Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs: Best Practices Guidebook

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This guidebook describes how to create a comprehensive framework for evaluating the full impacts of a particular transit service or improvement. It discusses best practices for transit evaluation and identifies common errors that distort results. Many of the techniques in this guide can be used to evaluate other modes, such as ridesharing, cycling, and walking.


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This tool is included in the Transportation Toolkit from the LEDS Global Partnership.

When to Use This Tool

While building a low emission strategy for your country's transportation system, this tool is most useful during these key phases of the process:






Learn more about the key actions you need to take to build a successful LEDS.


How to Use This Tool

This tool is most helpful when using these strategies:

  • Avoid - Cut the need for travel
  • Shift - Change to low-carbon modes
  • Improve - Enhance infrastructure & policies

Learn more about the avoid, shift, improve framework for limiting air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.






This guidebook describes how to create a comprehensive framework for evaluating the full impacts (benefits and costs) of a particular transit service or improvement. It identifies various categories of impacts and how to measure them. It discusses best practices for transit evaluation and identifies common errors that distort results. It discusses the travel impacts of various types of transit system changes and incentives. It describes ways to optimize transit benefits by increasing system efficiency, increasing ridership and creating more transit oriented land use patterns. It compares automobile and transit costs, and the advantages and disadvantages of bus and rail transit. It includes examples of transit evaluation, and provides extensive references. Many of the techniques in this guide can be used to evaluate other modes, such as ridesharing, cycling and walking.

References