A comparative study of different evaluation techniques for appraising alternative transportation plans

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This thesis studies the evaluation element of the general transportation planning process from a broad systems perspective. Evaluation linkages are identified with the other activities of the planning process which, if not recognised and accounted for, can unnecessarily restrict the efficiency of plan evaluation thereby reducing the effectiveness of the evaluation element as an aid to decision making. The nature and scope of the evaluation element is examined in some detail. Certain key aspects are discussed; the value framework that is used to assess plan performance, the principles of measurement used therein, and some procedural steps are put forward to guide the selection of appropriate criteria to indicate plan performance. The latter part of the thesis is devoted to comparing the capabilities and limitations of six different evaluation techniques, namely; cost benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness technique, ranking and rating matrices, utility analysis and goals-achievement matrix. As a conclusion to the thesis, it is felt that due to the divergent nature of transportation planning each of the foregoing methods without exception, has its relative strengths and weaknesses. The aspects of robustness and weakness of each methodology are shown to be a reflection of certain fundamental paradoxical requirements that runs through the whole planning process. It is these conflicting requirements that consequently neutralise any one method from being totally effective. Consequently, for an evaluation to be comprehensive, complex transportation problems should be evaluated in two stages. The primary evaluation should be undertaken with the "most appropriate" methodology followed with a supplementary evaluation augmenting any deficiency in the initial evaluation.

Includes bibliography at end of each chapter.