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  • New
    February 2015
    Tackling Systematic Cost Overruns in Infrastructure Projects

    Systematic cost-overruns in major capital infrastructure projects have significant implications for public policy decision makers: Projects that cost more than planned create budget pressures and this can translate into political difficulties. A tendency for projects to cost, on average, more than expected indicates a problem with the estimation method or the decision making process. Researchers have in the past identified ‘optimism bias’ and ‘strategic misrepresentation’ as the main culprits for systemic cost overruns. However, all current explanations do not entirely conform to the existing empirical data from actual projects. Research carried out at the International Transport Forum suggests there are in fact additional drivers of cost-overruns in public investment appraisal.

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    Read the full article:
    Systematic Construction Risk, Cost Estimation Mechanism and Unit Price Movements
    in Transport Policy, Volume 35, September 2014

  • October 2012
    Towards Seamless Public Transport

    As public transport undergoes transformations towards achieving more seamlessness, our latest Policy Brief, following our joint seminar with the Korean Transport Institute, examines considerations from the user, operator, and governmental point of view. Policy-relevant conclusions presented here include:
    - new opportunities opened by e-ticketing;
    - universal payments enabled by bank account-based ticketing;
    - 'virtuous circle' enabled by network design;
    - importance of institutional coordination.

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  • July 2012
    Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles: Made for each other?

    Electric vehicles are a potentially significant route towards low-carbon transport but widespread adoption of e-mobility will lead to greater consumption of electricity. Existing electricity systems will need to be reconfigured to meet these needs if reliance on fossil fuels is not to increase. This Policy Brief looks at the potential of Smart Grids and electric vehicles to change and improve electricity systems worldwide.

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  • June 2012
    Electric Cars: Ready for prime time?

    Should electric cars receive subsidies – or “primes” – in order to help countries reduce oil dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution … and if so, when? This Policy Brief highlights evidence on the costs to consumers and society of purchasing battery electric cars instead of equivalent fossil-fuelled cars and assesses the justification for purchase subsidies. It is based on detailed cost comparison for vehicles currently on sale in the French market and discusses the impact of the €5 000 “prime” for electric cars.

    Go to Policy Brief PDF

    See also:

    Electric Vehicles Revisited – Costs, Subsidies and Prospects, Discussion Paper No. 2012-03, April 2012 PDF
    Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles: Made for Each Other?,  Discussion Paper No. 2012-02, April 2012 PDF

  • April 2012
    Making Reliability Part of Transport Policy

    Most of us face unreliable travel services in our daily lives. Unexpected delays make us miss a train or arrive late for work. Whether for business meetings, social events or deliveries of goods, reliability is a key quality of seamless transport. A review of policies in OECD countries shows, however, that only few countries explicitly incorporate reliability into transport policy making. The Policy Brief outlines the findings of research undertaken at the International Transport Forum.

    Go to Policy Brief PDF

    See also:

    Improving Reliability on Surface Transport Networks,  OECD/International Transport Forum, 2010 (pdf) PDF

    Improving Reliability on Surface Transport Networks,  Executive Summary PDF

    International Meeting on Travel Time Reliability - World View and SHRP2, Washington D.C., 23 January 2011

    Incorporating Reliability into Cost-Benefit Assessment: State of Practice and Recent Developments, Presentation at TRB, Washington D.C., January 2012 PDF



  • October 2011
    Do car scrapping schemes help the environment and increase safety?

    Scrappage programmes aimed to stimulate spending during a downturn in car sales as a result of the economic recession. Many governments introduced incentive schemes, offering consumers cash or discounts for trading in their old car for a new one. Besides aiming to bolster demand, claims of environmental and safety benefits were associated with such schemes to enhance their attractiveness.

    But what was the exact impact for environment and safety? And could it have been even stronger? This Policy Brief presents the results of an in-depth study that comes to some interesting conclusions.

    Go to Policy Brief PDF

    The study follows our Think Tank‘s 1999 work, highlighting the high cost of addressing environmental goals through such schemes.

    See also:

    Car Fleet Renewal Schemes: Environmental and Safety Impacts, France, Germany and the United States (ITF/FIA, 2011) PDF

    Cleaner Cars: Fleet Renewal and Scrappage Schemes, Guide to Good Practice. (ECMT 1999) PDF