Evaluation of Investment Subsidies in Public Transport
ENGELBERG B VAN and STEMERDING M, Goudappel Coffeng BV and STOELINGA A, Ministry of Transport (AVV), The Netherlands
As a result of the advice of the committee chaired by Mrs De Boer, the Dutch government decided in may 1995 to make available NLG 900 mln (EUR 407 mln) for the period 1996 to 2000. This grant from the Treasury is intended for relatively small projects (in
As a result of the advice of the committee chaired by Mrs De Boer, the Dutch government decided in may 1995 to make available NLG 900 mln (EUR 407 mln) for the period 1996 to 2000. This grant from the Treasury is intended for relatively small projects (investments of max. NLG 25 mln) with the aim of improving travel time of urban and regional public transport. These projects are typically referred to as De Boer projects.
The improvement of travel time is expected to contribute to two elements that enhance cost effectiveness. The first is a reduction in exploitation costs. By rescheduling the time tables public transport can be more efficient and cost savings can be realized. The second is an increase in revenues from passengers. Improved travel time will increase attractiveness of public transport, resulting in a growth of the number of passengers. It should be mentioned that improvement of travel time refers not only to an increase in speed, but also to an increase in punctuality.
The ministry of transport (Ministede van Verkeer en Waterstaat) was interested in the question to what extent the investment subsidy has been effective in enhancing cost effectiveness. The advisory board of the ministry (Adviesdienst Verkeer en Vervoer) selected three regions for the evaluation research to take place: the urban region of Rotterdam, the region Arnhem - Nijmegen, and the Province of Friesland. Within each region five projects were selected for the evaluation research. They include:
Bus priority signals, single signals or strings of signals
* Exclusive bus lanes
* Line stretching, where the bus stays on the main road and does not enter the center of villages or other built up areas
* Network optimisation, where new infrastructure allows a more efficient route
Questions that had to be answered by the evaluation research were: * To what extent did the investment subsidies actually result in increased speed or punctuality?
* To what extent did the increase in speed or punctuality result in a reduction in exploitation costs?
* To what extent did the increase in speed or punctuality result in an increased number of passengers and, accordingly, in an increase in revenues?
In treating these questions attention had to be given to other actions and developments that can have influenced speed, number of passengers or exploitation costs.
Extensive research results can be found in Evaluatie investeringen commissie 'De Boer': Resultatenvers/ag (2000). Research results have been summarized in Eva/uatie investeringen commissie 'De Boer' (1999, 2000). In this paper special attention is given to practical problems and methodological issues that raised during the research.
Association for European Transport