Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning. Task 115. Applicability of Fair Division, Data Envelopment Analysis and Conjoint Analysis Techniques to Program Funding Level and Project Selection Decisionmaking

There are several ways to approach the difficult problem of capital budgeting of scarce transportation funds in a State department of transportation (DOT) environment. It is recognized that combining several methods (e.g., by using an ensemble method in forecasting) it is possible to produce more defensible allocations and tradeoffs considering multiple, and sometimes competing, issues such as economic efficiency, fairness, and public, project, and modal preferences. When multiple modes of transportation projects/activities are being considered for selection, the objective beneficial characteristics of each must be explicitly considered. The usual quantitative approach is to produce an overall score for each candidate project/activity, much like the Consumer Price Index, combining weighted criteria and project/activity evaluations on each criterion. However, while this may appear "scientific", the relative importance weightings of the criteria are subjective and often not reproducible, bringing into question the validity and transparency of the final project priority rankings. Some methods that have been used by practitioners, statisticians, and economists include (a) Data Envelopment Analysis; (b) Fair Division Analysis; and (c) Conjoint analysis. Each of these approaches considers and models preferences, benefits, and costs in different ways.  There is an increasing need to investigate and illustratively evaluate existing and new/alternate approaches to produce reasoned, defensible, and valid ways to allocate scarce funds to the most beneficial transportation projects/activities that have the highest public support and produce the most economic benefits. The objective of this research is to evaluate and illustrate by means of examples a "mock" transportation capital budgeting exercise using (a) Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA); (b) Fair Division Analysis (FDA); and (c) Conjoint Analysis (CA). The product of the research will be a white paper showing the potential applications of these methods.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $125000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-36, Task

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rand Corporation

    1700 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90401-2138
  • Principal Investigators:

    Adler, Thomas

  • Start Date: 20130802
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20141229
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38672

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549642
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-36, Task
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 6 2015 1:00AM