Development of a Freight Benefit/Cost Methodology for Project Planning

Future reauthorizations of the federal transportation bill will require a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the freight benefits of proposed freight system projects. To prioritize public investments in freight systems and to insure consideration of the contribution of freight to the overall system performance, states and regions need an improved method to analyze freight benefits associated with proposed highway and truck intermodal improvements that would lead to enhanced trade and sustainable economic growth, improved safety and environmental quality, and goods delivery in Washington State.

This project develops a process to address this need by building on previous and ongoing research by some project team members with the goal of developing an agency-friendly, data-supported framework to prioritize public investments for freight systems in Washington and Oregon. The project integrates two ongoing WSDOT funded efforts: one to create methods to calculate the value of truck and truck-intermodal infrastructure projects and the other to collect truck probe data from commercial GPS devices to create a statewide Freight Performance Measures (FPM) program. This integration informs the development of a framework that allows public agencies to quantify freight investment benefits in specific areas such as major freight corridors and across borders.
Publication Date: 
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 815.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:41
Jeremy Sage, Ken Casavant, Anne Goodchild, Ed McCormack, Zun Wang, B. Starr McMullen, Daniel Holder.
Freight Policy Transportation Institute. School of Economic Sciences. Washington State University
Number of Pages: 
Freight transportation, Benefit cost analysis, Economic benefits, Metrics (Quantitative assessment), Strategic planning, Investments, Infrastructure, Intermodal facilities, Trucking.