Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Quantifying the Socio-economic Benefits of Transport Roundtable

A commonly used quantitative measure of the extent to which a project, over its lifetime, will bring benefits that exceed its costs is cost-benefit analysis (CBA). However, CBA faces major challenges:

  • There can be a mismatch between what a CBA delivers and the information most sought by decision makers (such as impacts on jobs and regional growth).
  • The scope of benefits captured in a CBA is generally constrained by practical limitations of forecasting and valuation.
  • Fundamental changes to the quantity or locations of businesses, investments, households and employment anticipated from transport investments are not captured within standard CBA.

To explore these issues, the ITF convened a Roundtable meeting of 30 experts from around the world to present and discuss the state of knowledge. The Roundtable report brings together the input papers and discussions. The report describes efforts to improve decision making through improving the quality of transport CBA. Three areas are addressed in detail: strategies for making the most of CBA, valuing and forecasting reliability benefits, and capturing wider economic impacts of transport investments.