Understanding the ?true? Benefit to Society of Improved Public Transport Accessibility for the Mobility Impaired

Understanding the ?true? Benefit to Society of Improved Public Transport Accessibility for the Mobility Impaired


D Carter, P Le Masurier, MVA Consultancy, UK


This Paper explores a range of different research methods designed to more accurately establish the benefits to selected mobility travellers of the improved ?accessibility? provided by a new tram service.


Study Context & objectives

Nottingham Express Transit opened in March 2004. NET has draw a lot of attention as it has demonstrated that light rail, introduced within the right environment and supported by a range of complementary measures, can deliver to patronage forecasts and generate both transport and wider benefits. In 2006 an initial evaluation of the benefits to mobility impaired users was undertaken and reported to the 2006 AET conference that identified particular social benefits that are not, by default, fully taken into account in standard appraisal practice.

This paper will provide an update by examining a second Phase of research intended to focus further on mobility impaired user groups and attempt to estimate the ?true? benefit, in monetary terms, of improved individual accessibility and social interactions.

Content of Paper

The Paper will:

? consider the default methods for appraising the potential benefits associated with major transport schemes, including major high quality bus and tram schemes, including a review of how benefits are assessed for different traveller segments;

? provide a case study comparing the implied monetary benefits of a new tram system, based upon standard appraisal practices that focus on journey time savings; and a direct assessment of the impacts of the new tram for disabled and other mobility impaired people (such as greater independence, improved quality of life and greater interaction with society), according to results of a recent quantitative survey of travellers;

? report on the findings, and effectiveness, of different survey-based approaches (including stated preference, contingent valuation and other multi-variate techniques) designed to directly estimate the ?true? monetary value of a new tram service for the disabled and other mobility impaired passengers; and

? provide conclusions and recommendations on the research method adopted, and the possible implications for future standard appraisal and evaluation procedures of new public transport schemes.

Market research is scheduled to be undertaken in early Spring 2007 with results and recommendations being available by early Summer.


Association for European Transport