Transportation Cost and Benefit Analysis

Victoria Transport Policy Institute

"This 275-page document is a comprehensive study of transport benefit and costing research, and a guidebook for applying this information in planning applications. It includes detailed analysis of various transport costs and benefits. Using the best available data, it provides monetized estimates of twenty costs for eleven travel modes under three travel conditions. Costs are categorized according to various attributes: whether they are internal or external, fixed or variable, market or nonmarket.

"This document is unique in several important ways. It is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, including many cost and benefit categories that are often overlooked. It is the only transportation cost study that is regularly updated as new information becomes available. It provides costs values in a format designed to easily calculate the full costs and benefits of transport activities and options. It is designed to help noneconomists understand and apply economic evaluation techniques. It provides extensive references, many available through the Internet, allowing users to obtain more information on specific subjects as needed.

"This study indicates that on average about a third of automobile costs are external and about a quarter are internal but fixed. Other modes tend to have different cost profiles. Fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles tend to have somewhat lower external costs. Transit tends to have lower total costs under urban-peak conditions. Ridesharing tends to have the lowest marginal costs. Motorcycles tend to have relatively high costs due to crash risk. Nonmotorized modes (walking and cycling) have minimal external costs, but relatively high travel time costs. Policy and pricing reforms are justified on economic efficiency and equity grounds."

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Promoting Walking and Bicycling, Plans and Policies, Transit, International

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