Framework for Assessing the Return on Investment for High Speed and Intercity Rail Projects

For the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), EBP (formerly EDR Group) worked with the University of Illinois to develop model methods for assessing the economic impacts and benefits of high speed rail.

The project provided guidance for assessing the full range of national, regional, and local impacts and benefits.  It also developed examples of how that guidance could be applied for the California High Speed Rail and Midwest High Speed Rail projects. The final report reviews 47 prior studies that have assessed benefits, costs, economic impacts and/or social impacts of High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HS&IPR) proposals. The review shows a consensus that HS & IPR can have broad societal benefits that go far beyond time and cost for users. There is, however, a lack of consistency regarding coverage of alternative travel modes, breadth of study areas and time periods, and the set of wider societal benefits that are covered.​ This report provides a guide to developing a comprehensive study of the potential impacts of proposed HS & IPR projects.