EEM-Chart-2As our friends from Auckland Transport Blog report, NZTA is making a few changes to their Economic Evaluation Manual. Dry stuff for most of you – but quite important, because that EEM is the bible for which project gets money and which doesn’t.

One of the changes is that all traffic modes will now be treated the same in terms of how much one hour of their users is “worth”. At the moment, the system assumes that delays for public transport passengers and cyclists are worth less (and thus projects become less attractive in the calculations). You can see the table at the right.

Now NZTA has announced that the future value will be one and the same across all modes. Another change to get a level playing field.

So its great to know that NZTA’s calculations will now value cyclists time as much as motorists! What a shame (not!) that we pretty much never get stuck in bicycle traffic jams, or we could use that to ask for more cycleways. Motorists have been using that particular trick for ages.

What do you think? When and where will we first get cyclist congestion in Auckland?

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5 responses to “Cyclist’s time now to be worth as much as motorist’s

  1. Interesting. Although the determination of travel times for cycling were always a fudge anyway (they did actual willingness-to-pay surveys for drive and PT but just “extrapolated” for walk/bike), technically it never implied that people biking were “worth” less. Rather, it reflected the fact that while driving you pretty much couldn’t do anything else productive at the same time (although a few cellphone users would disagree…), whereas when on public trpt you can be doing work or reading, and when walking/biking you are getting some exercise. So it was really valuing the “penalty” for having to take longer to travel than some other Option B that you were comparing against.

    Where it got interesting was if modelling shifts to other travel modes, rather than just rearranging same-mode journeys. I believe however that, for the purposes of modal shift, the EEM already said that you could use the same value of travel time before and after.

    Still, can’t complain if they want to make them all the same; the net effect should be to slightly improve the relative benefit/cost ratio of some cycling projects (not that BCR seems to matter to a Govt focused on RONS where the BCRs aren’t even >1…)

    1. All correct, Glen – the more significant impact could be on PT projects, where the BCR’s for improving delays should rise, in comparative terms. Since few cycle projects at this stage (any?) are based on reducing cyclist travel times, the short-term effect will be marginal. But I think its symbolically important, and could potentially be practically important at some stage in the future…

  2. Exciting. So does that mean CAA will start advocating for public bike hire, which is offcourse public transport?

  3. It is congested now at the on/off points of the ferry and there is poor uncovered bike parking. Uncovered is not good next to the sea!Devonport, for example is at the end of 2/3 cycle paths.

  4. Good to see this change, it is unfortunately not going to make much of an effect as projects realistically are never compared to one another in NZ, it’s simply this motorway or a bigger motorway now or slightly later. If we really did true comparisons the BCR for a new cycle crossing would be off the charts as the time savings compared with cycling all the way around the harbour would be massive.

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