What is mean by transportation project?

Civil engineers undertake a variety of projects related to construction. Building construction projects, structural projects, highway, road construction projects, transportation projects, etc. Transportation projects are related to public constructions that focus to build new connectivity in public transportation. To improve and maintain existing transport facilities also falls under the domain of transportation projects. Some of its objectives include planning, evaluation, designing, development, finance, construction, reconstruction, demolition, rehabilitation, improvement, acquisition, operation, and maintenance. As per the law, all transport projects are authorized to the construction firm that permits them to change the land area meant for public use.

Transportation project evaluation

Transportation project evaluation is an experimental methodology that takes into consideration the potential outcome of transport projects, which are yet to begin and be implemented. The project evaluation technique is generally applied before the beginning of the project. This methodology targets some of the key consequences, that are:

  • Monetary costs
  • Monetary benefits
  • Budgets and funding
  • Economic analysis
  • Environmental impacts
  • Imperfections
  • Social impacts

Project evaluation for managing impact

Managing for impact means implementation, propelling, and guiding the project in directions that lead towards a successful and long-term impact regarding the project outcomes. Designing, monitoring, and evaluation are all the main factors of the project management criteria. The key idea of project evaluation and management is to help and provide resources to the backend individuals responsible for the project planning and execution. It lets them steer their activities towards a successful Project outcome.
There are four different allocations in the project management impact:


Input involves the infrastructure plan, investments, resources, staff, and activities. A thorough project evaluation is done, and the crucial input factors that need to be involved are determined.


The outputs involve the services that the transport project would provide. It can handle the distance, connectivity, degree of traffic, permissible loads, etc.


Outcomes are the empirical results of the completed project. These outcomes generally involve the immediate achievements of the construction agency.


Impacts refer to the positive/negative, direct/indirect, short term, long term, intended/unintended effects to the projects undertaken. Impacts are the objectives included in the project execution document.

Techniques used in transport project evaluation

Six techniques help in the evaluation of transport projects:

Financial analysis or Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)

The private sector implements this technique. This sector uses a cost-benefit analysis to calculate the net returns. Cost-benefit analysis majorly considers the monetary costs and their associated benefits. Costs refer to the capital and the operational costs incurred by the project, whereas benefits refer to the revenue generated after the project completion. The financial analysis uses the following methodology for its calculation:

  • Benefit-cost ratio: Benefit-cost summarizes the overall monetary value associated with a project. The benefit-cost ratio expresses the ratio between the benefits of a project and its related costs.
  • Net present value: The net present value is implemented to the cash flows at different times. It depends on the discount rate, the time interval between the present and the cash flow.
  • Annual worth
  • Rate of return

Economic analysis

Unlike the financial analysis, the economic analysis offers a broader view of the impacts of the project and its associated infrastructure. It analyzes the social and economic impacts related to the project in a much in-depth manner. Similar methodology like the financial analysis are considered, but this technique uses the social opportunity cost rather than distorted prices for its evaluation. All the costs and benefits are monetized to utilize and express the overall impact as a rate of return.

Multicriteria analysis

Be it a construction project, or a transportation project, there are certain impacts, which affect individual lives. These impacts can be measured in terms of monetary sense. There lie certain deficits in the monetary sense which are difficult to analyze. In some cases, it is not even possible to determine. The multicriteria considers a variety of impacts like direct costs and benefits, external impacts, etc.
The initial step in the multicriteria analysis is the identification of project alternatives. Measurement of each alternative forms the next step, and the last step involves the actual implementation of guidelines and choices of the proffered projects.

Cost-effectiveness analysis

This analysis is relatively similar to the CBA. The only difference is that the cost and benefits are disabled in terms of monetary concept. This technique is based on the efficiency of a project in providing a service. There are some conditions where the cost-effective analysis can be implemented, they are:

  • When the project has a strict goal and intention.
  • When the cost is known but monetary benefit is unknown.

Social welfare analysis

In the social welfare analysis, an appraisal is initiated, whether the said transportation project will serve and benefit the public or not. The social cost-benefit analysis pays special concentration on net profits. Congestion management is primarily used in the project appraisal method. Usually, cost-benefit analysis lacks the potential to measure the impacts effectively. Under such cases, evaluation of overall social welfare impact forms an effective appraisal technique.

Monte Carlo simulation

It is a computational approach in project evaluation. This technique targets the high degree risks which form the part of a project evaluation. The items in this technique are treated as random variables, as the duration of the tasks and revenue/cost are uncertain. The Monte Carlo simulations generate new task durations with revised revenue/costs. All the cases use randomly selected values for evaluation.

Transport infrastructure

Transport ensures mobility regarding goods and services and people. It impacts the round development of the country, which can only ensure adequate development in the transportation infrastructure. Undertaking and successful project completion are crucial in the development of the infrastructure.
The transportation of the U.S. governs roadways, air, rail, and waterways. The state and local governments properly maintain and rule them. The U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for providing supervision, funding, and regulations regarding highway and roadway projects.
In a nutshell, better transportation infrastructure can be well undertaken and completed through a wise plan and accurate applications of the project evaluation techniques.

Context and Applications

This topic is taught in many undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses like:

  • Bachelors of Technology in Civil engineering
  • Masters of Technology in Civil engineering
  • Masters of Business Administration in Finance
  • Masters of Arts in Economics

Practice problems

Q 1. Which of the following technique is a computational approach in the project evaluation?
a. Litman
b. Javascript
c. Flyvbjerg
d. Monte Carlo simulation

Answer: Option d
Explanation: Monte Carlo Simulation is a computational approach in project evaluation.

Q 2 In which of the following technique an appraisal is initiated?
a. Monte Carlo simulation
b. Social welfare analysis
c. Multicriteria analysis
d. None of these

Answer: Option b
Explanation: Social welfare analysis, an appraisal is initiated to check whether the project undertaken can serve the public or not.

Q 3 What is the other name of financial analysis?
a. CBA analysis
b. BCA analysis
c. Both a and b
d.None of these

Answer: Option a
Explanation: The other name of financial analysis is CBA analysis.

Q 4 Which of the following is a methodology of CBA?
a. Annual worth
b. Rate of return
c. Both a and b
d. None of these

Answer: Option c
Explanation: Both annual worth and rate of return are the methodologies of CBA.

Q 5 Which of the following technique provides a broader view of the transportation projects and infrastructure?
a. Economic analysis
b. Financial analysis
c. Social welfare analysis
d. All of these

Answer: Option a
Explanation: The economic analysis provides a better and broader insight into the transport projects and infrastructures.

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