Transportation terms can be highly technical and confusing. Please use our glossary below to search for frequently used terms. If you need additional information, please contact us.


AADT: Annual Average Daily Traffic factored with a yearly and seasonal factor.

AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

ACCESS: Ability to get to a road or property via intersecting road, driveway or median opening.

ACCESSIBILITY: Ability of vehicles and facilities to accommodate the disabled.

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act - a federal law that requires public facilities (including transportation services) to be accessible to persons with disabilities, including those with mental disabilities, temporary disabilities and the conditions related to substance abuse.

AE: Annual Element - the first fiscal year of the Transportation Improvement Plan.

AHCA: Agency for Health Care Administration - responsible for health care facility licensure, inspection, and regulatory enforcement; investigation of consumer complaints related to health care facilities and managed care plans.

AMPO: Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

APTA: American Public Transportation Association. National, non-profit trade association representing the public transit industry.

AQ: Air Quality - generally refers to the amount of air pollutants of various types in the air. The pollutants can include hydrocarbons (also called volatile organic compounds), nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

ARTERIAL: Highway classification that emphasizes mobility over access.

AV: Automated vehicles.

AVI: Automatic Vehicle Identification - a computerized system enabling the local Expressway Authorities to automatically collect tolls from drivers at toll gates without the drivers having to stop to pay the tolls.

AVL: Automatic Vehicle Location system - Senses, at intervals, location of vehicles that carry special sensing equipment that sends signals to central control.


BPPG: Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Group - a committee of staff from local governments working with the North Florida TPO Board of bicycle and pedestrian planning.

BRT: Bus Rapid Transit - advanced technology buses operating on dedicated lanes to provide a superior level of service.

BUSWAY: Exclusive freeway lanes for buses and/or carpools.


CAC: Citizens Advisory Committee - established to involve a broad cross section of citizens of the area in the transportation planning process by (1) assessing reaction to planning proposals and (2) providing comment to the North Florida TPO with respect to the concerns of various segments of the population in regard to their transportation needs.

CAPACITY: Ability to handle the desired volume of vehicles.

CBD: Central Business District - the commercial heart of a city; the downtown areas.

CEI: Construction Engineering Inspection - FDOT highway project phase following construction.

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations - compilation of the rules of the executive department and agencies of the federal government

Chap. 339-175FS: The state legislation pertaining to the designation, roles, and responsibilities of the MPOs

Chap. 427, Rule 41-2: The state legislation requiring, and providing the guidelines for, the coordination of transportation services for transportation disadvantaged persons within a county or urban area.

COLLECTOR/DISTRIBUTOR LANE: A collector/distributor lane on a freeway handles entering and exiting traffic. Usually, this lane will begin as an entrance-only ramp initially, but it will sometimes become a main lane or possibly an exit-only lane. The purpose of this lane is to facilitate traffic to the freeway exits and from the freeway entrances.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Infrastructure and policy plan required of all county and municipal governments in the state of Florida.

CONFORMITY: Whether air quality standards are met.

CONGESTION: Degree of delay caused by vehicle volumes in excess of capacity; measured by level of service.

CONTRAFLOW LANE: Lane reserved for buses in which the direction of bus traffic is opposite the flow of traffic in the other lanes.

CORRIDOR: General path/location of a planned transportation facility or a combination of generally parallel facilities.

COST FEASIBLE PLAN: List of transportation projects constrained by available funding and ranked by priority.

CR: County Road.

CST: Construction highway project phase.

CTC: Community Transportation Coordinator - contracted by the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged to provide cost-effective and efficient transportation services to the transportation disadvantaged persons within a service area.

CTD: Commission for the Transportaton Disadvantaged - a statewide organization responsible for overseeing efficient, cost-effective and quality transportation service for transportation disadvantaged citizens.

CUTR: Center for Urban Transportation Research - a legislatively created research center, located at the University of South Florida, whose purpose is to conduct and facilitate research and serve as an information exchange on issues related to urban transportation problems in Florida.

CV: Connective Vehicles - the use of technology to enable safe, interoperable networked wireless communications among vehicles, infrastructure and passengers' communication devices.


DDR: State District Dedicated Revenue funds which are gas taxes collected by the state but generally programmed in the county from which they were collected for purposes of prioritizing and programming.

DEFICIENT (CAPACITY): Occurs when the number of vehicles on a roadway exceeds the threshold for the desired level of service.

DEIS: Draft Environmental Impact Statement - an analysis report describing the impacts of a major transportation improvement project upon the environment, both physical (built) and natural. It is proposed in both draft and final forms, which are reviewed by the local agencies and the general public and approved by the appropriate federal agencies (FHWA or FTA).


E+C NETWORK: Existing plus committed - Transportation projects that have been planned and funded through the year 2010.

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency - the federal agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment.

ETDM: Efficient Transportation Decision Making - creates a linkage between land use, transportation and environmental resource planning initiatives through early, interactive agency and public involvement.

EV: Electric Vehicle.



FAA: Federal Aviation Administration - the federal agency responsible for providing a safe and efficient aerospace system.

FACILITIES: Transportation facilities may include roadway improvements, busways, sidewalks, paths and bicycle lanes.

FAST: Fixing America's Surface Transportation - the six-year bill enacted December 2015 reauthorizing federal transportation funding.  This bill is the successor to MAP-21.

FDCA: Florida Department of Community Affairs - the state agency established to assist Florida communities in meeting the challenges of growth, reducing the effects of disasters and investing in community revitalization.

FDEP: Florida Department of Environmental Protection - the state's lead agency for environmental management and stewardship. The department administers regulatory programs and issues permits for air, water and waste management.

FDOT: Florida Department of Transportation - state agency that operates through seven districts in Florida. The First Coast is in FDOT District II.

FEIS: Final Environmental Impact Statement - document that evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action.

FHWA: Federal Highway Administration - the division of the U.S. Department of Transportation responsible for administering federal highway transportation programs.

FIXED ROUTE: Transit services that run on regular, pre-scheduled routes, usually with bus schedules and designated bus stops.

FS: Florida Statutes - documents in which Florida laws are found.

FSUTMS: Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure - set of computer programs used in the transportation planning and traffic forecasting process.

FTA: Federal Transit Administration - the division of the U.S. Department of Transportation Responsible for administering transit planning programs.

FTA 5303: Federal Transit Administration Planning funds for urban areas.

FTA 5307: Federal Transit Administration Capital and Operating funds for urban areas.

FTA 5309: Federal Transit Administration Discretionary Grant Program funds.

FTA 5311: Federal Transit Administration Capital and Operating funds for private non-profit transportation providers in urban and rural areas.

FTC: Florida Transportation Commission - provides leadership in meeting Florida's transportation needs through policy guidance on issues of statewide importance and maintaining public accountability for the Department of Transportation.

FTE: Florida Turnpike Enterprise - the division of the Florida Department of Transportation responsible for the operation and expansion of toll roads on the Turnpike system.

FY: Fiscal Year - a budget year; runs from July 1 through June 30 for the State of Florida; and from October 1 through September 30 for the federal government.


GIS: Geographical Information Systems - a technology that manages, analysis, and disseminates geographic knowledge.


HOT: High-Occupancy Toll Lanes - lanes that take advantage of available unused capacity in the HOV lane by allowing vehicles that do not meet the minimum occupancy requirement to pay a toll for access to the lane(s).

HOV: High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes - special lanes on a limited access freeway set aside for vehicles with two or more occupants during morning and afternoon peak travel times.


IJR: Interchange Justification Report - documentation submitted through the Florida Department of Transportation to the Federal Highway Administration to determine if a new interchange on an interstate is allowed.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Any form of capital improvement made by government agencies and authorities, including but not limited to, roadways, sidewalks, sewer systems and schools.

INTERMODAL: Going from one mode or form of transportation to another.

ISTEA: Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 - legislation authorizing $155 billion for highways and public transportation for 1992-97.

ITE: Institute of Transportation Engineers - an international society of professionals in transportation and traffic engineering; publishes "Trip Generation" (a manual of trip generation rates by land use type).

ITS: Intelligent Transportation Systems - system of safety and congestion management devices designed to improve traffic flow such as vehicle navigation systems, computerized signalization systems, surveillance cameras used to locate and clear accidents, etc., as well as electronic signs that notify drivers of traffic conditions.

ITS Coalition: Intelligent Transportation Systems Coalition - representatives from agencies and organizations across the North Florida region who work together to plan, obtain funding, coordinate and implement intelligent transportation systems projects.


JAA: Jacksonville Aviation Authority - the local independent authority that operates Jacksonville Airport System comprised of Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (CRG), Herlong Recreational Airport (HEG) and Cecil Airport (VQQ).

JAXPORT: Jacksonville Port Authority - the local independent authority responsible that operates port properties at Blount Island, Dames Point and Talleyrand.

JPA: Joint Participation Agreement - legal instrument describing intergovernmental tasks to be accomplished and/or funds to be paid between government agencies.

JTA: Jacksonville Transportation Authority - the local independent transportation authority that operates transit systems, and builds roads and bridges.


LAND USE: The way specific portions of land or the structures on them are currently used or planned for use such as commercial, residential or industrial.

LOS: Level of Service - a measuring technique used to gauge the efficiency level of an individual roadway or a highway network; generally expressed as A, B, C, D, E or F, with A being the lightest congestion level and F being the heaviest.

LRT: Light Rail Transit - an electric rail system which has single cars or short trains, and passengers board at track or car floor level.

LRTP: Long Range Transportation Plan - Transportation plan developed by the TPO which must have at least a 20-year time horizon, include a financial plan for implementation, not violate Air Quality standards and be updated every five years.


MAGLEV: Magnetic Levitation - a technology using opposing magnets to levitate and propel a passenger train at high speeds.

MAP-21: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century - two-year federal authorization for transportation funding enacted July 2012 and replaced in 2015 by FAST.

MASS TRANSIT: Transit systems that are generally operated by a government agency or authority, including but not limited to, bus and commuter rail systems.

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT: Development that includes more than one type of use such as residential, retail or office.

MPO: Metropolitan Planning Organization - independent government agency responsible for transportation planning and prioritizing projects.


NAQS: National Air Quality Standard - the allowable Federal standard for the various pollutant levels. In the case of ozone, the allowable national standard is less than 85 parts per billion. Achieving a reading of 85 parts per billion of ozone or more over an eight (8) hour average is classified as an exceedance.

NARC: National Association of Regional Councils.

NCHRP: National Cooperative Highway Research Program

NCOHPA: Nassau County Ocean Highway and Port Authority - the local independent authority responsible for operating and overseeing the Port of Fernandina.

NEEDS PLAN: List of transportation projects based on needs, not constrained by costs or funding availability.

NEFRC: Northeast Florida Regional Council - the regional agency responsible for providing planning services for Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

NERPM-AB: Northeast florida Regional Model-Activity Based.  The FSUTMS based travel demand model used by the North florida TPO.

NHS: National Highway System - federal funds for principal arterials.

North Florida TPO: North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is the independent transportation planning agency for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine urban areas and serves all of Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

NPS: National Park Service - the federal agency responsible for oversight of national parks.

NTI: National Transit Institute. 

NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board.


PARATRANSIT: Public transit service more flexible than fixed route. It most commonly includes special service for the elderly and disabled.

PARK-AND-RIDE LOT: Lot to which passengers drive their cars, leave them for the day and board transit vehicles or join carpools.

PASSENGER MILES: Total number of miles traveled by passengers on a vehicle. One bus with 10 passengers traveling 10 miles equals 100 passenger miles.

PD&E Study: Project Development and Environmental Study - the project phase scheduled prior to preliminary engineering for highway projects. Studies physical and social constraints and develops alternatives for the project.

PE: Preliminary Engineering (design) - highway project phase.

PL: Planning funds - Federal Highway Administration planning funds, also called Section 112 funds.

PLN: Planning - the project phase usually included in FDOT PD & E studies.

PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP: Agreement between government agencies and private entities (such as developers) to jointly fund infrastructure improvements.


RAPID TRANSIT: Form of mass transit that moves a larger quantity of people at faster speeds than a typical bus route. Examples include subways, busways and commuter rail systems.

RFP: Request for Proposal - a document advertising opportunities to submit bids for a particular purchase or service contract.

RIGHT-OF-WAY: Land needed in order to construct various forms of infrastructure.

ROLLING STOCK: Vehicles in a transit system, such as railcars and buses.

RTAP: Rural Transit Assistance Program - FTA program offering aid for rural transit systems.

RTIP: Regional Transportation Improvement Program.


SA/SJCAA: St. Augustine/St. Johns County Airport Authority - the local authority responsible for operating the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Airport.

SAFETEA-LU: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users - the 2005 amendment of the U.S. Code Transportation section and related federal funding bill.

SCE: Sociocultural Effects - pertains to measuring the social and cultural impacts of a major road, bridge or rail transit project on a community as part of the Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process.

SIS: Strategic Intermodal System - a Florida Department of Transportation program designed to direct funding to high priority, intermodal transportation hubs, facilities and corridors.

SJRWMD: St. Johns River Water Management District - responsible for managing ground and surface water supplies in all or part of 18 counties in northeast and east-central Florida.

SMART CARD: Farecard system of small plastic cards with a microchip containing financial and other data.

SOCIO-CULTURAL IMPACTS/EFFECTS: Methodologies to quantify the impacts of infrastructure improvements on the natural and human environment.

SR: State Road.

STRIP COMMERCIAL: Continuous non-residential development along major arterial roadway corridors.


TCC: Technical Coordinating Committee - a standing committee of the North Florida TPO that provides advice on plans and actions of the TPO from planners, engineers and other county, city and agency staff members.

TD: Transportation Disadvantaged.

TDLCB: Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board - Board responsible for defining transportation disadvantaged-related goals and objectives, preparing a service plan, and ensuring that the needs of the transportation disadvantaged citizens are being met.

TDM: Transportation or Travel Demand Management - programs and methods designed to maximize the people-moving capability of the transportation system by increasing the number of persons in a vehicle or by influencing the time of, or need to, travel. To accomplish these types of changes, TDM programs must rely on incentives or disincentives to make these shifts in behavior attractive.

TDP: Transit Development Plan - an intermediate-range transit plan (usually five years) that examines service, markets and funding to make specific recommendations for transit improvements.

TEA-21: Federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century - the surface transportation authorizing law for fiscal years 1998 to 2003.

TIM: Traffic Incident Management - a planned and coordinated process to detect, respond to and remove traffic incidents and restore traffic capacity as safely and quickly as possible.

TIP: Transportation Improvement Program - the document identifying the state highway, transit, aviation and bicycle/pedestrian projects within the TPO area that are funded over the next five years.

Title 23 CFR, Part 450: The federal regulations pertaining to statewide and metropolitan transportation planning.

TMA: Transportation Management Area - federal term for an urban area of over 200,000 population.

TMA: Transportation Management Association - a group of businesses, agencies, etc. organized to promote transit and other alternate transportation modes in a particular geographical area.

TOD: Transit-Oriented Development - development designed to be integrated with and encourage transit use.

TPO: Transportation Planning Organization.

TRANSFER CENTER: Place where passengers change routes or modes of transportation.

TRANSITWAY: Exclusive road or lane designated for buses and other transit vehicles.

TRIP: Transportation Regional Incentive Program - a state program under which FDOT will fund 50% cost of selected regionally significant projects, with local jurisdictions providing 50% local match funding for the projects.

TSA: Transportation Security Administration - created to protect the nation's transportation systems.

TSM: Transportation Systems Management - relatively low-cost, quickly implemented transportation improvements that stress using existing transportation facilities.

TSMO: Transportation Systems Management and Operations - improving traffic flow on existing roadways without adding capacity through such means as intersection improvements, computerized traffic signs, etc.


UPWP: Unified Planning Work Program - annual planning budget and activities of the TPO.

URBANIZED AREA: A city or group of contiguous cities with population exceeding 50,000. Boundaries are determined by local elected officials, but may not be less than urbanized area boundaries as defined by the United States Bureau of the Census.

UZA: Urbanized area - designated by the Census Bureau as having at least 50,000 inhabitants in a central city or two adjacent cities.


V/C: Volume to Capacity - the ratio of a roadway's actual traffic volume or an assigned traffic volume from a modeling effort to the amount of traffic that the roadway is designed to carry; used to determine a roadway's level of service.

VHT: Vehicle Hours of Travel - the hours spent by all the vehicles on a highway network over a given period of time.

VMT: Vehicle Miles of Travel - the miles traveled by all the vehicles on a highway network over a given period of time.