Economic appraisal of Universal Design in transport: Experiences

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Economic Appraisal of Universal Design in
Transport: Experiences from Norway and
Relevance to ICT
James Odeck
Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Po Box 8142,
0033 Oslo-N
1
Background
1. Economic assessment of Universally Designed (UD) projects
is lacking in the literature of transport planning
2. The concept of UD is not well understood by many in the
transport sector and is taken to mean something like
“design for the impaired”
3. Recently, The Norwegian Public Roads Administration
(NPRA) and the Institute of Transport Economics (TOI) did
some collaborative work on universal design that needs to
shared with others working with economic assessment of eAccessibility
2
Four objectives:
1. Give an appropriate definition of UD in the context of
road and public transport as adopted in Norway
2. Describe the types of UD projects and, benefits and costs
that accrue to users if they are implemented
3. Address how the benefits and cost can be valued in
monetary term and demonstrate the economic
profitability of UD
4.
Point out the similarities between economic assessment
of Universal Design in Transport and e-accessibility
3
1. The definition of Universal Design (UD)
• Universal Design refers to transport system or facility
designs that accommodate the widest range of potential
users, including but not limited to people with mobility
and visual impairments (disabilities) and other special
needs
• The conventional thinking of the concept is that Universally
Designed projects are aimed at the few e.g., the disabled
or impaired - which is wrong !
• Stated differently, Universal Design benefits all types of
users but is necessary for some
4
The Definition adopted by the NPRA
Universal Design (UD) is the Design of infrastructure,
transportation systems or their surroundings to
accommodate the widest range of potential users
regardless of their impairments or special needs
UD is therefore necessary for some but benefits all users!
An illustration follows
5
The case of a low-floored bus
Foto: Lin Stensrud
Foto: Knut Opeide
Foto: Knut Opeide
An illustration of benefits to all in the case of a lowfloored bus
A low-floored bus in the first instance
benefits wheelchair users and those
with baby strollers
In the second instance, because
wheelchair and stroller users can get
faster on board, all others users can
also get faster onboard.
Third, all others passengers on board
also save travel time
And finally, bus operators may increase
their efficiencies
Universal Design in this case benefits all
users and not only the impaired!
Foto: Lin Stensrud
Similarities with eAccessibility from the past and
why both Universal Design and eAccesibilty
benefits all
• Remote control for TVs were designed for the impaired –
yet it benefits everybody today
• Digital books were designed for the impaired – yet there are
a benefit to everybody today
• Wide screen TVs and PCs were designed for the impaired
yet we all appreciate them
• How about lifts in buildings?
• How about cars with automatic gears?
2. The types of UD projects and benefits and costs that accrue to
users
Universal Design
Low-floor bus
Benefits





Implementation of high
curbstone at a bus stop
Eases boarding and alighting the bus(comfort factor) for
all passengers
All passengers save time boading and alighting
All passengers in the bus save time because
boarding/alighting the bus is quicker
Bus company obtains an efficiency effect due to time
saving(not included in the analysis)
Reduction of subsidies from the government due increased
patronage( not included in the analysis)
 Eases boarding/alighting the bus(comfort factor)
Costs
 Investment and
manitenance of low floor
bus
 Investment and
manitenance of
curbstones

Enhanced lighting at bus
stops
All passengers save time boarding/alighting the bus
Bus company obtains an efficiency effect due to time
· saving
 Improved total overview
 Investment in lighting
and maintenance
 Improved readability of information
 Increased sense of security and increased level of
identification of approaching buses
12
Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) of UD projects
• Not different from traditional BCA’s given that benefits and
cost can be measured in monetary terms
• It Involves the comparison of benefits against costs
• Two decision rules:
• Net Present Value (NPV) = net discounted benefits minus
net discounted costs; then the project is economically
profitable
• Benefit-Cost Ratio = NPV/costs; select the project with the
highest ratio
3. Valuing benefits and cost in monetary terms
• Traditionally, there is a consensus about valuing impacts of
transportation undertakings both in the road and the public
transportation sector
• Impacts of Universal Design are in many cases similar to
those of traditional investments in transportation e.g., time
savings. Some values of UD impacts can therefore be
derived from existing handbooks
• An initial way of deriving values is through literature survey
• NPRA has derived values by combining literature survey and
existing values.
14
Recommended NPRA values for UD projects
Measure
Bicycle parking at bus stop **
Nominal value Valuation in Source
per trip
Eurocents*
NOK 4
54
Vibe et al 2004
Bus shelter
NOK 0.60
13.1
Norheim 1996
Maintenance and cleaning of bus stop
11.8 pence
32
Steer Davies Gleave 1996
Timetable at bus stop
SEK 2.00
42
Blomquist og Jansson 1994
Route map at bus stop
NOK 0.40
8.8
Norheim 1996
Sign on board in bus indicating next stop
SEK 2
30.4
Persson 2000
Sign on bus indicating final destination
SEK 0.12-0.32
6.3
Widlert m fl 1989
Real time information at bus stop
NOK 1.15
26.3
Hammer og Norheim 1993
Next stop information announced by driver NOK 1
15.3
Persson 2000
Cleanliness on board
11 pence
25.5
Accent Marketing and Research 2002
Lights at bus stop
3,1 pence
8.4
Steer Davies Gleave (1996)
Guards at bus stop
NOK 1.50
32.9
Norheim 1996
Emergency telephone at bus stop
NOK 0.80
17.5
Norheim 1996
Lowfloor bus
2.8 pence
7.6
Steer Davies Gleave (1996)
* Year 2005 prices, using 2005 exchange rate NOK8 = €1. *** Bicyclists only
3. BCA of three illustrative projects
Low-floor bus Implementation Enhanced
of high curbstone lighting at bus
at a bus stop
stops
Initial data and assumptions:
Investment cost of installation
Annual operational and maintenance costs
Projects life time
Number of passengers using the low-floor bus per year
Average load factor
Number of passengers per year at bus stop
Time savings per passenger due to innstallation(in minutes)
65 000
0
18
15 000
28
0.3
155 000
7 500
25
12
71 200
0.3
16 000
1 000
15
100 000
-
Benefit-cost analysis
Annual benefits for users
Annual benefits for non-users
Annual benefits for operators
Sum annual benefits
Present value of benefits(discounted over 25 years)
Present value of costs (investment,operational and maint.)
12 300
0
795
13 095
194 175
-81 215
24 920
0
1887
26 807
397 497
-271 216
67 000
0
0
67 000
993 489
-37 988
96 717
1.2
72 037
0.3
947 903
25
Socioeconomic profitability
Net present value(NPV)
Benefit-cost ratio
Low-floor bus
High curbstone at a bus stop
Enhanced lighting at bus stop
Benefit-cost ratio(dicsounted over 25 years)
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
20000
40000
60000
80000
100000 120000 140000 160000 180000 200000
-10
No. of passengers per year
Conclusion and policy implications
•
Universal Design should be considered seriously by governments
as they benefit all users and are necessary for a group of users
e.g., the impaired and the burdened.
•
The benefits and cost of Universal Design projects are possible to
measure in monetary terms such that a benefit-cost analysis can
be conducted.
•
The benefit-cost analysis of Universal Design shows that they
general are a profitable form investments characterized by high
benefits and low investment costs.
•
Finally, benefit-cost analysis of Universal Design projects are
quite possible even though it is not possible to account for all
factors which if accounted for will reveal even more of their
benefits e.g., the patronage factor.
Lessons for economic assessment of eAccessibility
1. Take the view that eAcessibility is for all and not only for those
with special needs.
2. We need to make people understand (1) by showing examples
3. A starting point is the identification of the “project” i.e. is it “a
web accessibility all”, “Design for all”
4. The second step is the identification of benefits followed by
quantification in monetary terms – all these are possible
5. ”Study on Economic Assessment for Improving e-Accessibility
Services and Products” under SMART 2009 seems to take these
into account.
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