Evaluating the Regional Benefit/Cost Ratio for Transit State of Good Repair Investments

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, economics - benefits, economics - operating costs, economics - capital costs, infrastructure - maintainance


state of good repair (SGR), transit expansion, benefit/cost ratios, ridership, vehicle miles traveled, travel times and costs, public health and safety


Should transit operators focus scarce funding on maintaining current systems in a state of good repair (SGR), or on expanding transit systems? Prior to this analysis, user impacts of transit SGR had not been systematically calculated. This study develops a new methodology for assessing the impacts of SGR on ridership, vehicle miles traveled, travel times and costs, and public health and safety. This is done for the 25 major transit systems in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Moreover, the study uses a methodology parallel to that used to assess transit system expansion in the Bay Area and, therefore, is able to compare the benefit/cost ratios of transit expansion vs. transit SGR on an even footing. Results indicate regional benefit/cost ratios of close to 3 for transit SGR, with diminishing returns at higher funding levels. This is similar to the benefit/cost ratio of the average transit expansion project.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by National Center for Transit Research, University of South Florida, copyright remains with them.