Highway and transit investments: options for improving information on projects' benefits and costs and increasing accountability for results : report to congressional committees
U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2005 - Transportation - 86 pages
Projections of future passenger and freight travel suggest that increased levels of investment may be needed to maintain the current levels of mobility provided by the nation's highway and transit systems. However, calls for greater investment in transportation come amid growing concerns about fiscal imbalances at all levels of the government. As a result, careful decisions will need to be made to ensure that transportation investments maximize the benefits of each federal dollar invested. In this report GAO identifies (1) the categories of benefits and costs that can be attributed to new highway and transit investments and the challenges in measuring them; (2) how state, local, and regional decision makers consider the benefits and costs of new highway and transit investments when comparing alternatives; (3) the extent to which investments meet their projected outcomes; and (4) options to improve the information available to decision makers. To address these objectives, we convened an expert panel, surveyed state departments of transportation and transit agencies, and conducted site visits to five metropolitan areas that had both a capacity-adding highway project and transit project completed within the last 10 years. DOT generally agreed with the report's findings and offered technical comments, which were incorporated as appropriate.
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Summary of Key Projected and Observed Outcomes
Survey Responses of Frequency of Economic Analysis
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AASHTO addition analytical tools areas Attributable to Highway beneﬁt-cost analysis benefits Beneﬁts and Costs bus rapid transit capacity capacity-adding capital spending check your response commuter rail completed conducted congestion considered costs and beneﬁts Costs of Transportation decision makers deﬁned difﬁcult dollars economic analysis environmental estimates example experts extent factors Federal Transit Administration FHWA ﬁscal ﬁve ﬁxed forecasting heavy rail high-occupancy vehicle lanes highway and transit highway investment highway projects identiﬁed importance increased indirect beneﬁts inﬂation-adjusted investment decisions land land-use lane miles light rail measurement models National Transit Database Ofﬁce options percent projectís beneﬁts projected outcomes reductions regional result ridership roadways speciﬁc Starts projects studies survey Total trafﬁc transit agencies Transit Expenditures transit investments transit mode transit projects transit systems transportation agencies Transportation Investments transportation ofﬁcials transportation planning transportation projects travel behavior travel-time savings Trends in Highway types U.S. DOT urban user beneﬁts vehicle