Life Cycle Costs and Benefits Analysis of Freight Transportation

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Freight plays an increasing role in the national, state, and local economies. However, the life-cycle costs and benefits of freight investments are difficult to quantify, and there is a lack of specific tools to evaluate the potential benefits of freight investment projects.

In this research, we developed and implemented a methodology to evaluate life-cycle costs and benefits of freight transportation projects based on our previously developed economic impact analysis tool, FreighTEC. A post-processing tool, FreighTEC 2.0, is developed to assist the project prioritization process for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) based on the freight forecast model — Freight Supply-chain Intermodal Model (FreightSIM). The FreighTEC 2.0 considers costs of the entire life-cycle of freight investment projects, including planning, construction, operation, and maintenance, and estimates the direct benefits to the users and economic impacts to the impacted county (i.e. local impacts) and the state as a whole (i.e., state impacts).

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