This report describes the outcomes of a study commissioned by the NZ Transport Agency to inform local authorities about the costs and benefits of transport modes. The aim of the study has been to provide general advice on the relative cost and benefits of alternatives with a focus on passenger transport in urban areas.
The report looks at issues decision makers face in estimating costs, and sets out an approach to providing estimates. This approach provides parameter values such as cost per vehicle kilometre, which can then be applied to the number of vehicles and the distance they travel, so readers may tailor comparisons to their own situation.
This quantitative exercise is supplemented by contextual discussion of some important issues in urban transport including drivers of the transport mix, the relationship between land use and transport planning, and road space and traffic management. A selection of case studies drawn from mainly New Zealand urban areas provides some specific illustrations of the issues raised.
Keywords: economic costs and benefits, externalities, transport operating costs, urban transport