Research

The Elements and Outcomes of Varying Financing Scenarios on the Overall Cost of Transportation Capital Programs

Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard Sicotte (Department of Economics)
Co-Investigator: Karen Glitman (UVM Transportation Research Center)
Funding Agency:
US DOT

Project Summary

This project explores the economic forces that are in play in transportation capital programs. The goal is to inform decision makers so that they can better determine the most efficient means of increasing funding for transportation capital programs without unduly affecting costs.

Two factors have been widely discussed in the transportation sector over the last year. First, as we delay maintenance due to limited resources, the unit cost of fixing our infrastructure increases rapidly. That is, delayed maintenance leads to more costly repairs. Second, based on asset management principles, the costs to maintain our infrastructure at the desired level now exceeds our revenue sources for transportation. This project aims to develop a model to show the optimal rate of increase in transportation expenditures over time to most efficiently and cost effectively meet the infrastructure needs. The underlying assumption is that a tripling of the capital program in one year will not result in a tripling of the projects delivered and will, in fact, negatively affect project cost.