VTrans is Virginia's Transportation Plan. It is prepared for the Commonwealth Transportation Board by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.

Mid-term Needs and Priorities

VTrans’ mid-term planning process identifies locations around the Commonwealth with transportation needs that may be addressed by projects, policies, or programs. Mid-term needs are prioritized to help decision-makers identify locations for which to develop solutions.

Policy for the Identification and Prioritization of VTrans Mid-term Needs

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) established a policy to identify capacity and safety related transportation needs in January 2020 and established a policy to prioritize these needs in March 2021. These policies rely on performance-based planning to bring transparency and provide clarity to local and regional partners.

Any modification to Policy Guide requires the Board’s action. OIPI follows the methodology outlined in the Technical Guide to identify Needs. Technical Guide may continue to evolve and improve based upon advances in technology, data collection and reporting tools. If any such improvements modify or affect the policy and process, they are brought to the Board for review and approval.

Importance of the VTrans Mid-term Needs and Priorities

The VTrans Mid-term Needs and Priorities guide the allocation of limited resources per the following:

  • Pursuant to § 33.2-214.1, project funding requests submitted for SMART SCALE must meet one or more VTrans Mid-term Needs.
  • Pursuant to Virginia Code § 33.2-357, VTrans mid-term needs receive priority funding consideration in VDOT’s Revenue Sharing program.
  • Per the Board Policy, VDOT and DRPT corridor planning, facility planning, advanced activities, and the multimodal project pipeline focus on VTrans Priority 1 locations. The current round of studies selected for the Virginia Project Pipeline based on VTrans Priority 1 locations can be found on the Virginia Project Pipeline website.
  • Finally, VTrans mid-term needs and priorities can be used to inform several state funding programs and policies.

Identification of the Mid-term Needs

  • VTrans Goals and Objectives: The CTB’s Goals and Objectives form the basis for identification of transportation needs.
  • Performance measures: For each Goal, one or more performance measures are identified. A performance measure is a numeric description of a transportation system’s performance or condition.
  • Stakeholder consultation: Extensive stakeholder consultation is conducted prior to any modification.
Mid-Term Needs Measures and CategoriesCoSSRNUDAStatewide
Congestion Mitigation: Percent Person Miles Traveled in Excessively Congested Conditions (PECC)₁
Congestion Mitigation: Travel Time Index (TTI)₂
Improved Reliability (Highway): Level of Travel Time Reliability (LOTTR)
Improved Reliability: Passenger and Intercity Rail On-time Performance
1) PECC: All of limited-access CoSS, plus select limited access facilities within Regional Networks
2) TTI: All of non-limited access CoSS, plus all other facilities within Regional Networks
Mid-Term Needs Measures and CategoriesCoSSRNUDAStatewide
Transit Access to Activity Centers
Bicycle Access to Activity Centers
Pedestrian Access to Activity Centers
Transit Access for Equity Emphasis Areas
Access to Industrial and Economic Development Areas (IEDAs) (locally-determined)₃
UDA Area Needs (locally-determined)₄
3) Access to IEDAs: Locations included in Virginia Economic Development Partnership's Business-Ready Site Programs
4) UDA Area Needs: Includes improvements such as bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, circulation and access, safey, transit enhancements and access, etc.
Mid-Term Needs Measures and CategoriesCoSSRNUDAStatewide
Locations with High Number of Crashes and High Crash Severity
Pedestrian Safety Improvement Locations
Mid-Term Needs Measures and CategoriesCoSSRNUDAStatewide
Capacity Preservation
Mid-Term Needs Measures and CategoriesCoSSRNUDAStatewide
Transportation Demand Management

Prioritization of the Mid-term Needs

Once the VTrans mid-term needs are identified, they are then prioritized. Priority locations are established using a four-step process shown below:

Establish criteria for aggregating VTrans Need Categories
Statewide Prioritization
Needs¹ within the Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS) and Safety Travel Markets²

Construction District Prioritization
Needs¹ within the Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS), Regional Networks (RN), Safety, and UDA (IEDA Access) Travel Markets²​
  1. Needs categories vary by Travel Market and include a wide range of multimodal needs such as congestion, transit access, pedestrian access, etc.​
  2. There are four (4) Travel Markets, each with a unique set of characteristics. Please refer to the VTrans Travel Markets page for a more detailed description.
Establish priorities within each VTrans Need Category
Criteria 1
Severity of the Need​

Criteria 2
Magnitude (Number of Users, Vehicles, etc. Affected​)
Assign weightings to each VTrans Need Category Priority from Step 2 and aggregate to establish Statewide and Construction District Priority Locations​

Adjust for influencing factors

  • Co-located transportation infrastructure repair, rehabilitation, or replacement needs​
  • Exposure to the projected sea-level rise, storm surge, and historical riverine/inland flooding
  • Co-located Economically Distressed Communities

Established VTrans Mid-term Needs and Priorities

VTrans mid-term needs identified and priorities established based on the process outlined above can be viewed and downloaded on InteractVTrans, an interactive mapping application.

  • The map below shows the results of the prioritization process. There are three tabs:
    • The “2021 Mid-term Needs” tab displays the 2021 VTrans Mid-term Needs by four travel markets: Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS), Regional Networks (RN), Urban Development Areas (UDA), and Safety.
    • The “2019 Statewide Priority Locations” tab displays the Steps leading to the establishment of the Statewide Priority Locations; and,
    • The “2019 District Priority Locations” tab shows the Steps leading to the establishment of District Priority Locations.


1. These results are based on the approved policy for the prioritization of the Mid-term Needs. In cases where there is a discrepancy in data, the policy shall be maintained.

2. A high priority in any one or more VTrans Need Categories may or may not emerge as an overall high Statewide or Construction District Priority Location.

3. All resulting Needs based on the approved Policy for the Identification of the Mid-term Needs, including those for rail, off-road bicycle facilities, etc, are assigned to existing roadway segments.

4. Location of a Prioritized Need does not convey location of the potential solution which could be an infrastructure improvement or a policy.

5. Statewide and Construction District Priority locations based on the policy do not reflect committed or funded capacity- or safety-related improvements.

Noteworthy Items

  • A proposed solution to address a VTrans mid-term need does not have to be co-located with the need as long as the purpose and effectiveness of the solution addresses the need.
  • A VTrans need category does not specify a type or mode of response. For example, a solution to a need for Improved Reliability may not be a roadway-centric and can instead be addressed by multimodal infrastructure improvements such as transit or rail services or park-and-ride infrastructure. Similarly, a need for Improved Reliability may also be addressed by policies (e.g. variable pricing, occupancy or vehicle restrictions, etc.) or programs such as commuter assistance programs.
  • Stakeholder outreach in 2019 and 2020 resulted in valuable suggestions that are currently being considered for future refinement of the policy and the methods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more specific information about the VTrans mid-term needs? Find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page here: https://vtrans.org/get-involved/frequently-asked-questions.