PROBLEMS, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND ERRORS IN BENEFIT-COST ANALYSES OF TRANSIT SYSTEMS

THIS PAPER IS ADDRESSED TO THE PROCESS OF EVALUATING TRANSIT SYSTEMS ALTERNATIVES IN METROPOLITAN AREAS. THE CONCLUSIONS ARE DERIVED FROM THE AUTHOR'S EXPERIENCE IN CONDUCTING SUCH STUDIES AND FROM A REVIEW OF A NUMBER OF RECENT REPORTS. SOME 15 SEPARATE ISSUES ARE DISCUSSED, AND CONCLUSIONS ARE DRAWN AS TO APPROPRIATE RESEARCH METHODS FOR EACH SUBJECT. FIRST, THE ALTERNATIVE OF NOT CONDUCTING A BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS IS DISCUSSED, AND REASONS ARE DESCRIBED WHY OTHER METHODS, (E.G., PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT, COST OF SERVICE, AND FINANCIAL FEASIBILITY) MAY LEAD TO INCORRECT DECISIONS. CONCLUSIONS ARE THEN DRAWN CONCERNING THE USE OF RATING SYSTEMS VERSUS DOLLAR-BASED EVALUATIONS, DICOUNTING, THE CHOICE OF AN INTEREST RATE, FINANCING CONSIDERATIONS, INFLATION, REFLECTION OF ALL PUBLIC COSTS, THE USE OF BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS ONLY AS JUSTIFICATION FOR A SINGLE RECOMMENDED SYSTEM, THE STRUCTURING OF ALTERNATIVES, ANALYZING BENEFITS ONLY TO EXISTING TRAVELERS, MODAL SPLIT AND TRAVELER BENEFIT INCONSISTENCIES, MEASUREMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE RUNNING COSTS, FACTORING FROM DAILY SAVINGS TO YEARLY SAVINGS, ECONOMIC VALUATION OF NONECONOMIC FACTORS, TREATMENT OF UNCERTAINTY, AND INTERPRETATION OF BENEFIT-COST RATIOS. /AUTHOR/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 98-113
  • Monograph Title: Costs and benefits of transportation planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201933
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 7 1970 12:00AM