Freight Transportation Cost Data Elements
The fundamental objective of transportation planning is to define courses of action—involving projects, programs, and policies—to take the transportation system to a higher level of performance in economic and environmental terms. Defining such courses of action, or “alternatives,” typically requires developing an understanding of how passenger and freight demand would respond to the alternatives being considered and determining whether or not a policy or program is worth pursuing. The latter requires the determination of whether or not the incremental benefits brought about by the alternative are larger than its incremental costs. If this is the case, the alternative could be considered and compared to others, until an optimal course of action is determined. As a result, transportation planning needs a thorough understanding of the social costs and benefits associated with the different courses of action.
The objectives of the NCFRP 26 project are:
(1) To identify the specific types of direct freight transportation cost data elements required for public investment, policy, and regulatory decision-making, and
(2) To describe and assess different strategies for identifying and obtaining the data gaps for the cost data elements in each mode.