Analyzing Willingness to Improve the Resiliency of New York City's Transportation System

Hurricane Sandy revealed the higher-risk vulnerability to natural hazards of civil infrastructure systems in coastal megacities such as New York. In particular, critical deficiencies in the NYC metropolitan area's transportation system emerged after Sandy. Unfortunately, experts predict that future sea level rise and storms will exacerbate the problems caused by these deficiencies. There are thus several challenges to improving strength and resilience of transportation systems. In particular, preparedness, survival, and recovery require the identification of adequate funding sources to collect revenue for public investments to improve resilience of the systems under threat. Traditional sources of funding for both recovering from disasters and preventing future damages are not only limited, but also do not account for benefit transfers of the externalities induced by the provision of resilient infrastructure. In principle, property owners should be willing to pay an amount equal to the perceived benefit, if this positive externality is internalized by them following some pricing mechanism. Monetizing these benefit transfers can be used as a tool not only to leverage scarce public resources, but also to achieve a socially optimal resource allocation. A key element is then the estimation of the willingness to pay for risk reductions, because this measure can be exploited to determine the cost share the community is willing to cover to secure infrastructure systems as well as to receive the benefits from minimizing potential damage. There is an open research question on how to properly express risks of extreme events, and how respondents of discrete choice experiments process information that involves infrequent but extremely damaging events. This proposal requests funds to determine the community's willingness to pay for improvements in the resiliency to extreme events of the transportation system in New York City. This objective seeks to provide better tools for better informing planning investments to improve both resilience and security of transportation infrastructure and services. A structural choice model will be derived aiming at a more general representation of decision-making under risk and uncertainty, using non-compensatory decision rules to determine the community's willingness to pay for improvements in the resiliency to extreme events of the transportation system in New York City. Choice microdata will be collected in coastal communities in the NYC area, while aiming at advancing the state-of-the-art in choice modeling for addressing different attitudes toward risk.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Project Managers:

    Eickemeyer, Penny

  • Performing Organizations:

    Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY  United States  14853
  • Principal Investigators:

    Nozick, Linda

    Daziano, Ricardo

  • Start Date: 20140501
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20151231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 36440

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01566140
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49198-21-26
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 11 2015 1:01AM