Josh Adams, an economist at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, will introduce the Department's recently updated Active Travel Economic Appraisal Tool and discuss his team's plans to integrate more research and data on micromobility into rapid economic appraisal of active transport infrastructure projects.
Social cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is at the heart of the transport infrastructure planning and assessment processes in Australia. However, the small scale of many active transport projects can be an impediment to the procurement of a bespoke CBA. Without economic analysis, the case for investment is often difficult to make, especially when competing for funds against projects with larger budgets for evaluation.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has aimed to bridge this gap by developing a simple, web-based CBA tool for active transport projects which:
- has modest data input requirements
- provides reasonable and defensible estimates of major cost and benefit streams
- conforms to Infrastructure Australia and Australian Transport Assessment and Planning guidance on CBAs
Looking ahead, the Economic Research and Analysis team at TMR are commencing a program of research and academic partnerships, focussed on reviewing and applying recent academic research, finding opportunities to use existing data and statistics, and identifying knowledge gaps we can fill with intensive local data collection and research.
As well as improving the tool itself, the research will be aimed at building the evidence base used in active transport infrastructure planning and assessment in Queensland and Australia.