Title

ESTIMATION OF STATEWIDE URBAN PUBLIC TRANSIT BENEFITS IN TENNESSEE

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

planning - route design, economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - benefits, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Urban transit districts, Transit, Tennessee, Public transit, Mass transit, Local transit, Intracity bus transportation, Fixed routes, Evaluation and assessment, Estimating, Economic benefits, Calculation, Bus transit, Benefits

Abstract

A comprehensive transit benefits assessment procedure is described as applied to each of the 12 urban public transit operating districts in the state of Tennessee. A multiple-branch benefits assessment tree is developed around transit use benefits and transit supply benefits, the former emphasizing the costs of lost mobility in the absence of current transit services and the latter reflecting the economic benefits resulting from federal and state support for public transit in each district. Empirical results are presented at the statewide level and in dollar terms. With a generally conservative approach to benefits estimation, it is found that urban transit benefits--mainly from fixed-route bus service--exceed costs by 2 to 2.5 times, with higher ratios possible in the larger metropolitan areas. Sensitivity to forgone travel benefits, however, suggests the need for further data refinements. On the basis of past literature, the study develops a comprehensive set of wide-ranging benefits computations that have been applied consistently across each of the state's 12 urban transit districts and uses data sources that can be cost-effectively updated by transit planners.