Decision making in the field of transport investments

Veli Himanen, Heikki Eskelinen, Yrjö Seppälä

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The report presents a study on the data material necessary for the purposes of decision making in the field of transport investments. The study encompasses all forms of transport and focuses on the decisionmaking procedures employed within the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Naturally, the system of evaluation developed on the basis of the study is also applicable to other government agencies involved in the handling of transport investments. The effects of the investment projects manifest themselves at local, regional, national and global levels. At each level there are interest groups -producers, users and losers - which experience the effects of the projects in their own ways. The consequences of the projects are divided up into direct and indirect effects. Direct effects are experienced immediately at the local level. With time, the direct effects filter through at higher levels and combine with external factors lo generate indirect, non-recurrent effects outside the realm of transportation. The following direct effects of project implementation should be taken into consideration during evaluation: journey times and their distribution, traffic accidents, noise, exhaust emissions, visual intrusion, use of land areas, and vehicle, maintenance and building costs. Regional and environmental effects should be examined as indirect effects of project implementation. This will entail the preparation of individual case evaluations focusing on factors such as the area affected by the project, effects on the location of the population and economic activities, net and distribution effects, and the relationship between the effects and specific objectives. Direct effects, with the exception of visual intrusion and certain othe r effects associated with land use, are given monetary values for the cost-benefit analysis. We do not yet possess the know-how to assign values to the lacer exceptions or to the indirect effects. These can be evaluated with the aid of multiple-criteria analyses. The determination and assignment of monetary values to the effects of a project involve many factors of uncertainty. Uncertainty can be taken into account in the costbenefit analysis, for example, by means of the Monte Carlo simulation. Similarly, use can be made of the fractal method and other techniques in multiple-criteria analyses. On the basis of the study it is recommended that the data material for the Ministry of Transport and Communications's investment decision making should include a summary of direct effects, a summary of indirect effects, a study on the impact of the effects on different interest groups, and an assessment of the social policy effects.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages42
ISBN (Print)951-38-3679-7
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesValtion teknillinen tutkimuskeskus. Tiedotteita


  • decision making
  • transportation management
  • investments
  • evaluation
  • costs
  • cost engineering
  • project management
  • benefit cost analysis


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