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467106-1 Report Abstract

Measures of Effectiveness for Major Investment Studies

Shawn M. Turner, Mathew E. Best and David L. Schrank, Texas A&M University, November 1996, 96 pp. (467106-1)

This report examines measures of effectiveness that can be used to compare the benefits and impacts of transportation improvements for a major investment study. A literature review was used to gather information about transportation performance measures and the social, economic and environmental effects of transportation. All metropolitan planning organizations within the state of Texas were surveyed to determine the state-of-the-practice for major investment studies within the state. A list of candidate measures of effectiveness for major investment studies was developed, and various judging criteria were used to qualitatively evaluate the measures.

Preferred measures of effectiveness were identified that quantify the following benefits or impacts of transportation improvements: transportation performance, financial/economic performance, social impacts, land use/economic development impacts, and environmental impacts. Preferred transportation performance measures consist mainly of person movement and travel time-based measures. Financial/economic performance measures centered around the cost effectiveness (benefit-to-cost ratio) and the financial feasibility, and considered the full costs (including externalities, or cost not borne by motorists) of transportation. Social, land use/economic development, and environmental impacts were identified, and coincided with those concerns most often expressed by citizen or community advocacy groups. Findings from the study illustrated the importance of matching the appropriate evaluation measures to the goals and objectives set forth early in the major investment study process.

Keywords: Major Investment Studies, Multimodal Planning, Measures of Effectiveness, Transportation Investments, Alternatives Analysis

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 410KBytes)