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Web-Based Guide to Transportation Benefit-Cost Analysis

by Edward Sullivan, Joy Dahlgren, Glen Weisbrod, and Kazem Attaran, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 7, July 2008, pp. 282-286.

The concept of a web-based tool for improving benefit-cost practice by transportation planners, and the basic design of the website, was the product of a multiple-year planning effort by the Committee on Urban Transportation Economic and Policy (now the Planning, Economics and Finance Committee) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The original guide was developed by committee members under the direction of the late Edward Sullivan of California Polytechnic State University and Glen Weisbrod of EDR Group. The original guide was hosted by EDR Group. The basic concept was to provide a guidance document that, unlike traditional guidebooks, would:

  • avoid a linear sequence of instruction, instead allowing interested parties to use search engines to locate topics of interest;
  • utilize a high level of internal hyperlinks, enabling users to browse secondary and related topics as desied; and
  • avoid obsolence as it could be constantly updated. 

Funding for subsequent upgrading of the site, and hosting of the site, was provided by California Department of Transportation, Office of Transportation Economics, Division of Transportation Planning.  This upgrade involved the original developers, Sullivan (at Cal Poly) and Weisbrod (at EDR Group), working with (and under the direction of) Joy Dahlgren and other staff at the California Center for Innovative Transportation, in the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. The article cited here describes the revised web guide and its design logic.

Later, responsibility for continued development and upgrading of the web guide was transfered to the TRB Committee on Transportation Economics.  Chris Williges has directed that effort, with Glen Weisbrod of EDR Group leading a subcommittee for web site expansion.

Web-Based Guide to Transportatoin Benefit-Cost Analysis," by Edward Sullivan, Joy Dahlgren, Glen Weisbrod, and Kazem Attaran, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 7, July 2008, pp. 282-286.

Download Working Paper version of the article

Download ASCE Journal Article (requires academic subscription or $30 fee).

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