4. Finally select INRIX as the data source, then click the Submit button.
  3. Create a new Microsoft Excel workbook

  4. Enter selected data from performance summary into the Excel workbook

    Screenshot of a data table showing Performance Summaries results Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet with a row for each month and columns for free-flowing time and AM and PM travel times and planning times for northbound and southbound travel in each month. Three northbound cells are highlighted in the row for August: free-flowing, travel time, and planning time.
    1. Using the Performance Summaries results, select the measure/timeframe results of interest — in this case, Travel Time and Planning Time for August 2019 Weekdays, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    2. Manually enter values into offline Excel spreadsheet
    3. Estimate free flow travel time — in this case, 12.4 minutes — which is the typical 25th percentile travel time shown on the hourly travel time chart (determined by inspection)
  5. Create a combination chart

    Microsoft Excel dialog box allowing the user to customize a chart Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet with data next to a chart. There are three columns (free-flowing, travel time, and planning time) and twelve rows (one per month), and the chart is a simple column chart representing the data. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In your Excel workbook, highlight your data and select Insert, Recommended Charts, All Charts, Combo Chart.
    2. Change the chart type for your data series to Line (| Series 1) and Clustered Column (| Series 2) and Clustered Column (| Series 3)
    3. Click OK
    4. Your resulting chart (highlighted workbook shown) will look like this.
    5. Now some basic editing to the chart to finalize it.
  6. Label the horizontal axis by month

    Screenshot of an Excel drop-down menu with "Select Data..." highlighted
    Screenshot of an Excel "Select Data Source" dialog box Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of an Excel "Axis Labels" dialog box with the names of the months selected
    1. Right click on a column and pick "Select Data..."
    2. Edit the horizontal axis labels
    3. Highlight the month range in your Excel workbook, press enter, and then OK.
  7. Name each data series

    Screenshot of an Excel drop-down menu with "Select Data..." highlighted
    Screenshot of an Excel "Select Data Source" dialog box Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of an Excel "Edit Series" dialog box
    Screenshot of an Excel "Format Data Series" dialog box with "Series Overlap" set to 100%
    Screenshot of an Excel "Select Data Source" dialog box Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of a chart showing the data from before, but with the planning time columns sticking up from the tops of the travel time columns
    1. Right click on a column and pick "Select Data..."
    2. Edit the Legend Entries (Series)
    3. Under Edit Series, click the cell in the Excel worksheet that contains the corresponding category. Repeat for all three series.
    4. Under Format Data Series, use Series Options to overlap the data columns. (Change the series order if the planning time column obscures the travel time column.)
    5. The chart is now ready to get some final touches, then placed in the report.
  8. Adding some final touches

    Screenshot of an Excel "Format Data Series" dialog box with the "Color" button highlighted
    Screenshot of an Excel dropdown menu with "Format Axis..." selected
    Screenshot of an Excel "Format Axis" dialog box with the "Decimal places:" field highlighted and the value set to zero
    Screenshot of an Excel "Edit Series" dialog box with the "Series name:" field highlighted and the value set to "PT" for "Planning Time"
    1. With Format Data Series selected, click on the line and change color as desired.
    2. Right-click on the y-axis numbers and select "Format Axis..."
    3. Left-click on chart title and press delete (since titles will be manually added to the overall page).
    4. Using the Edit Series menu, change "Series name" to something more descriptive.
  9. Adding some final touches

    Southbound (top) and northbound (bottom) travel time graphs, fully annotated, with a stopwatch icon to the right of the graphs. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Here's what a final chart looks like. If you want, add a graphic to help call out that the data is Travel Time-based.
    2. Do the same for the Southbound PM Peak and Northbound AM & PM Peak data.
    3. Add a sidebar graphic to denote that this is a travel time performance result.
6

How to make the travel time % difference charts

  1. Use MS Excel to create a new % difference spreadsheet from your original

    Screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet like the one before, with rows for each month and columns for northbound and southbound AM and PM travel time, planning time, and freeflowing time. January's southbound AM travel time is highlighted with a line connecting it to August's value, and January's southbound AM planning time is also highlighted with a line connecting it to August's value. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet with the same rows and columns, but with percentage values rather than minutes. All of January's cells show 0%. The August cells from the previous image are highlighted again to show how the images are related. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Using the original spreadsheet with travel time and planning time data, create a new spreadsheet for the change in % of travel time and planning time using these formulas:
      travel time in August minus travel time in January, all over travel time in January, times 100 percent, equals the percentage change in travel time
      planning time in August minus planning time in January, all over planning time in January, times 100 percent, equals the percentage change in planning time
  2. Clean up the axes and labels

    Y-axis options

    Screenshot of an Excel "Format Axis" dialog box

    X-axis options

    Screenshot of an Excel "Format Axis" dialog box
    A line graph with 12 months on the X axis, percentages ranging from -15% to +15% on the Y axis, and two colored lines showing positive percentages in the first half of the year and negative percentages in the second half Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Set the bounds of the y-axis to be consistent between your charts to allow easy comparison.
    2. Do the same for the Southbound PM Peak and Northbound AM & PM Peak data.
    3. Add a sidebar graphic to denote that this is a travel time performance result.
  3. Add some finishing touches

    Two travel time % difference graphs, fully annotated, with a stopwatch icon to the right of the graphs. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    A completed report page with travel time column charts at the top and travel time percent difference charts on the bottom. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Include a reference letter for keying to an Observation section that summarizes and gives meaning to the performance changes in the charts.
    2. Add a call out box in the corner that provides a one- or two-word summary of a specific highlight or the overall meaning of the chart.
    3. Finally, add a sidebar graphic to denote that this is a % travel time differential result.
7

How to make the yearly travel time comparison chart

  1. Select the yearly travel time comparison page

    Screenshot of the template yearly travel time comparison page Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. In Microsoft PowerPoint open the yearly travel time comparison page template.
  2. Start by running PDA Performance Charts
    Lightbulb icon indicating that you can click to learn a little more

    Tip

    If you saved your TMC set, you can more quickly select your analysis roadway section by clicking on the "Saved" tab under Select Roads, then either filter by your name or start typing the name of the set in the dialog box.

    Dialog box allowing the user to select roads to analyze Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select a time period to analyze, showing that the user has selected every weekday in each of four sequential years Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Dialog box allowing the user to select daily time ranges to analyze, showing that the user has selected AM and PM peak times Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Using the TMC set for your selected roadway, select the Year tab from the time periods to analyze dialog box.
    2. Select a year (in this case, 2016 through 2019), choose what days of the week (weekdays only), then add each time period to your query.
    3. Under Granularity, select Day of week, then using the sliders define the AM Peak (6 AM to 9 AM) and PM Peak (4 PM to 7 PM) periods.
    4. Finally, click Submit.
  3. Customize your performance chart

    Screenshot from PDA Performance Charts showing customization options in the left column and two column charts on the right side with a handful of bars for each weekday. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot from PDA Performance Charts showing customization options in the left column and a box-and-whisker plot on the right side with four boxes per weekday. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot from PDA Performance Charts showing how the user can choose different colors for each column (one per year for AM peaks and one per year for PM peaks)
    The second graph from above, but with a more refined color palette and captions Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    Screenshot from the PDA Performance Charts Customize Image Export dialog box Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Your initial performance chart will look like this.
    2. Take the following steps to modify your chart into its final form:
      • Change the background from dark to light, using the slider in the upper right-hand corner
      • Change the chart type from column to candlestick by clicking on the candlestick icon
      • On the Metric dropdown, select Travel time (minutes)
      • To view just AM peak hour conditions, uncheck every other box shown under Chart data
      • Click on the color palette icon under Chart data to change the colors
      • Deselect the Northbound checkbox at the bottom of the report settings box, for doing single images of each final chart
    3. The chart is ready to be saved. Click on the save icon in the upper right hand corner and click Image. You can save your chart as-is or customize it further by clicking on the "Customize image export..." link.
      • The Customize image export dialog box allows image export settings to be adjusted for things like image size, background color, title, description, axis labels and more.
    4. Repeat this process for each direction, and for each AM and PM peak periods. Change the color palette of the PM condition for better contrast with the AM condition.
  4. Adding some finishing touches

    Two charts, southbound and northbound, side-by-side with completed color schemes and annotations Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    A graphic explaining how to read box-and-whisker plots, showing where the 95th, 75th, 25th, and 5th percentiles are, where the average is, and how to interpret a simple pattern of lines
    A completed report page with travel time comparison graphs, a paragraph describing the findings, and the interpretive graphic for box-and-whisker plots. Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
    1. Value add your charts, with color-coded banners, peak hour call-outs, legends and so on.
    2. To help explain the usefulness of the candlesticks (travel time changes and percentile travel time changes), include a simple graphic like this one.

Your report is now complete!

A cover page with a map of the study area Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
A overview page with a more detailed map of the study area and four paragraphs of descriptive text Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
A page showing 2019 corridor travel times with two hourly travel time graphs and a travel time index heat map Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
A page showing travel times through the year with four travel time column charts and four travel time percent difference charts Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
A page comparing this year against previous years with a yearly travel time comparison chart Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
A back cover page with a photo of cars at sunset Magnifying glass indicating that you can click to zoom the previous image
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