SHRP C11 - Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits

Acknowledgements. The Strategic Highway Research Program II funded the SHRP2 Project C11, “Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation.” The goal of this project was to develop a bridge between (A) the case study form of analysis provided by the TPICS web tool, and (B) more sophisticated simulation and forecasting models that are necessary to fully assess the wider economic impacts of proposed projects. The four tools were developed by Cambridge Systematics & Weris, ICF International, Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and Economic Development Research Group, Inc. (Prime Contractor). The project was directed by David Plazak of the Transportation Research Board's SHRP2 Program.

The basic motivation is as follows:

  • While TPICS provides an “early stage” screening tool for viewing the range of economic impacts associated with various types of transportation projects, it does not enable analysts to assess how local transportation conditions can also make a difference.

  • In the “later stages” of decision-making, an alternatives analysis may be conducted which considers the full interaction of transportation conditions and the economy, using sophisticated systems that integrate network models with regional economic impact models (such as REMI TranSight and TREDIS).

  • But this leaves a “middle stage” in which it can be useful to utilize spreadsheet tools for assessing the effects of changing not only travel times, but also wider impacts that can result from shifts in reliability, intermodal connectivity and accessibility.

This study addresses that need by providing four sets of spreadsheet tools that can aid in transportation project impact assessment. These tools enable measurement of project impacts on travel time reliability, intermodal connectivity and accessibility, and they are accompanied by an accounting system for incorporating them into economic benefit and impact analyses.

Each of the individual tools, along with its user guide and technical documentation, can be downloaded via the links below. The full report includes all of the user guides, along with additional chapters that discuss the context in which these tools are to be used.

Example of Use

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