TPICS is the U.S. national database of case studies documenting transportation project impacts on local area economies and land use, and the accompanying software system for user access to the database. The system operates as a SAAS (software As A Service) product, operated on a cloud platform and publicly available to all. It was initially funded by the US Congress under the SHRP2 (Strategic Highway Research Program), with additional case studies funded by TCRP (Transit Cooperative Research Program).
The TPICS system has powerful search and screening features that allow transportation planners and analysts to search for specific types of projects in specific types of settings, enabling them to learn about typical impacts and factors affecting those impacts. The available information includes descriptions of project features and pre/post data pertaining to project impacts on the local or regional economy. It also includes detailed results from local interviews on project objectives, implementation issues and other factors affecting the nature of project impacts. Aerial photos and links to other reports are also provided. Lessons learned from these experiences can be used to improve project design and implementation processes.
A second feature of TPICS is its expert system that uses the findings from past projects to estimate the likely range of impacts from proposed new projects. It provides a form of "analysis by analogy," in that it identifies a reasonable range for expected impacts of proposed projects, based on prior experiences. That makes it applicable as a screening tool for early stage project assessment.
Note: The TPICS database and software system was originally developed under the leadership of EDR Group, with subcontractor support from Cambridge Systematics, ICF International, CDM Smith, the Texas Transportation Institute, and Susan Moses Associates. It has subsequently been transferred to AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), with support by US Dept. of Transportation. It now operates with a new look, branded as “EconWorks.” EDR Group and Ch2M Hill are providing continued support as EconWorks evolves.