Cost-Effectiveness Guidelines for Transit Planning

by Robert E. Skinner, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Assoc.; Alan M. Voorhees & Assoc., Inc., McLean, Va.,
Thomas B. Deen, Chmn.; Alan M. Voorhees & Assocs., Inc., McLean, Va.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 3, Pg. 335-348

Document Type: Journal Paper


Cost-effectiveness has increasingly become a required feature of rapid transit planning for Federal approval. Uncertainty still exists with regard to what specifically constitutes cost-effectiveness analysis. With respect to measures of transport cost-effectiveness, a framework is proposed as a guide to which measures should be incorporated into an alternatives analysis involving rail transit proposals. Consideration should be given to the use of marginal measures that reflect the marginal costs, marginal usage, or marginal capacity provided by one alternative over another and to sensitivity analyses that indicate the impact of variations in required input forecasts. For rail systems it is important to provide measures at the corridor or subarea level since systemwide measures, although valuable, can mask variations in performance by line or line segment. Because of their high capital cost, it is also important to calculate measures that reflect total costs of rail systems, not just operating costs.

Subject Headings: Rail transportation | Sensitivity analysis | Rapid transit systems | Federal government | Uncertainty principles | Frames | Forecasting | Transportation corridors

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