IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Incorporating equity considerations in transport infrastructure evaluation: Current practice and a proposed methodology


  • Thomopoulos, N.
  • Grant-Muller, S.
  • Tight, M.R.


Interest has re-emerged on the issue of how to incorporate equity considerations in the appraisal of transport projects and large road infrastructure projects in particular. This paper offers a way forward in addressing some of the theoretical and practical concerns that have presented difficulties to date in incorporating equity concerns in the appraisal of such projects. Initially an overview of current practice within transport regarding the appraisal of equity considerations in Europe is offered based on an extensive literature review. Acknowledging the value of a framework approach, research towards introducing a theoretical framework is then presented. The proposed framework is based on the well established MCA Analytic Hierarchy Process and is also contrasted with the use of a CBA based approach. The framework outlined here offers an additional support tool to decision makers who will be able to differentiate choices based on their views on specific equity principles and equity types. It also holds the potential to become a valuable tool for evaluators as a result of the option to assess predefined equity perspectives of decision makers against both the project objectives and the estimated project impacts. This framework may also be of further value to evaluators outside transport.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomopoulos, N. & Grant-Muller, S. & Tight, M.R., 2009. "Incorporating equity considerations in transport infrastructure evaluation: Current practice and a proposed methodology," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 351-359, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:32:y:2009:i:4:p:351-359

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bristow, A. L. & Nellthorp, J., 2000. "Transport project appraisal in the European Union," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 51-60, January.
    2. Maria Berrittella & A. Certa & M. Enea & P. Zito, 2007. "An Analytic Hierarchy Process for The Evaluation of Transport Policies to Reduce Climate Change Impacts," Working Papers 2007.12, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Mackie, Peter & Preston, John, 1998. "Twenty-one sources of error and bias in transport project appraisal," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-7, January.
    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    5. Roger Vickerman, 2007. "Cost – benefit analysis and large-scale infrastructure projects: state of the art and challenges," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(4), pages 598-610, July.
    6. Rietveld, Piet, 2006. "Pricing in transport; a multimodal perspective. An introduction," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 32, pages 1-4.
    7. Bent Flyvbjerg, 2007. "Policy and planning for large-infrastructure projects: problems, causes, cures," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(4), pages 578-597, July.
    8. Vickerman, Roger, 1995. "Location, accessibility and regional development: the appraisal of trans-European networks," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 225-234, October.
    9. Schweigert, Francis J., 2007. "The priority of justice: A framework approach to ethics in program evaluation," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 394-399, November.
    10. Lopez, Humberto, 2008. "The social discount rate : estimates for nine Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4639, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Van Wee, Bert & Molin, Eric, 2012. "Transport and ethics: Dilemmas for CBA researchers. An interview-based study from the Netherlands," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 30-36.
    2. Hananel, Ravit & Berechman, Joseph, 2016. "Justice and transportation decision-making: The capabilities approach," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 78-85.
    3. Thakuriah (Vonu), Piyushimita & Persky, Joseph & Soot, Siim & Sriraj, P.S., 2013. "Costs and benefits of employment transportation for low-wage workers: An assessment of job access public transportation services," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 31-42.
    4. Bert van Wee & Jan Anne Annema & Hugo Priemus, 2013. "Model building for infrastructure initiatives," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies, chapter 17, pages 423-441 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Shaowu Cheng & Qian Gao & Yaping Zhang, 2016. "Evaluating the Impacts of Bus Fare on Social Equity Based on IC Card Data in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-15, October.
    6. José Manuel Viegas, 2012. "The urban mobility system and regional competitiveness," Chapters,in: Networks, Space and Competitiveness, chapter 2, pages 35-55 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Nikolaos Thomopoulos & Susan Grant-Muller, 2013. "Incorporating equity as part of the wider impacts in transport infrastructure assessment: an application of the SUMINI approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 315-345, February.
    8. Karst T. Geurs & Tomaz Ponce Dentinho & Roberto Patuelli, 2016. "Accessibility, equity and efficiency," Chapters,in: Accessibility, Equity and Efficiency, chapter 1, pages 3-8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Bert van Wee, 2013. "Ethics and the ex ante evaluation of mega-projects," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Mega-Projects, chapter 16, pages 356-378 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Bills, Tierra S. & Walker, Joan L., 2017. "Looking beyond the mean for equity analysis: Examining distributional impacts of transportation improvements," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 61-69.
    11. Karen Lucas & Bert Wee & Kees Maat, 2016. "A method to evaluate equitable accessibility: combining ethical theories and accessibility-based approaches," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 473-490, May.
    12. Niehaus, Markus & Galilea, Patricia & Hurtubia, Ricardo, 2016. "Accessibility and equity: An approach for wider transport project assessment in Chile," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 412-422.
    13. Nahmias–Biran, Bat-hen & Shiftan, Yoram, 2016. "Towards a more equitable distribution of resources: Using activity-based models and subjective well-being measures in transport project evaluation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 672-684.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:32:y:2009:i:4:p:351-359. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.