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Cost-benefit analysis for road and transport

Which road and transport projects are profitable to build? SINTEF develops methodology and calculation tools on behalf of Norwegian transport companies such as Statens vegvesen, Nye Veier, Jernbanedirektoratet, Bane NOR, Kystverket and Avinor.

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The tools SINTEF develops consists of:

  • TransportNettExtension for ArcMap (TNExt) (Contact to get access)
    TNExt is a mapping tool that acts as an extension to the GIS tool ArcMap. TNExt extracts data from Nasjonal VegDataBank (NVDB) to facilitate the transport models RTM (Regional transport models for short passenger journeys), NTM (National transport model for long trips), and NGM (National Goods Model). In addition to the complete road network from NVDB, planned road networks, railway, boat, and aircraft networks can be imported/created. Coding of public transport routes is also central to the tool.
  • Regional transport model (RTM) with associated road user utility module (TNM) and Public transport module
    RTM is used to carry out strategic transport analyses related to studying various infrastructure measures for cars, public transport, walking, and cycling in Norway. There is one model for each of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration regions. In addition, different sub-area models cover smaller areas within each regional model.
    • TNM calculates the beneficial effects for road users by comparing 2 RTM scenarios.
    • KM calculates income and expenses for public transport companies and energy/fuel consumption for public transport.
  • EFFEKT, a tool for socio-economic cost-benefit analysis of road and transport measures
    EFFEKT compiles and calculates measures' total priced benefit and cost effects based on input data from NVDB, TNExt, RTM (incl. TNM and KM), design tools, and the users.
  • Speed and energy module (module for vehicle-based calculation of speed, energy consumption, and emissions)
    The module can be used for single vehicles or different vehicle compositions to calculate total traffic. Therefore, the module can be used in various transport analyses for the entire Norwegian road network and make calculations for rail, sea, and air traffic. The module is used in RTM, EFFEKT and Energikart for Norge. For example, in RTM, it is the basis for the calculation of road user benefit, and in EFFEKT for socio-economic time, emissions, and (parts of) vehicle costs.

Together, these tools form the basis for providing an answer to which road and transport projects pay off for society. The results are compiled and thus calculated in the NKA tool EFFEKT. EFFEKT calculations are made based on the assumptions established by politicians and road authorities, including the discount rate, actual price development, time horizon, and taxes. The results include:

  • Impacts on road users: Time, vehicle and direct costs, health effects
  • Impacts on operators: Costs and revenues for public transport companies, toll companies, etc.
  • Impact on the public sector: Investment-, operating- and maintenance costs, transfers, tax revenues
  • Impacts on society: Accident costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental costs
  • In summary: Net benefit per budget NOK (NNB)

The results compare the effect, and authorities use it to make investment decisions for transport infrastructure. The calculation methodology has been developed and improved with transport companies over decades. SINTEF has played a central role in developing the methods and the relevant calculation tools.

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