How much is accessibility worth? Utility-based accessibility to evaluate transport policies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, economics - appraisal/evaluation, policy - equity, planning - methods, planning - service improvement


Logsum, Utility-based accessibility, Consumer surplus, Assessment, Bogotá


There is now a long tradition of accessibility research, with an increasingly rich set of frameworks and methods from a distributional perspective. Despite such a positive outlook, many accessibility metrics deployed in research and practice do not consider (dis)utility, which may resonate more clearly with mainstream transport decision-making and planning. This paper seeks to contribute to debates about using utility-based measures as inputs for accessibility assessment of transport infrastructure investments in the Global South using discrete choice modeling and its potential as a bridging language between socially nuanced and economics-driven transport planning practices. This paper uses mixed revealed preferences and stated preferences data collected in Bogotá, Colombia. Then, it uses a logsum accessibility metric to estimate the differentiated impact of a set of infrastructure interventions on the accessibility of residents with different income levels and other socioeconomic conditions. Particularly, the logsum accessibility metric analyses future and structural additions to Bogotá public transport networks, reflecting their effect on the accessibility and consumer surplus in the next 20 years. The proposed approach captures the benefits derived from the transport infrastructure improvements, which has relevance for debates about transport policy and practice in this and similar urban contexts in the Global South. These accessibility gains could be assigned a monetary value to include in project cost-benefit assessments.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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