Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation

For the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Capacity Project C11
EDR Group (now EBP) with Cambridge Systematics, Weris, ICF International, and Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

EDR Group led a consultant team to develop improved spreadsheet-based tools designed to help calculate a transportation projects impact on travel time reliability, market access, and intermodal connectivity.  This is described in a TRB-issued report titled "Development of Tools for Assessing Wider Economic Benefits of Transportation." The goal was to develop a bridge between the collection of economic impact case studies collected by a prior research study (SHRP Project C03 and the TPICS web tool) and sophisticated macro-economic model systems (such as TREDIS).

The project had three elements: (1) development of an enhanced accounting framework for portraying economic impacts and benefits of transportation projects, (2) development of improved sources and metrics for assessing network connectivity, accessibility and reliability effects, and (3) application of Geographic Information System for visually portraying the spatial patterns of transportation and economic impacts. By developing these measurement systems, transportation agencies may be better equipped to assess the nature of transportation improvements, and make use of supporting tools and models to analyze their economic impacts. Ultimately, the analysis tools developed in this study will also represent building blocks of what can become a new generation of planning and prioritizing systems incorporating economic development impacts.