Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Department of Civil Engineering
Evaluation Methods for Transportation Projects
Paria SarsharDirected Studies
Ryerson University Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dr. S. EasaSummer 2018
A Research Project presented to Ryerson University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering in the Program of Civil Engineering
Executive Summary Implementation of transportation projects has moral impacts on the surrounding environment, community, and economy in many aspects. To name a few, changes in the water quality, air quality, safety, noise, health issues and economical expenses can be introduced as the parameters which are mostly affected by transportation projects. Therefore, evaluation of the transportation project and its consequences is a necessity to discover whether the proposed project meets the criteria or not.
Many different evaluation methods have been used in transportation projects, above all of them, with the development of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) method in the 19th century this method became a really powerful tool for project investment evaluations. Since then this method has been applied to many different assessments and economic evaluations. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and most recently developed Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA), are also other popular methods in the evaluation of transportation investments.
This study covers a brief literature review of CBA, TEBA, EIA, and MCA. Also, it will explain the framework for the implementation of these methods to transportation project analysis considering perspective and scope, project objectives, level of effort and time period of the project analysis. Moreover, the recent trends and a comparison between different methods will be reviewed. The last scope of the study concentrates on the application of these methods on existing case studies followed by conclusions and recommendations.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Executive Summary PAGEREF _Toc519615269 h 2List of Figures PAGEREF _Toc519615270 h 5List of Tables PAGEREF _Toc519615271 h 61.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc519615272 h 71.1 Evaluation Methods Characteristics PAGEREF _Toc519615273 h 71.2 Impact Indicators PAGEREF _Toc519615274 h 81.3 General Framework description for Evaluation Procedure PAGEREF _Toc519615275 h 102Evaluation Methods PAGEREF _Toc519615276 h 111)Cost-Benefit Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615277 h 111.1An Introduction to Cost Benefit Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615278 h 111.2Cost-Benefit Analysis Framework PAGEREF _Toc519615279 h 122)Multi-Criteria Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615280 h 192.1An Introduction to Multi-Criteria Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615281 h 192.2Multi-Criteria Analysis Framework PAGEREF _Toc519615282 h 193)Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) PAGEREF _Toc519615283 h 253.1An Introduction to Transportation Elimination by Aspect Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615284 h 253.2Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) Framework PAGEREF _Toc519615285 h 254)Environmental Impact Assessment PAGEREF _Toc519615286 h 314.1An Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment Analysis PAGEREF _Toc519615287 h 314.2Environmental Impact Assessment Framework PAGEREF _Toc519615288 h 323. Evaluation Methods Comparison, Trends and Concerns PAGEREF _Toc519615289 h 413.1 Cost-Benefit Analysis Challenges, Solutions and Trends PAGEREF _Toc519615290 h 411)Challenges and concerns PAGEREF _Toc519615291 h 412)Solutions and trends PAGEREF _Toc519615292 h 423.2 Multi-Criteria Analysis Challenges, Solutions and Trends PAGEREF _Toc519615293 h 431)Challenges and concerns PAGEREF _Toc519615294 h 432)Solutions and trends PAGEREF _Toc519615295 h 443.3 Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) Challenges, Solutions and Trends PAGEREF _Toc519615296 h 463.4 Environmental Impact Assessment Challenges, Solutions and Trends PAGEREF _Toc519615297 h 461)Challenges and concerns PAGEREF _Toc519615298 h 461)Solutions and trends PAGEREF _Toc519615299 h 473.5 Methods Comparison PAGEREF _Toc519615300 h 484.Case Study PAGEREF _Toc519615301 h 494.1 Car-Sharing Case Study PAGEREF _Toc519615302 h 494.2 Assumptions PAGEREF _Toc519615303 h 494.3Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc519615304 h 505.Conclusions and Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc519615305 h 51References PAGEREF _Toc519615306 h 56
List of Figures TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1: NPV as a function of r for project A and B (adopted from (Cascetta, 2009)) PAGEREF _Toc519616239 h 18Figure 2: Multi-criteria analysis framework (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616240 h 20Figure 3: An Example for Scoring Method (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616241 h 22Figure 4: TEBA Framework (Khraibani et al., 2016) PAGEREF _Toc519616242 h 29Figure 5: General System Structure for the Assessment Factors (El-Gafy, 2005) PAGEREF _Toc519616243 h 32Figure 6: Decision-making Framework Using EIA (El-Gafy, 2005) PAGEREF _Toc519616244 h 33Figure 8: An Example of Scaling the Qualitative Parameters with Quantitative Scales (Y axis= environmental scales from zero to one, X axis= different factors (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997) PAGEREF _Toc519616245 h 37Figure 10: “A Sample Checklist” (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997) PAGEREF _Toc519616246 h 40Figure 11: Common Distribution Diagrams (P.Zhou, 2017) PAGEREF _Toc519616247 h 44
List of Tables TOC h z c “Table” Table 1: Potential Impact Indicators for Transportation Projects (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616255 h 9Table 2:Gas emissions from motor vehicles (Litman T. , 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616256 h 14Table 3: Evaluation Matrix (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616257 h 23Table 4: An Example of Evaluation Matrix (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616258 h 23Table 5: An example of Threshold Assignment (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616259 h 27Table 6: An Example of Utility matrix (Cascetta, 2009) PAGEREF _Toc519616260 h 27Table 7: Evaluation Criteria For EIA adopted from (Riversdale Resources, , 2015) PAGEREF _Toc519616261 h 34Table 8: Different Types of Scaling Methods for EIA (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997) PAGEREF _Toc519616262 h 37Table 9: Checklist Parameters (El-Gafy, 2005) PAGEREF _Toc519616263 h 39Table 10: MCA Methods Advantages and Disadvantages (Mark Velasquez and Patrick T. Hester, 2013) PAGEREF _Toc519616264 h 45Table 11: CBA and MCA Strengths and Weaknesses (BeriaIla et al., 2012) PAGEREF _Toc519616265 h 48Table 12: Final Results Comparison PAGEREF _Toc519616266 h 50Table 13: Car-sharing CBA results PAGEREF _Toc519616267 h 53Table 14: Public Transit CBA Results PAGEREF _Toc519616268 h 54Table 15: Private ownership CBA Results PAGEREF _Toc519616269 h 55
Introduction Decision-making process for transportation engineering projects like any other sector in engineering needs considerations and evaluations. In fact, the process is much more complex for transportation projects since smaller projects can directly or indirectly affect larger systems or communities. Moreover, the decision-making process for transportation projects is highly reliant on the point of view of the evaluator and also the type of the transportation system to be evaluated CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Modeling of a transportation system including highways, roads, bridges, railways and so forth, helps to assimilate the prediction of various impacts of the project on the community, environment, financial and economic aspects. This prediction allows the decision-makers to decide whether this project/plan is suitable or not through an evaluation process. Since the perspective of the decision-maker has a direct influence on both financial and economic analysis of the project, the differences between the two aspects are more discussed in the following paragraphs CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Even though both financial and economic analyses have the similar characteristics of estimating the net-benefits of the project they differ on the basis of with/without project conditions. Economic analysis is mostly done through a public evaluator as opposing to the traditional financial analysis which is accompanied by a private evaluator. In the financial analysis, the main purpose is to maximize profit under some specified regulations which only considers the project enterprise compared to the costs and benefits which differs from the economic analysis that compares costs and benefits to the whole economy considering both positive and negative impacts of the proposed project on the society. Financial costs are convertible to economic costs by a conversion factor CITATION Ham10 l 1033 (Hamburg University of Technology, 2006-2010) CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Many different evaluation methods have been studied and used in public transportation projects over the past century. However, lots of alterations and developments have happened regarding the evaluation methods recently due to the expansion and changes in the transportation systems. To name a few changes, alteration in some regulations in the transportation market, as well as changes in the level of participation of internal/external stakeholders and association of private capital financers, has had major involvements in the recent developments CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
1.1 Evaluation Methods CharacteristicsA good evaluation must consider all of the important impacts and criteria, missing a criterion will cause the final product to have imperfections within the budget allocations. An effective evaluation must have a few characteristics which are discussed in the following paragraphs CITATION Tra12 l 1033 (Transport Canada, 2012).
Reliability controls the consistency of the evaluation process which is mostly affected by human factors as these factors are the riskiest and unpredictable ones, such as emotions, health, time of the day, fatigue, and concentration of the mind. These factors should be reduced and controlled as much as possible.
The assessment of different parameters must remain in the boundary of validity which means that all the considered variables must be valid and meet the desired regulations during the whole process.
Discrimination evaluates the level of impact of each factor in a way that parameters are distinguished not only based on a simple pass and fail procedure but are compared in greater details.
Objectivity is responsible to make sure that the decisions are not only made by the personal opinions of an individual decision maker. In other words, specific objectives must be reached during the evaluation process.
1.2 Impact Indicators With the implementation of a certain project, indicators can be defined as a set of items that have specific impacts which cause further consequences to be considered in the process of the evaluation. Primary evaluation models only took the monetary indicators i.e. costs and benefits into account considering only the construction and operation impacts such as level of service, travel time, tolls, vehicle costs, maintenance and operational costs. However, recent models try to generalize these impacts and expand the considerations into an all-user impact assessment and project external effects (non-user). The all-user method gives a better understanding of the impacts on different user classes to the analyst. User classes can be defined as a set of user groups that have relatively same characteristics such as similar socioeconomic features, similar trip interests, and LOS attributes. Furthermore, project external effects (non-user) consideration gives the analyst the required information to value the impacts on the group of users that are indirectly affected by the implementation of the transportation project, in the analysis. Non-user impacts belong to the users that are not directly involved in the project such as land use effects, environmental consideration, social, and economic influences CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009). Table 1 shows a summary of different impact indicators for different user groups.
Impact indicators, also known as measures of effectiveness or MOE can be quantitative such as travel time or vehicle cost that are measurable amounts; or qualitative with arbitrary scales such as LOS attributes CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
In transportation projects, like any other investment, time is a significant factor which has a great impact on the evaluation of the project. For instance, construction costs take place in a short period of time and during the project time-period while maintenance costs have longer time periods extended to the lifetime of the project. For transportation plans the economic life of the project which is basically the validity time of a project, is usually used for the analysis purposes CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: Potential Impact Indicators for Transportation Projects (Cascetta, 2009)groups Impact indicators
-Differences of net utility perceived by users
-Differences of costs not perceived by users
Land use impacts
-Differences in the location of the economic activity and households
-Difference in quality of urban structure
-Differences in accessibility to social activities such as school or religious centers
-Differences in rate of social effects of accidents
-Changes in user distribution and equity
-Changes in the structure an cohesion of local community centers
-Modified aesthetics impacts
-Impacts on historic and cultural sites
-Changes in property values
-Changes in economic impacts of accidents
-difference in the production of different economic sectors
-Impacts on air and noise pollution
-Modified ecosystem impacts
Agencies and operators
-Differences in traffic revenues
-Changes in tax rates for users (fuel) and non-users (property)
-Difference in provided resources and investment costs
-Differences in maintenance costs and technologies
-Differences in operational costs and technologies
-Differences payment transfers between governmental agencies
1.3 General Framework description for Evaluation Procedure Some of the general steps to be considered in the evaluation of a transportation project considering the impacts named in the previous section are brought in the following paragraphs.
1.3.1 Perspectives, objectives and scope of the project
The first step in every project is to determine the perspective and the objectives of the project for instance construction of an additional lane in a highway or a new elevated freeway system can be the project purposes. The applicability of the project also should be evaluated in this step to see which impacts should be considered for the evaluation. Different stakeholders might have different objectives from a single project for example transportation agencies are mostly willing to resolve traffic problems by constructing new roadways whereas, investors are looking for less costly solutions. The perspective and scope of the project should be completely determined before moving to the analysis step. Therefore, all of the impact indicators (costs and benefits) must be evaluated in this first step CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
1.3.2 Project alternatives
Before running a project another required step to make sure the project worth implementation, is comparing the proposed plan with several alternatives. For instance net benefits of the proposed plan should be compared with the base case scenario which is the condition in the future in which the project is not implemented. In this stage, both project and base case scenarios should be defined in details including all the initial and capital costs, any further operating costs, time management, budget, required actions and benefits CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
The third step in every transportation project is the recognition of the impact indicators based on the project objectives that should be considered in the evaluation analysis CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004). This step was discussed in the introduction section.
Project schedule and analysis time period
Project schedule in another important factor to be considered before running the analysis. As mentioned in the previous section, time is one of the most significant parameters in the project evaluation process. In this step, the required time period for both proposed project and its possible alternatives should be assigned and compared. In some cases, for instance, in projects with longer rehabilitation time periods, the project schedule might get more complicated. In this situation, after the estimation of costs and benefits, the optimal time could be determined by means of sensitivity analysis. The analysis time period also extends through the economic life of the project which can be estimated based on the available data and the duration of the project CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Evaluation Methods Various methods and analytical models are available for quantitative evaluation of transportation projects, above all of them, with the development of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) method in the 19th century this method became a really powerful tool for project investment evaluations CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016). Since then this method has been applied to many different assessments and economic evaluations. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Multi-criteria Analysis (MCA) and most recently developed Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA), are also other popular methods in the evaluation of transportation investments. An introduction to these methods will be reviewed in the following paragraphs.
An Introduction to Cost Benefit Analysis Cost-benefit analysis method concentrates on the estimation of operational, maintenance and construction costs during the economic life of the project in conjunction with the possible benefits caused by the project in monetary units CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016). Impacts of the costs would be considered as a negative impression while for the benefits the effect is considered positive CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009). The time period of these costs and benefits must eventually get converted to a monetary value which depends on the time-value worth of the money. The final results can be presented as B/C ratios which is the incremental benefits over the cost monetary amounts CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016). An economic definition of cost and benefit is provided in the next paragraphs.
1.1.1 Cost definition
“Cost refers to the trade-offs between uses of resources”. Which includes giving up money, land, time or any other opportunity to reach other benefits CITATION Lit09 l 1033 (Litman T. A., 2009). Cost evaluation is more quantitative than benefit. Data for cost analysis usually can be easily extracted from available resources and standardized models, the only problem is with the larger projects that cost usually over rises during the project. Studies show the possibility of an overrun of 50-100 percent to the predicted cost value. To resolve this issue adding a risk multiplier or a factor of safety is recommended with special considerations to the project’s budget CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
1.1.2 Benefit definition
Benefit can be defined as the inverse element to cost, in other words, with the increase in the amount of cost, benefit decreases and vice versa CITATION Lit09 l 1033 (Litman T. A., 2009). Two main categories can be defined for benefit regarding transportation investment evaluation; first are the internal/direct benefits which has an impact on all-user groups and second are the external benefits in association with the non-users CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
In transportation projects usually the largest benefit monetary amount, travel time savings, are considered. The travel time savings are calculated by omitting the amount of person hour that no longer exist for the travel which is dependent on the VOT or value of time. Another benefit to be considered is the increased safety. The additional safety amount is calculated by the dropping the extra costs for possible accident damages from the calculations CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
-The benefit-cost analysis method is widely used in different financial evaluations such as transportation decision makings. However, it has not been used commonly in Canada (especially Ontario) as much as European countries. The analysis parameters for CBA method certainly differ on the basis of different measurements of costs and benefits in different time, travel modes and places and from one project to another but the basics of the whole method are almost the same across the world CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016). This method is based on the logic that a project worth’s being implemented only if its benefits exceed its costs CITATION Mer l 1033 (Merkhofer).
Benefit-cost analysis is mostly applicable to the projects that have the following characteristics CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004):
Negligible to no environmental or social impacts outside of the transportation project if not, the impacts must be measurable within the framework of the CBA analysis.
The process requires resources and data for measuring, predication, forecasting and evaluation. Therefore, the method worth implementing for projects with significant amount of resources.
Rather than meeting particular legal regulations, the main purpose of the method is to improve the efficiency of the system due to further requirements.
Cost-Benefit Analysis FrameworkCost consideration
In the CBA method after finishing the primary general evaluation steps, the next step is to find costs impacting the project. Generally, costs to be considered in the Cost-Benefit analysis are initial costs, continuing costs, rehabilitation costs and end of project costs CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Project initial costs are the ones that are associated with the design and construction phase of the project such as project design and planning cost, EIA or environmental impact assessment report, staff training costs, land attainment costs, opportunity costs (benefits of alternate usages that cannot be achieved with the implementation of the project), equipment and facilities, engineering and construction, and project operation equipment. Any unpredicted or additional phase can decrease the cost estimation efficiency of the process, therefore, a sensitivity analysis for a more accurate result is recommended. Projects that are implemented in multiple phases need careful cost analysis between the joints of the different phases CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Continuing costs refer to the costs which take place while the application is in use, such as operation, maintenance and rehabilitation expenses. The elements which the continuing costs should be estimated for, are sorted below CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004):
Equipment and facilities
Materials and utilities
Rehabilitation costs include any futuristic costs regarding repair, restoration, maintenance and development of the project. Final project costs are consist of residual values which are the unexpected additional values, salvage value or the value of an asset which is resalable after its useful lifetime (salvage value should be subtracted from the fixed cost of the asset) and finally the closeout costs values CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
As previously discussed benefits are the positive impacts caused by the implementation of the project. In transportation projects, benefits can be mainly categorized as direct and indirect benefits. Direct benefits such as travel time, vehicle distance travel, vehicle reduced cost, travel time reliability, noise, safety, and reduced gas emissions. Moreover, environmental benefits, habitat and water quality, health and benefits for induced travels are examples of indirect benefits CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Travel time benefits arise from the reduced costs of the time spent on a transportation system. VTTS or value of travel time savings are the savings caused by less time spent on a travel. Travel time commonly contributes the most amount of benefit to the CBA process. The saved time can be estimated by comparing the required time for both with/alternative project scenarios considering all the occupants of the vehicle (vehicle occupancy rate) during peak and off-peak times of the day. The calculation is done by using the cost-per-hour-per-person for each trip. Reduced travel time can also cause a reduction in vehicle operation costs CITATION MnD18 l 1033 (MnDOT, 2018).
VMT or vehicle miles travel savings can also be beneficial first because it causes the reduction in travel time and second because it is the key factor to reduce vehicle maintenance and operation costs. Decreasing operation costs are estimated using cost-per-mile figures for various vehicle types. In other words, first, the untraveled miles (VMT) are calculated and based on that the reduced vehicle maintenance cost can be evaluated CITATION MnD18 l 1033 (MnDOT, 2018).
Benefits of travel-time reliability improvements are recently being more and more considered in the cost-benefit analysis. Travel-time for each particular vehicle is different from another vehicle for similar trips since it is dependent on the both driver’s behavior and vehicle characteristics. Therefore, travel-time is known to be distributed statistically which means benefits can be attained from an uncertainty or reliability analysis CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
The benefits of gas emission reductions are also considerable in CBA method. Any transportation conveyance is responsible for gas production even electrical ones. Gases that can be harmful to both human health and the surrounding environment. These gas emissions can affect the project expenses in local, regional, and global scales. Table 2 summarizes different gas types and their influences CITATION Lit091 l 1033 (Litman T. , 2009). To determine the reduced emission costs for a project VMT (vehicle miles traveled), vehicle hours and vehicle trips should be calculated and changed to proper monetary (dollar) values alongside with a model that shows the relationship between these dollar values and gas pollution reduction CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004). The concern about these emissions highly concentrates on greenhouse gases which are directly related to the climate change and global warming. Long-term consequences of the GHG effect causes non-fixable damages to the environment and risks to human health CITATION Lit091 l 1033 (Litman T. , 2009).
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 2:Gas emissions from motor vehicles CITATION Lit091 l 1033 (Litman T. , 2009)Emission Description Sources Harmful Effects Scale
Lead Element used in older fuel additives. Fuel additives and batteries. Human health, ecological damages Local
CFCs and HCFC A class of durable chemicals. Air conditioners and industrial activities. Ozone depletion, climate change Global
Carbon monoxide (CO) A toxic gas caused by incomplete combustion. Tailpipes Human health, climate change Very local
Road dust (non-tailpipe particulates) Dust particles created by vehicle movement. Vehicle use, brake linings, tire wear. Human health, aesthetics. Local
Carbon dioxide (CO2) A product of combustion. Fuel production and tailpipes. Climate change Global
Ozone (O2) Major urban air pollutant caused by NOx and VOCs combined in sunlight. NOx and VOC Human health, plants, aesthetics. Regional
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Various compounds, some are toxic, all contribute to ozone. Tailpipes. Human health, ozone precursor, ecological damage. Local and Regional
Fine particulates (PM10; PM2.5) Inhalable particles. Tailpipes, brake lining, road dust, etc. Human health, aesthetics. Local and Regional
VOC (volatile organic hydrocarbons) Various hydrocarbon (HC) gasses. Fuel production, storage ; tailpipes. Human health, ozone precursor. Local and Regional
Toxics (e.g. benzene) Toxic and carcinogenic VOCs. Fuel production and tailpipes. Human health risks Very local
Sulfur oxides (SOx) Lung irritant and acid rain. Diesel vehicle tailpipes. Human health and ecological damage Local and Regional
Methane (CH4) A flammable gas. Fuel production and tailpipes. Climate change Global
In the cost-benefit analysis, another parameter that has an economic value is noise. Noise causes stress and discomfort to the community, in other words, it has an impact on mental health rather than directly causing physical health problems. Considering noise in the CBA estimations might be more complex than previous parameters since it’s hard to put the effect of noise into dollar values. In large projects with lots of noise production, the effect of noise must be considered in the evaluation process. Four major techniques used to evaluate noise benefits are listed below CITATION Bec03 l 1033 (Becker, 2003).
Illness costs: This approach estimates the additional costs associated with curing an illness which in this case is the hearing problems for the subjected community, in comparison with the population which is not affected by the loss of hearing.
Hedonic price method: The most popular one amongst other methods which estimates the true noise value. (N is noise level and V is the project value)
Contingent valuation method: This technique is based on how much the community is willing to pay to reduce the noise, in that case, the noise reduction value can be calculated.
Cost of abatement: This method uses an abatement or an insulation technique such as sound walls, which cost is equal to the minimal cost of noise damage.
Safety is another component to be measured in the analysis. Reduced traffic will eventually cause a reduction in accident levels and an increase in safety factor. Therefore, by measuring the reduction in the accident rates and severity and changing them to dollar values the additional safety benefits can be estimated CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Habitat, water quality and the surrounding environment can be affected by the implementation of the transportation project both directly and indirectly. These economic impacts can be evaluated based on with or without scenarios. The direct portion of the impacts can easily be calculated from the imperviousness growth rate in the area of interest and also monitoring the changes in the habitat natural life. Integrated transport-land use models are also used for indirect impacts evaluation by predicting the possible effects of the project in the future. Methods to be used for water quality evaluations are sorted below CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Environmental impact assessment costs
Hydrologic impact models
Stormwater management costs
As previously mentioned cost-benefit analysis works based on costs and benefits converted to monetary values. Different types of CBA methodologies are discussed in the following paragraphs.
The B/C ratio works based on the total discounted benefits divided by costs and a ratio more the one shows positive benefits, therefore, the more the ratio is greater than one the more beneficial the project is. The calculation methodology can be either directly or incrementally calculated which are explained in detail in the following section CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Direct B/C calculation:
n+1 = the years during which the analysis is taking placeBi = benefits in year i (i=0 to n)Ci = costs in year ir = the discount rateThe discounted benefits in year i are: (1)The discounted costs in year i are: (2)
NPBi = (3)
Where NPBi is the Net present value of benefits during the project lifetime
NPCi = (4)
Where NPCi is the Net present value of costs during the project lifetime
Benefit/Cost ratio= (5)
Incremental B/C calculation:
Incremental B/C is useful in situations with two or more available alternatives to the project. In this method first, all of the future discounted costs and benefits should be calculated after sorting all the available discounted benefits from higher to the lower, starting from the highest value sets of defenders (d) and challengers (c) should be taken to calculate the incremental B/C ratio which is (Bc-Bd)/(Cc-Cd) . If the ratio is higher than one then the previous challenger becomes the next defender otherwise, the previous defender remains the same. This cycle continues to the point where the best option wins all the challenges CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
BiK = (6)
Where BiK is the discounted benefits in year i for an alternative K
CiK = (7)
Where CiK is the discounted costs in year i for an alternative K
Net percent value
Net percent value is basically NPCi subtracted from the NPBi. Positive net percent value is considered beneficial CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
This method compares the benefit values of an available budget value with other possible alternatives and chooses the most beneficial approach over others. In other words, assuming the given amount of founding is called C, NPBi must be calculated for different alternatives to find the one which can achieve the most benefits out of the C funding CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
Internal return rate
IRR or Internal rate of return can be defined as if the B/C discount rate is equal to 1 which means for the “net percent value” to be equal to zero. This method works best when there is only one available alternative to the project, in this case, if the alternative’s rate of return is less than the internal return rate, the project is beneficial. Same as CBA, IRR also can be measured both incrementally and directly CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
– Figure 1 graphically shows NPV as a function of the discount rate for two different projects. The internal rate of return for each project is also displayed in the figure. As presented in the figure, cases like project A with higher costs tend to work better for higher r-values (better future benefits) whereas, projects with lower initial costs like project B are more favorable for lower discount rates CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: NPV as a function of r for project A and B (adopted from CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009))Multi-Criteria Analysis
An Introduction to Multi-Criteria Analysis In transportation projects, one of the issues that cause complexity to the project is the variety of goals for the decision makers. In other words, usually, more than one objective is to be reached in each project. Moreover, these objectives can sometimes be conflicting to one another, for instance reducing the travel time alongside with reducing the noise and pollution simultaneously, is a really hard task to achieve. Therefore, the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) sets preferences between multiple choices and takes into account the most optimal solution with a clear, measurable, time-dependent and realistic set of objectives CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009). Experimental, analytical and simulation methods must be done, to find the most optimal situation but since the experimental methods are more time-consuming, in transportation projects it is recommended to use the analytical and mathematical models insteadCITATION Mar15 l 1033 (Jacyna et al., 2015).
Developed in mid 1960s Multi-Criteria Analysis requires adjusted parameters, identification of the criteria, and determined project scope and boundaries. The mathematical order of the evaluation depends on the complexity, number of criteria and potential limitations CITATION Mar15 l 1033 (Jacyna et al., 2015).
Cost-benefit analysis usually concentrates on evaluating a matter in detail, while Multi-Criteria analysis gathers data from different objectives and evaluates the level of contribution towards each individual objective and frame an overall optimal solution in a more general way. Therefore, in cases with a great attention to the details, MCA would not be sufficient enough and further CBA might be needed. However, with the more simplistic cases, MCA would be a good option with adequate material for the decision-making process. A useful classification prior to Multi-Criteria analysis is the classification of objectives into ultimate, immediate, and intermediate according to their timeframes. This classes will help distinguishing between different objectives and make the whole process simpler CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Multi-Criteria Analysis FrameworkMethodology
As discussed in the previous section multi-criteria analysis generally was developed for evaluation and ranking multiple objectives based on the decision-maker’s point of view. In Multi-criteria or multi-objective analysis methodology, some general steps must take place which are shown in Figure 2.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2: Multi-criteria analysis framework CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009)In the MCA method, a well-founded decision is the one with the most optimal conditions. In order to reach that optimum outcome, the number of criteria should be kept as low as possible in a way that the reliability and consistency of the evaluation process remain uninterrupted. As mentioned before, MCA approach consists of qualitative (terms such as poor, much, and little are usually used for identification) and quantitative variables. For the quantitative portion of the evaluation first the variables should be priced CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009). The steps for the evaluation process are explained in the following paragraphs.
Project context formation and alternative identifications
Like any other method in MCA, it is also necessary to first form the context of the project. Since multi-criteria analysis is all about evaluating a couple of conflicting objectives it is crucial for the objectives, the case of the project whether it’s political, social or administrative, environment and community affected by the project and required trade-offs to be clearly understood. For transportation projects usually set of public goals are to be reached such as traffic improvements, increasing accessibility and mobility, and reducing environmental disbenefits. These projects are usually are supported politically and by the government, therefore, few sub-objectives (reducing air and noise pollution) might also be considered during the evaluation process CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Objective and criteria and sub-criteria identification
First thing to consider in real project’s decision-making is that the variables of the project should be analyzed by set of objective/criteria vector functions to reach the most optimal solution. CITATION Mar15 l 1033 (Jacyna et al., 2015).
Set of Criteria (C), C= (8)
N=number of criteria
c= evaluation criteria
Score values change based on satisfaction level or level effectiveness of the parameter. Taking variablewhich is the indicator of nth performance of the jth project which is assumed to have N criteria subjected to the objectives of the project, the disbenefits () of this variable can be defined as in equation (9). Two different scoring scales i.e. local scale and global scale can be used depending on the enlargement of the project (equation (10) and (11)). Local scaling considers zero for the poorest functioning parameter and a hundred for the maximum functioning factor in a set of variables. Whereas, global scaling associates zero with the worse level of effectiveness (performance) and a hundred with the best one CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
After calculating the max and the min values for each criterion, all of the project scale values should be scored in the range of 0-100 to allow the comparison to take place. For easier estimations, scoring range and project scale relationship is assumed to be linear. An easy way to form the scoring graph after finding the max and min levels of the project, is to place the project scales (from min to max) on the X axis and place the scoring range on the Y axis. A simple linear graph will estimate all of the conversions. The slope of the line can be positive or negative based on the characteristics of the criterion. Figure 3 shows an application of project values (0-400) converted to the scoring range of zero to a hundred for the impact of distance to public transportation system CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3: An Example for Scoring Method CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009)Weighting
After the scoring step, another important stage in the process is weighting the scores. In this step, to compare the effectiveness of an objective with respect to the other objectives, for criterion “n”, a weight is given to that objective () . Different desires of different stakeholders might cause various sets of weights to be assigned to a single set of objectives. Various procedures can take place to lie an agreement between different stakeholders. One of the most popular methods is DELPHI which interviews all of the stakeholders for their desired weights for an objective or a criterion, repeatedly. From the second round, each stakeholder is informed with the other weights assigned to the same criterion by other decision-makers. This cycle repeats until the formation of an agreement CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Forming the evaluation matrix
Rows of this matrix shows the number of the objectives or the criteria while the columns shows the number of alternatives to the proposed project. Table 3 shows the evaluation matrix for project j with N objectives and M criteria. An effective or so called non-dominated project is the one that satisfies at least one constraint better than the others while a dominated project is the one that other alternatives satisfy constraints equally or better than that proposed project. The dominated cases will be eliminated until the best case is chosen by a comparison technique. Table 4 displays an example of 3 different alternatives (A, B and C), as shown in the alternative C is dominated by A and B but none of the alternatives A or B do not dominate the other one. Therefore, neither of the alternatives A or B can be eliminated. In this case, the role of the analyst is to make the best decisions by giving up some benefits to reach the others CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 3: Evaluation Matrix (Cascetta, 2009)Objectives Criteria Alternatives Weights
1 2 …. k …. n 1 1 X11 X12 …. X1k …. X1n W1
2 2 X21 X22 …. X2k …. X2n W2
… … … … …. … …. … …
im Xm1 Xm2 …. Xmk…. XmnWm… … … … …. … …. … …
N M XM1 XM2 …. XMk…. XMnWM
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 4: An Example of Evaluation Matrix (Cascetta, 2009)Evaluation Criteria Alternatives
A B C
Reduction of Km of congested network 88 71 67
Reduction of total travel time on network 1600 1550 1110
Veh-Km 120 130 99
After choosing the best case from the evaluation matrix, sensitivity analysis would be a really helpful step to evaluate the dependence of the final result on assumed values. Strictly speaking, it measures the trustworthiness of the outcome to not change that much based on the assumed parameters (testing robustness). After the sensitivity analysis one of the project alternatives might even become more beneficial than the result that was chosen before the analysis takes place, for being too dependent on the arbitrary values. Sensitivity analysis has different sophistication levels and techniques such as scatter plots, on at a time, and variance-based methods CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009) CITATION Wik18 l 1033 (Wikipedia, 2018).
Multi-criteria analysis models
Different models are developed to run the MCA approach. Five of the most popular models to use the multi-criteria analysis are provided in the following paragraphs.
Excess synthetic methods
These methods are basically based on outranking relationships which allow the appearance of almost equal variants in an analysis. In other words, in the situations where the decision maker is not able to choose between two or more variants because of their similar social impacts this method is applicable. Excess synthetic method is consist of two phases. Phase one includes taking samples of synthetic negotiable solutions followed by phase two which is the introduction of new criteria for the new synthetic solution. This method requires additional mathematical models CITATION Mar15 l 1033 (Jacyna et al., 2015).
Factor rating method
This method works based on scoring each factor with respect to their criteria and then ranking the different options based on the scored factors. Consequently, the highly ranked solution is chosen to be used. In other words, this model prioritizes between several options and chooses the most optimal one. Although this method can be considered simple and easy to apply it does not work properly with projects that contain mutuality or do not have sufficient resources. The factor rating method is the most general model used for multi-criteria analysis and it can become a really powerful evaluation tool by adding optimization and sophisticated sensitivity analysis to itCITATION Jen04 l 1033 (Shang et al., 2004).
Multi-objective mathematical models
Multi-objective methods consider multiple objectives and criteria simultaneously using mathematical models. This method requires set of goal achievement matrix, algorithmic approaches which work concordance towards one another and algorithms to maximize the objectives CITATION Jen04 l 1033 (Shang et al., 2004).
Analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
As previously discussed some impact indicators are not exactly quantifiable, AHP was mainly developed for these sort of situations. This method gives the power of judgmental decisions regarding the qualitative materials to the decision-maker in conjunction with the mathematical analysis of the quantifiable materials. Analytic hierarchy process has gain most of its popularity because it gives more participation chances to the evaluator and therefore, more confidence and awareness on the final result. Same as Excess synthetic method, AHP also does not work properly with restricted resources and mutuality. It is also weak in optimization between different solutions CITATION Jen04 l 1033 (Shang et al., 2004).
5) Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis (MUAT)
Multi-attribute utility analysis can be defined as a combination of traditional methods like CBA. In fact, this method concentrates on preventing overlaps of different objectives using the utility of different choices. This method makes sure that the criteria for various objectives do not overlap with each other which would prevent any further twice counting CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Same as cost-benefit analysis method multi-attribute utility method formulates different impacts into monetary amounts which can be either dollar or project values of choice which is also called a utility function. Once all the utility factors are calculated, different options can be compared with each other to find the preferred utility value over the domain of the attribute values. For the MUA theory, the highest utility is the most wanted one if the utility function is properly constructed CITATION Mal08 l 1033 ( Malak Jr. et al., 2008).
The method is somehow reliant on the point of view and satisfactory of the decision maker. In other words, it is the willingness of the decision maker whether to accept the tradeoffs of some costs for desired benefits or not. The term utility stands for this desirability concept of the MUA method CITATION Mer l 1033 (Merkhofer).
The MUAT approach can be completely satisfactory regarding transportation projects the only issue is that the process requires a professional to facilitate the process, otherwise, the method has proved to be really useful for solving complex situations and project prioritization CITATION Mer l 1033 (Merkhofer).
Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA)An Introduction to Transportation Elimination by Aspect Analysis One of the most recent methods for evaluation of transportation projects is the non-compensatory Transportation elimination-by-aspect model or TEBA. This method was made based on the performance results of traditional evaluation methods such as CBA. Lack of consistency and transparency in the previous models such as Multi-attribute utility theory, linear additive models, Multi-Criteria Analysis and Cost-benefit analysis shows the need for a new method which is able to understand the logic of decision making and perform well in the situation where two or more variables are related to each other CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016).
The TEBA method works based on the elimination by aspect model by ranking the available options for multiple groups of investors. This method is not a replacement for the former methods but it can be used to improve them in a way that they become able to work better with the multi-dimensional objectivesCITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016).
Developed by Tversky the elimination by aspect theory believes that 3 or 4 criteria are sufficient enough for the decision making process. TEBA stands for eliminating the unwanted or less essential evaluation components to reduce the number of alternatives until the decision maker is satisfied with the left amount of variables CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016).
Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) Framework As previously discussed TEBA is a newly developed method based on the elimination by aspect model. This model will be introduced in details in the following section.
Elimination by aspect model methodology
Unlike the previous deterministic methods, EBA model has a probabilistic, non-compensatory framework. Non- compensatory methods normally establish a threshold for all or some criteria which restrict the extent of the criterion and therefore, the prioritization of different objectives might change or some parameters can get eliminated in the evaluation process. When the assignment of the thresholds to the criteria, is done the non-compensatory project can be evaluated in a much easier way. A minimum threshold or MT will be set for each criterion based on the experience and the knowledge of the decision maker. Three different types of thresholds are explained further down. Figure 8 demonstrates an example of different types of thresholds. CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016) CITATION Cas09 l 1033 (Cascetta, 2009).
Acceptable minimum: The minimum acceptable value associated with reaching the objectives in an acceptable level
Target :The most optimal value of the objective
Desirable minimum: The minimum acceptable value associated with reaching the objectives in a satisfactory level
In the EBA model after the formation of the evaluation matrix, it is necessary to form a utility matrix based on the new assigned thresholds. For an alternative when the criteria considering the threshold is met, a utility amount is assigned to that alternative if not, zero will be assigned to that alternative. These utility amounts show the level of participation probability of an alternative in the elimination procedure CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016). Table 6 shows a utility matrix formed from the evaluation matrix in Table 4. In this table utility numbers of zero or one are assigned to the alternatives A, B and C. Thresholds can be compared to Table 5. The general steps of forming the matrix is described further below.
Identification and comparison of the alternatives with the MT to see whether they meet or do not meet the criteria.
Selection of the most significant aspect which will affect the decision-making process.
Elimination of the alternatives which do not meet the criteria.
Repeating the second and the third steps until only one alternative is left or there is no more criterion left to repeat the process.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 5: An example of Threshold Assignment (Cascetta, 2009)Evaluation Criteria Thresholds
Acceptable threshold Desirable threshold Target
Reduction of Km of congested network 70 75 80
Reduction of total travel time on network 1200 1400 1500
Veh-Km 100 120 150
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 6: An Example of Utility matrix (Cascetta, 2009)Evaluation Criteria Alternatives
A B C
Reduction of Km of congested network 1 0 0
Reduction of total travel time on network 1 1 0
Veh-Km 1 1 0
1 means attained threshold and 0 means not attained
Same as previously mentioned methodologies, EBA also contains qualitative and quantitative values. This method allows different values with different characteristics to participate in the evaluation process regardless of the need to transform them into numerical values. This feature improves the flexibility of the evaluation process and allows for these parameters to be reported in their natural scales. As described before, Elimination by aspect model is a probabilistic decision rule which tries to improve the performance of the multi-criteria analyses by performing a probability analysis of the most wanted characteristics to happen. The mathematical methodology for the EBA method is explained in the following section CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016).
For an alternative “a” ( ), assuming =is the set of alternatives and is the utility scale for each characteristics from, the probability function ( ) is given in the equation (12) and (13).
Alternatives with disjoint characteristics
Alternatives with joint characteristics when more than one alternative has a single characteristic
From the equations, it is obvious that in a situation of common characteristic the probability function will be simplified to equation (14).
Transportation elimination by aspect model framework
The framework used in this section is based on a proposed model by R. Khraibania, Palma and Kaysi (2016) which is based on an approach developed by Wickelmaier and Schmid (2004) as displayed in Figure 4. To make a better understanding of TEBA method and the reasons for which this method was developed, the advantages of this method are reviewed in the following section CITATION Khr16 l 1033 (Khraibani et al., 2016).
This method contains a common framework which supports various ideas of different groups of stakeholders in the decision-making process. Effective with the joint/group decision-making.
It considers the different perspectives of each individual in the analysis.
It minimizes the assumptions that might cause the masking of some significant features.
It is probabilistic rather than completely deterministic meaning a lot more flexibility during the analysis process.
The formation and the selection of the criteria are more simplified and understandable for the decision-maker.
Improves the transparency of different steps of the process.
5628904813262Performance vector formation Ci
00Performance vector formation Ci
2398816935690036007969070932660073212321Interviewing groups of stakeholders to make choices based on the utility matrix, groups from1 to n
00Interviewing groups of stakeholders to make choices based on the utility matrix, groups from1 to n
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4: TEBA Framework (Khraibani et al., 2016) The developed framework above, works with three main stakeholders i.e. the general public sector, private sector, and the public sector and supports the best agreement scenario between the three groups by conducting risk measures for each of them and considering the reaction of the others to those measures. Both financial and economic analysis aspects are considered in the process. Elimination by aspect model first runs a deterministic scoring analysis and based on those scores estimates the likelihood of a score/weight to happen by running a probabilistic model. Basically, the methodology of this model is not in contradiction with the previous methods and it is not trying to replace them. The whole process is consist of 4 main phases that will be introduced in the following paragraphs.
At the first stage of the TEBA, a pre-analysis is required. Same as any other model, at the beginning of the framework interventions, stakeholder groups, alternatives for the project, project analysis approach and, criteria measurements should be identified.
The second stage, economic and financial appraisals, is the one associated with the economic and financial analysis of the level of performance of the identified measures from the previous stage. The main concept of the analysis in this phase is similar to CBA method. In this phase, the vectors of criteria and sub-criteria are generated and by using the available social and economic databases the performance matrix is also provided for all different options. In the TEBA method performance matrix forms based on three analyses i.e. economic analysis, financial analysis and full analysis which considers socio-economic aspects at the same time.
The third phase involves the formation of utility matrices based on the minimum thresholds (MT) and the performance matrices generated in the second phase for criteria and sub-criteria. Interviews from different stakeholder groups, rankings and weightings of the criteria by them, also takes place in this phase of the evaluation process.
The last step of the framework includes data processing, completion of the analysis, validating the model using the Tversky probability of ranking functions and making further alterations if needed. Voting methods are used in this phase to generate individual scorings for different options/criteria. Three most common voting methods are described further down.
The popularity wins procedure: This procedure, by tracking the number of times an item is ranked as a number-one option, considers only that option as the winner.
The Borda method: This method, based on rankings of different options assigns score values to them. The winner is the one with the highest score.
The pairwise wins procedure: In this method, each pair of options are assigned as a combination set. From the comparison between the sets of combination, the winner is the set of two with the highest ranking amongst other pairs. The option which appears in all of the winning sets is the number-one winner. All of the sets consist of the winner are ranked as first-ranking sets and eliminated to use the exact same procedure to find the second-ranking sets. This process can be repeated again and again to find the further rankings as well.
Environmental Impact AssessmentAn Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment Analysis Impacts of the implementation of a transportation network on the surrounding environment, nature, air, soil, and water, is undeniable. Previously discussed methods explained how all of the different impacts can be converted to an economic value and the evaluation of these values determined whether the project worth implementation or not. However, in transportation projects, both economic and environmental issues control the project’s suitability for the area of interest. Environmental impact assessment, on the other hand, uses only possible negative effects of the proposed project on the natural environment for the evaluation process CITATION ElG11 l 1033 ( El-Gafy et al., 2011). Valued environmental components (VEC) to be considered for the EIA are sorted below CITATION Sta12 l 1033 (Stantec Consulting Ltd., 2012).
Fresh surface water and groundwater
Public safety and health
Developed in 1970 by Goudzwaard’s and Hueting’s EIA approach is a method to minimize the adverse impacts of a proposal on the environment before implementation. EIA is considered to be a new method and it is still in the developing stage in lots of countries around the world, mostly as a set of regulations and legislation. However, EIA works simultaneously with economic considerations and a project cannot be completely rejected only on the basis of its environmental negative impacts if it’s highly beneficial for the economy CITATION Sha16 l 1033 (Beder, 2016).
A point to be considered in the assessment of environmental impacts is that environmental issues are mostly qualitative values. Therefore, EIA technique might face some difficulties regarding the pricing procedure of the environmental costs and benefits. The question that might arise in this situation is that why developing EIA while other methods like CBA already consider the shadow effect of EIs. To answer this question four different cases which CBA is not sufficient enough for the evaluation process are intruded belowCITATION Kni13 l 1033 (Knights et al., 2013).
CBA takes false assumptions regarding the environmental values since its concentration lies over economic valuations.
Even when CBA methods take environmental impacts into consideration the stress of the evaluation leans toward human health rather than non-human nature.
Economic methods refuse to accept the realistic effect of public acceptance on the evaluation process.
EIA gives more dynamic evaluation capacity to the decision-maker
Environmental Impact Assessment Framework Over the past decades Environmental impact assessment method has evolved as a systematic approach in the decision-making process regarding the transportation project. EIA looks through the environment as a system made of water, soil, living creatures and human beings and tries to analyze the consequence of the impacts of the transportation project individually or simultaneously on the items within the system, prior to the implementation of the project. Figure 5 shows classified chart of environmental factors under the groups that are mostly affected when these factors face the adverse impact of the implemented project CITATION ElG11 l 1033 ( El-Gafy et al., 2011).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5: General System Structure for the Assessment Factors CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005) EIA’s most reliable database from approximately 1990s is the geospatial data collected from satellite remote sensors. The RS data are used to examine the environmental changes over time which have the potential to provide the information required for environmental impact assessment. However, this method is relatively young and published regulations do not exist regarding a general framework for this method yet. Therefore, normally a single environmental impact assessment evaluation process is defined for each project based on the available resources and the project objectives. The EIA is a complex topic with ongoing studies with regards to this subject which is out of the capacity of this study. This study will concentrate on a comprehensive methodology, developed by Mohamed Anwar El-Gafy (2005). The general steps of a decision-making process using the EIA is shown in Figure 6.
32300884844596005034560336644036930943324588Formulating the EIA framework
00Formulating the EIA framework
328878925408740055576949904115320146974016Defining research scope
00Defining research scope
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6: Decision-making Framework Using EIA (El-Gafy, 2005)Environmental impact assessment methodology
As shown in Figure 6 after the identification of the problem, objectives, key stakeholders, budget EIA requirements such as GIS and geographic data, timeframe, and the desired criteria (problem identification phase), EIA formulation, ranking, model validation assessment and finalization of the framework must take place. According to the geography and the geology of the region where the project is taking place different criteria and objectives must be set. A project can be divided to smaller semi-projects for the ranking process if needed. In this part, the second phase namely framework formulation will be introduced. The five major steps for the EIA approach are discussed further down CITATION res15 l 1033 (Riversdale Resources, , 2015).
EIA screening phase
Controls whether the project’s criteria are met or not. This step provides a description of the project objectives, thresholds, and the regulations that might be applied to the project depending of the area of construction. The criteria evaluation form is shown in Table 7.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 7: Evaluation Criteria For EIA adopted from (Riversdale Resources, , 2015)Criteria Criteria Definition
Magnitude Nil No change from background conditions anticipated after mitigation
Low Disturbance predicted to be somewhat above typical background conditions, but well within established or accepted protective standards and normal socio-economic fluctuations, or to cause no detectable change in ecological, social or economic parameters
Moderate Disturbance predicted to be considerably above background conditions but within scientific and socio-economic effects thresholds, or to cause a detectable change in ecological, social or economic parameters within range of natural variability.
High Disturbance predicted to exceed established criteria or scientific and socio-economic effects thresholds associated with potential adverse effect, or to cause a detectable change in ecological, social or economic parameters beyond the range of natural variability
Duration Residual Effects persisting after facility closes for a long period of time
Extended Effects occurring after facility closes but diminishing with time.
Short Effects occurring within development phase
Long Effects occurring after development and during operation of facility
Geographic Extent Local Effects occurring mainly within or close proximity to the proposed development area
Regional Effects extending outside of the project boundary to regional surroundings
Provincial Effects extending outside of the regional surroundings, but within provincial boundary.
National Effects extending outside of the provincial surroundings, but within national boundary
Global Effects extending outside of national boundary.
Reversibility based on time Short-term Effects which are reversible and diminish upon cessation of activities.
Long-term Effects which remain after cessation of activities but diminish with time
Irreversible Effects which are not reversible and do not diminish upon cessation of activities and do not diminish with time.
Project Contribution Neutral No net benefit or loss to the resource
Negative Net loss to the resource, community, region or province
Positive Net benefit to the resource, community, region or province.
Significance Significant Effects of the Project are predicted to cause irreversible changes to the sustainability or integrity of a population or resource
Insignificant Effects are predicted to be within the range of natural variability and below guideline or threshold levels
Confidence Rating High Based on good understanding of cause-effect relationships and data pertinent to study.
Low Based on incomplete understanding of cause-effect relationships and incomplete data pertinent to study area
Medium Based on good understanding of cause-effect relationships using data from elsewhere or incompletely understood cause-effect relationship using data pertinent to study area.
Probability of Occurrence Ecological Context High Certain
The scoping step
This step is associated with preparation and finalization of the features that are supposed to get involved in the evaluation process, as illustrated in Figure 11. Moreover, scoping phase involves interested parties such as public associations to illustrate their environmental item of interest to be considered in the EIA process. In other word, this step is the opportunity for the public groups to express their opinions on the proposed project. This phase may also cause the cancelation of the project if it does not meet the expectations of different parties or it appears to cause more problems. The methods for scoping step are discussed in section 4.2.
An environmental baseline study (research) step
In this step all of the items related to the environment, their characteristics and the possible post project consequences on them will be studied which involves studying and examining of the area prior to project construction. Consultants must get hired for this step, specialist with acceptable experiences in environmental issues.
The Environmental impact assessment
This is the key step to EIA process which includes scales, rankings and analyses. Using the information from the scoping and the research step, EIA assigned quantified values or so called ranks to differ the level of effectiveness of each environmental impact. Ranking methods and scoring process was discussed in the previous sections. The four mostly used approaches for EIA scaling and weighting are nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio methods. Table 8 shows different type of scaling methods characteristics for EIA. A suggested procedure to scale the qualitative parameters with quantitative scales using a graph is explained below CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997).
First the relationship between the parameter and the quality of the environment should be determined.
The parameter should be scaled in a way that the lowest parameter value on the X axis corresponds to zero in the y axis which is the environmental quantitative scale.
The y axis should be divided into equal intervals and for each factor an appropriate value from the y axis should be assigned until an acceptable graph is formed for instance if the environmental scaling range is from 0-1 the intervals should range from zero to one as shown in Figure 8 with 5 intervals .
The steps above must be done repeatedly by different experts and the average value from various scaling should be taken into account.
High variations in the scaling results of different professionals requires a review and possibly a redo.
Reproducibility of the procedure should be controlled by performing all of the above steps repeatedly by various groups of experts.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8: An Example of Scaling the Qualitative Parameters with Quantitative Scales (Y axis= environmental scales from zero to one, X axis= different factors CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997)
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 8: Different Types of Scaling Methods for EIA (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997)Scale Nominal Interval Ordinal Ratio
Nature of scale Classified objects Rated object based on equal differences Ranked objects Rated objects based on equal ratio/ equal differences
Measure of location Mode Mean Median Median
Permissible statistical analysis Information statistics Parametric Non-parametric Parametric
Example Classifying different type of soil Time measurements (s) Ranking from worst to best or highest to lowest Height measurements
When scaling stage is done the matrices can be formed using the checklist and the scaling list. The matrix of environmental interactions is formed by corresponding the project actions to the vertical axis of the matrix and environmental conditions for the horizontal one and the impacts with relationships to this rows and columns are described by the factor of their importance or their magnitude. General matrices can be developed that cover all of the aspects of the project including construction and maintenance phases while smaller matrices can be generated for more specific applications. Matrix cells can be filled using available datasets or personal judgment of the expert. Two most common forms of matrices can be introduces as 1) the simple interaction matrix which offer a simple interaction potential identification, and 2) importance-rated matrix which are more complex and requires a superior database and highly skilled expert. Figure 9 illustrates an example of an EIA simple matrix for Phoenix Pulp Mill CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997).
Figure 9: “An Example for EIA Simple Matrix” CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997)The post implementation assessment phase
This phase is responsible to control and follow up the assessment validation after the evaluation is done. This process might add additional costs to the process but it’s a necessity since it controls whether the process is running economically and environmentally as expected.
Environmental impact assessment methods
Environmental impact assessment usually is involved with too many stakeholders which could be federal, local or even private agencies with conflicting ideas. Therefore, the process is complex, time consuming and needs lots of authorities and approvals especially for transportation investments. To deal with this problem, responsibilities are divided between different sectors. Moreover, benchmarks and timetables are set to avoid delays. Many different EIA methods or even combination of them can be used considering the infinite number of impacts, a project can have on the environment and interactions between different stakeholders. Some of the most common methods are described in the following paragraphs CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005).
AD hoc method
A relatively easy to apply and fast method to do the EIA is the AD hoc method. This approach normally does not offer any specific formalism, therefore, the final product might have some inconsistencies and some incomplete portions. The implementation of the approach requires a team of experts with acceptable experience related to the field. These specialists rather than identifying specific impacts in detail which needs lots of examination and quantifiable materials, stick to a broader view of possible impacts in a more qualitative manner without a rigid formalism. The assessment in this method is completely done based on the experience, training and point of view of the assessor which should determine whether the desired criteria are completely, partially or not satisfied CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997).
Checklist method and impact matrices
In this method a checklist of environmental items is prepared to check the potential impacts. In this method guidelines for parameter measurements and comparisons can also be used. General items which might appear on the checklist are shown in Table 9.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 9: Checklist Parameters (El-Gafy, 2005)Parameters Description
Water Quality and quantity and hydrology of: surface water such as ocean, river, and lake, coastal areas, groundwater, atmosphere, temperature, climate
Earth Quality of: soil, minerals, construction materials, land form
Flora Quality and quantity of: trees, shrubs, grass, crops, aquatic plants, endangered species, corridors
Fauna Quality and quantity of: land animals, aquatic creatures, benthicorganisms, insects, micro-fauna, endangered species, corridors
Land use Residential, commercial, industrial, wilderness , wetlands, forestry, agriculture, mining and quarrying
Recreation Fishing, recreational activities: swimming, camping and hiking, boating, picnicking
Once the checklist is completed by either using a simple checklist, descriptive checklist (based on guidelines), scaling checklist (scales impacts based on their importance) or questionnaire checklists, impact matrices can be formed. Based on the checklist and the list of project activities the cause-effect matrix can be generated. The relationship between environmental features and the activities can be discovered from the cells of the matrix. Figure 10 shows an example of a checklist prepared for a road project CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 10: “A Sample Checklist” CITATION Met97 l 1033 (Methods for Environmental Impact Assessment, 1997)Networks and diagrams method
This method is a multi-dimension version of the previous methods which can deal with higher orders of cause-effect relationships (more than first-order). This method is able to analyze linked impacts like chained impacts CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005).
As previously discussed CBA is a very common method for evaluation of transportation projects in monetary values. This method can also be used for environmental impact assessment if only the environmental impacts are considered as cost and benefits. Although CBA has few weaknesses in regard of being used for EIA since monetizing the environmental parameters is not that easy. Therefore, modifications and extensions have been developed to improve the current imperfections such as goals achievement matrix (GAM) and planning balance sheet (PBS). The GAM defines the project impact based on a set of goals and objectives to achieve and identifies the consequences while reaching those goals. This approach assigns some weights for non-monetary values to be able to compute them. The PBS method analyzes the distribution of impacts between different groups individually CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005).
3. Evaluation Methods Comparison, Trends and Concerns The four different methods explained in the first and the second chapters of the study face some challenges and issues during the evaluation procedure which causes some imperfections to the final product. These flaws were explained generally in previous sections, this chapter will focus deeply on these imperfections, the way to resolve them and the recent trends with regards to these improvements.
3.1 Cost-Benefit Analysis Challenges, Solutions and TrendsChallenges and concerns Although CBA is known to be a really common method for evaluation process it has some weaknesses to be discussed. First of all, the CBA method is weak in environmental and social impacts assessment. The environmental and social impacts make the process so complicated that in the past applications they were mostly avoided and direct quantitative costs and benefits (savings) were only considered. About the EA as mentioned previously the monetizing process of environmental factors makes the evaluator face some difficulties. Even when the environmental values are priced the assessment only considers the impacts of nature on an individual rather than a society and there are lots of inconsistencies to be resolved according to a review of previously developed models. The issue with the social impacts mostly is consist of not considering the competitive market. In another word, the CBA considers that all the goods (cost and benefits) are traded in the market without any competitions meaning each item can only be either a winner or a loser with no further interval CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
The second concern about the Cost-benefit analysis method is the weakness in meso and macroeconomic impacts assessment. The CBA method concentration is typically on the local parties while transportation projects have a greater impact radius which includes regional parties as well. Put the matter another way macro-economic materials cannot be assessed by means of microeconomic tools such as CBA. Consequences followed by using this tool for enormous projects could be named as double counting and mistaking the transaction money with costs or benefits. With the growing number of participants in the project, an impact with the same economic characteristic can get involved in the evaluation process more than one from different resources which have shown to make a significant difference in the final product. Transaction money is the monetary value that neither belongs with the costs nor belongs with the benefits, however, project expansion might cause these exchanging values to be considered as an economic value by mistake. It is highly significant for the previously mentioned items to be avoided in the CBA procedure to reach a reliable answer CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016) CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
The third issue of concern regarding the CBA method is that it is too reliant on the models developed to predict the changes of the travel behavior. This forecasting process will cause the generation of lots of errors during the process since the human behavior is unpredictable. These ex-ante models are known to be the riskiest factors in a transportation project evaluation process. Another anticipation in the process is the discounting since the worth of a dollar changes over time the costs and benefits of the future are usually discounted by a certain factor to cover this change in the rate of a dollar. CBA usually underestimates the price-risings over time because it adds uncertainty to the process, therefore, discount factors based on the governmental interest rates are defined to improve the reliability of the analysis. Although the discount rates are less risky than using inflation rates it still adds a level of uncertainty to the analysis CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016) CITATION TRB04 l 1033 (TRB Transportation Economics Committee, 2003-2004).
CBA is also criticized for its low transparency and not allowing the public user to participate and express their own point of view to the evaluation process. The expert-driven nature of the method and being highly reliant on the mathematical models public parties can hardly understand how the appraisal works CITATION ANN06 l 1033 ( ANNEMA et al., 2006).
The last weakness of the CBA procedure is that it requires a detailed scheme of the project for the higher level of accuracy which is almost impossible with regards to transportation projects. Evaluation of transportation projects is usually needed way before the scheme is even formed to compare the idea of the project with other alternatives. Therefore, it can be said that the timing of a reliable CBA has some contradiction with the decision-making process CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
Solutions and trends Due to the imperfections and weaknesses of CBA method so many improvements/alternatives have been developed. These methods are deliberated further down CITATION Cou16 l 1033 (Couture et al., 2016).
CBA extensions for a very detailed social and environmental impact assessment.
Changing the land value so that it offers benefits for local users, therefore it can be estimated as a benefit rather than time-consuming estimations of time-saving value.
Quantitative risk analysis (QRA) added to the traditional CBA which analyzes the range of possibilities for each variable thereby the most optimum result can be chosen from the distribution of all the possible results.
Using cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) rather than CBA to improve the monetization of economic values and measurements. This method uses screening and ranking procedure for the evaluation process which is really useful for a single objective project with lots of non-quantifiable factors CITATION Ins03 l 1033 (Institute for Transport Studies, 2003).
A mixture of Multi-criteria analysis and CBA has also shown to be beneficial as the evaluation technique. This method increases the transparency and objectivity of the process which offers assessments for both quantitative and qualitative factors and clearer insight of the multi-objective projects. Furthermore, this method gives more participation chances to the decision maker resulting in a more confidential final product CITATION ANN06 l 1033 ( ANNEMA et al., 2006).
3.2 Multi-Criteria Analysis Challenges, Solutions and TrendsChallenges and concerns As formerly discussed MCA was developed for a better multi-dimensional evaluation process in cases where CBA is not able to handle several objectives of various stakeholders with a better transparency function. However, this method has some shortcomings and disadvantages which are presented in the following paragraphs.
The first issue is that MCA is highly demanding with respect to information resources in a way that it requires quantification and identification of a very large amount of parameters and criteria even more than CBA method especially in some of the multi-criteria models such as multi-attribute utility theory. Not having enough data in cases of complex projects may lead to conflicting perspectives of various stakeholders which makes it hard for the decision makers to reach a coordinated decision. In other words, this method is relatively suitable for a smaller group of stakeholders CITATION MUL17 l 1033 (MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS IN ECOSYSTEM SERVICE VALUATION, 2017).
Another issue with the MCA method is the weakness in dealing with public and private sections costs. In cases of considerable increasing of public expenses by the implementation of the project, the public and private sector’s willingness should be considered in the evaluation process. Studies have shown for CBA to be a more powerful tool with respect to public expenses than MCA CITATION Ber12 l 1033 (Beria et al., 2012).
Other disadvantages of MCA method can be named as inconsistency in the final product, not being capable of dealing with imprecise data (considers definite inputs and outputs only), may offer non-logical results due to obtaining unrealistic assumptions, does not provide a clear methodology for weighting step in cases of environmental and social impact assessments, and outranking which inhibits the weaknesses and strength of the alternatives to participate directly in the evaluation process. Aforementioned shortcomings do not apply to all MCA models at the same time they might be bolder in one method and do not even happen in the other one. Therefore, it is suggested to use a combination of different MCA models (methods) to reduce the possibility of such weaknesses CITATION Mar13 l 1033 (Mark Velasquez and Patrick T. Hester, 2013).
Solutions and trends A recent trend suggested for MCA method is the introduction of fuzzy sets theory applied to the traditional models to improve the conventionality and consistency of the approach. This theory uses the vague preferences, fuzzy relationships of different impacts, and possibilistic criteria range for a better choice in the final step CITATION Ful96 l 1033 (Fuller et al., 1996). This method can be considerably well-functioning with a systematic evaluation of different components within the system where more than one satisfactory result can be generated for each individual. It also allows the decision-makers to improve their level of confidence on the final product by subjective judgments since the usage of human knowledge is a necessity in this approach CITATION Jon82 l 1033 (Jones, 1982). Four of the major fuzzy multi-criteria analysis methods can be named as the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process or AHP, the fuzzy outranking method, the fuzzy ranking method, and the difuzzification method CITATION Fri17 l 1033 (Frini, 2017).
Another proposed advancement to traditional MCA is the application of uncertainty treatment (analysis). The nature of data participating in the transportation evaluation process will cause all kinds of uncertainties to the process such as aleatoric uncertainty (random kind of uncertainty) and epistemic uncertainty (based on lack of database uncertainty). In order to decrease these uncertainties they should be treated by some additional steps; for the epistemic uncertainty, only gaining more knowledge would resolve the problem but for the aleatoric uncertainty mean, minima, maxima or most likely values of the distribution diagram adapted from uncertainty analysis is required. Figure 11 shows the possible distribution diagrams from the uncertainty analysis. This approach works only for the quantitative components for the rest of the parameters scoring method for the qualitative parameter can be used. Moreover, uncertainty analysis followed by sensitivity analysis would improve the approach even on a higher level CITATION PZh17 l 1033 (P.Zhou, 2017).
Figure 11 SEQ Figure * ARABIC : Common Distribution Diagrams CITATION PZh17 l 1033 (P.Zhou, 2017) Finally, a combination of methods is another way to enhance the MCA procedure. As mentioned before several MCA models are available such as MUAT, AHP, ANP, mathematical models, factor rating method and so on. Each of these models concentrates on a specific aspect of the evaluation process. Table 10 describes some of these common methods their advantages and their weaknesses. Therefore, studies have been done to review the results of mixing these methods together. A well-structured scheme and high knowledge of the relationships between various objectives and a clear understanding of the assumptions made during the process are necessary for a well-functioning combination method CITATION Mar17 l 1033 (Marttunen et al., 2017). More studies are being done with regards to this subject according to Mika Marttunena, Judit Lienert, and Valerie Belton, more information can be obtained from the work done by them.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 10: MCA Methods Advantages and Disadvantages CITATION Mar13 l 1033 (Mark Velasquez and Patrick T. Hester, 2013)
3.3 Transportation Elimination-by-Aspects (TEBA) Challenges, Solutions and Trends EBA method is still an on-going study and worth further investigations in regards of being applied to the transportation projects evaluation. So far research has shown that this proposed model has a great flexibility and offers clear insight of choices made by different groups of participants for large transportation projects. Although it requires a group of experts, detailed sets of database and time/money consuming interviews, with further development this method has the opportunity to replace EBA and MCA according to a work done by R. Khraibani (2016).
3.4 Environmental Impact Assessment Challenges, Solutions and TrendsChallenges and concerns The EIA method was developed as a decision-making tool after the environmental issues became serious with regards to public health and prevention of futuristic disasters. This method can be defined as a cost-effective, easy to apply and a balanced approach to be used in a project. Although EIA has proved to be really effective with respect to transportation projects there are limitations to this method that will be discussed further down.
Public confusion and inadequate participation could be named as the first issue associated with EIA. At the beginning of the EIA process since the process itself is a practical regulatory rather than a defined policy, primary adverse impacts might happen that would confuse the public parties about the accuracy of the assessment, for example, if an additional highway is to be implemented although the environmental impact assessment considering all of the impacts such as air pollution in a long-term period shows that construction of this highway would be beneficial, public groups might argue about the primary pollutions that the project will cause regardless of the further improvements CITATION Law18 l 1033 (LawTeacher, 2003 – 2018). Moreover, even though public interests and concerns are interviewed and are supposed to be considered in the process, in most cases this steps happens too late and normally the decision is made by that time CITATION She12 l 1033 (Shepherd et al., 2012).
Since EIA is highly dependent on the location of the project, magnitude of the project, project mitigations and project impacts, it requires highly skilled experts during all stages of the process such as the decision-making step regarding which Environmental impact approach to be used, the degree of detail needed during the assessment, determination of the cycle of the project, and even during and post project implementation. In some cases, redefinition to the first evaluation sketches might also take place during the process. Therefore, availability of the groups of experts is a necessity which of course consumes time and money CITATION Law18 l 1033 (LawTeacher, 2003 – 2018).
Another limitation of the EIA method is the data acquisition-related issue. As previously mentioned required data for EIA are normally adapted from remote sensing and GIS resources. Consequently, any sensor distortions (i.e. shadows and cloudiness) or man maid errors can have a direct negative impact on the performance of the evaluation method CITATION ElG05 l 1033 (El-Gafy, 2005).
The Environmental impact assessment has also been criticized for the fact that it uses unrealistic assumptions, ignore policies in some cases and verifies non-scientific interests of power parties which decreases the accuracy of the final product, for this particular reason many have argued the fact that EIA is weak in integrating as a decision-making approachCITATION She12 l 1033 (Shepherd et al., 2012).
Another issue while implementing EIA is that the essential step of risk and social impact analysis which has to take place by the end of the EIA process is often skipped in the real-life projects which can be a threat to human health and surrounding environment CITATION She12 l 1033 (Shepherd et al., 2012).
Solutions and trends To resolve the mentioned weaknesses and to make the environmental impact assessment more acceptable as a tool for the evaluation process, studies have been done during past decades. A summary of suggested solutions is described below.
A developed solution for EIA approach issue is “strategic environmental assessment”. This SEA provides detailed policies for a better performance during the process which are consistent with previous goals, objectives and other transportation plans. It also enhances the participation and involvement of different parties such as public, local government, and other agencies. In other words, this logistic framework seems to be very promising with regards to further improvements of EIA for evaluation of transportation projects CITATION Sad96 l 1033 (Sadler, 1996).
Another improvement is the introduction of hybrid decision framework. The hybrid system includes integrating all of the steps of EIA into a computer with a central server, input entry, GIS modules, EA modules, and feedback/communication channel. Computerizing the entire EIA process can be really productive since all of the different agencies can have access to the same database and share their comments and ideas. This framework also helps reduce costs and to minimize adverse impacts on the environment CITATION Sad96 l 1033 (Sadler, 1996).
Follow-up mechanisms have also been provided to improve EIA effectiveness. After the authorization of the EI assessment a management plan should be provided to follow-up the performance of the proposed EIA approach. This step is usually skipped due to budget limitations, but sufficient controls could improve the effectiveness of the process in an acceptable amount for both the proposed plan and future projects CITATION Kak13 l 1033 (Kakonge, 2013).
The advent of new powerful remote-sensing sensors (LiDar data) with high spectral, spatial, and temporal resolutions has also be an asset to the EIA process improvement.
3.5 Methods Comparison Four different methods for evaluation of transportation investments were introduced in former sections. Although recent models seem to be powerful tools with regards to the evaluation process, improved CBA and MCA approaches are still being used more frequently. The worldwide common use of these methods is probably due to the more convenience and level of confidence of the evaluators with the long-standing methods. However, environmental impact assessment methods have become more and more under consideration and widely studied and the potential of EIA application has increased for the evaluation process during past decades. A comparison of weaknesses and strengths between Cost-benefit analysis method and Multi-criteria analysis is offered in Table 11. As shown in the table each method has its own privileges over the other one, therefore, it depends on the project conditions and the knowledge of the decision-maker to choose the best possible procedure CITATION Ber12 l 1033 (Beria et al., 2012).
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 11: CBA and MCA Strengths and Weaknesses CITATION Ber121 l 1033 (BeriaIla et al., 2012)
Strengths Rigor and rationality Participation and legitimacy
Largely formalized Democracy
Transparency Allows qualitative measures
It is a “common language”, known and used worldwide Informal
Easy communication of the results
Independent from judgments Potentially participative Weaknesses Difficult technique, expensive. Potential ambiguity, subjectivity
Need of many data, sometimes hardly available Some components of arbitrariness, especially in the perception of public costs vs. private benefits
Practically impossible to assess “soft” effects (beauty, personal beliefs, attitudes) Risk of double counting
Equity is not a goal directly assessed, but left to decision maker Lack of clarity, consistency, accountability
Case Study 4.1 Car-Sharing Case Study In this section to examine the application of the explained methods, a case study will be reviewed for the application of the automobile rental service called car-sharing system. Car-sharing system neither is the private ownership nor is similar to the previous lease and car rental systems, it is actually a combination of both of them. In other words, it allows shorter rental periods, from a couple of hours to days, but it’s also more affordable than private ownership. This system has a simple strategy of 1) book 2) ride 3) pay which offers more privacy to the driver rather than public transportation system and at the same time decreases the private ownership. The system is consist of rental vehicles offered by the car-sharing companies parked in parking lots (car stations) all over the cities. After signing up for a monthly or annual membership with any of the companies, users can locate the nearest car station to their current location, book a car and pick the car up at the station. Travel time and mileage would be recorded in the vehicle computer system and based on that driver’s bill will be conducted by the end of the travel. The drivers are responsible to park the vehicle back in one of the designated car stations CITATION Mic10 l 1033 (Richard, 2010).
The system has been operated in various parts of the world such as North America, USA, United Kingdom, China and so forth and its popularity is still growing on a global basis. Car-sharing has proved to function well in crowded and compacted city areas based on economic, safety, human health and environmental aspects CITATION Mic10 l 1033 (Richard, 2010). Consequently, an evaluation procedure for applying this system considering private ownership and public transit as the alternatives will be studied in this section.
4.2 Assumptions Using data provided in CITATION Nat16 l 1033 (NJC, 2016), CITATION Wei09 l 1033 (Weisbrod, 2009), CITATION Lit15 l 1033 (Litman T. , Evaluating Carsharing Benefits, 2015), CITATION APT14 l 1033 (APTA, 2014) and CITATION Tod18 l 1033 (Litman T. , Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs, 2018), the cost-benefit analysis for car-sharing system was provided assuming one third of the population of the City of Toronto (5,928,040 in total) own a car or use either the car-sharing services or public transit system ( train or bus). Average amounts were taken into account for different ranges. It was assumed that each car-sharing vehicle will be equal to 8 private vehicles and each public transit vehicle would account for 40 private cars. All the quantifiable parameters are reported in million dollars per year and the analysis durability was assumed to be 24 years. The discount rate was assumed to be 6 percent. The results for each condition is shown in Table 13, 14 and 15 in the APPENDIX section. Table 12 compares the final results.
Conclusion Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 12: Final Results ComparisonCar-sharing Private ownership Public transit
NPBi ($) 160573 290435 205974
NPCi ($) 150107 334632 117220
B/C 1.07 0.87 1.76
NPV 10466 -44197 88754
As shown in table 9 it is obvious that car-sharing and public transit systems are both more beneficial than private car ownership since their B/C ratio is more than one and the net percent value for both of them is also a positive amount. The results also demonstrate that public transit services still work better than Car-sharing, however in some cases it is beneficial for the car-sharing system to be implemented for example in crowded city areas where little to no access to the public services exist or cases associated with lack of enough space for implementation of a new rail line or bus stations. Therefore, it depends on the project conditions to decide which system could be more suitable. Moreover, a quantitative analysis can also take place to also consider the effect of non-measurable impacts on the evaluation process alongside with a sensitivity analysis which can make the final results more reliable.
Car-sharing benefits can be maximized to their fullest if some additional actions take place. Marketing and educating users about the system and its benefits is the main key to the success of this technique. Besides, increasing the travel options for the user might be useful as well, therefore, the more the car stations are expanded over the city covering even distinct areas the more users are willing to use the system. Replacing normal motor vehicles with hybrid cars can be costly at first but can have a positive effect in a longer period of time since they are highly energy efficient. Adding rideshare services to the car-sharing system can also improve the total benefits of the technique CITATION Lit15 l 1033 (Litman T. , Evaluating Carsharing Benefits, 2015).
Conclusions and RecommendationsAPPENDIX
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 13: Car-sharing CBA results
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 14: Public Transit CBA Results
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 15: Private ownership CBA Results
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