Rail

New APTA study provides framework for measuring high-speed, intercity rail ROI

Posted on October 5, 2017

With the nation's highways and airways stressed to near capacity, many Americans are discovering that intercity passenger rail and the promise of high-speed passenger rail service are attractive alternatives.
NCTOG_TexasCentral
With the nation's highways and airways stressed to near capacity, many Americans are discovering that intercity passenger rail and the promise of high-speed passenger rail service are attractive alternatives.
NCTOG_TexasCentral

A new report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) provides a framework for assessing the return on investment (ROI) associated with high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects (HSR&IPR). This seminal report, called "Framework for Assessing the ROI for High-Speed and Intercity Rail Projects," goes beyond the confines of the classic "benefit cost analysis" — which focuses on travel time and cost efficiency impacts.

The new analysis considers the full range of local community effects, regional connectivity and global competitiveness effects, and broader consideration of the public's desire to meet and exceed longer term environmental, economic, and mobility goals for future generations.

"For communities to get a complete picture of high-speed and intercity passenger rail and its benefits, the analysis should involve a combination of methods including a cost-benefit, an economic impact, and a social impact analysis," said Anna Barry of the Connecticut DOT and the chair of the APTA High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee. "This study brings important measurement elements together which will help reveal the true value of these rail projects."

Intercity passenger rail demand in the U.S. has shown an unprecedented surge in the new millennium, according to the authors of the report. Amtrak, the primary intercity rail service provider, reported an annual ridership of more than 31 million in 2016, which is 1.5 times what it was in 2000.

With the nation's highways and airways stressed to near capacity, many Americans are discovering that intercity passenger rail and the promise of high-speed passenger rail service are attractive alternatives. Prominent examples include the California, Texas, Midwest, Florida, and North Carolina to Virginia initiatives the study authors noted.

"We reviewed 47 prior studies and identified a large set of benefits related to economic, social, and environmental impacts that can apply specifically to high-speed rail and intercity rail projects," said Charles Quandel of Quandel Consultants and a member of the Technical Review Team. "This study lays out a framework for quantifying and monetizing benefits from policy perspectives that are relevant for constructing a business case for these rail projects."

The study authors emphasize that while there is continuing interest in HSR&IPR projects, this report addresses the wide disparities in how project investment benefits are measured. It goes beyond prior studies by providing consistency as to what benefit and cost elements to consider.

The "Framework for Assessing the ROI for High-Speed and Intercity Rail Projects" is an initiative of APTA's High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee. The report was authored by The Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with Boston’s EDR Group. To view the full report, click here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Report suggests merging LIRR, NJ Transit, and Metro-North

The "Trans-Regional Express," or "T-REX," would connect the systems to greatly cut travel times and increase capacity on rail lines that will only see more strain as the area's population grows.

Retlif Testing Laboratories celebrating 40 years

A globally recognized testing industry leader, the company expanded from humble beginnings at Flowerfield (St. James, N.Y.) to multiple locations, including its state-of-the-industry HQ and testing facility in Ronkonkoma, N.Y

Gannett Fleming/WSP JV to manage N.C. light rail construction

The 17.7-mile light -rail system will have 18 stations between UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University in Durham.

Stadler lands Slovenian train order

The contract for the fleet capable of mixed traction consists of the engineering, construction, and delivery of the 26 vehicles, including warranty coverage, as well as an option for 26 additional vehicles.

MARTA, Caltrain, SamTrans receive APTA sustainability awards

The agencies were recognized for water conservation practices, renewable electricity usage, and emissions reduction.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close