Accessibility and equity: An approach for wider transport project assessment in Chile

Author: Niehaus, M., Galilea, P. and Hurtubia, R. (2016)

Journal: Research in Transportation Economics (Article in Press)

Keywords: Accessibility measures; Equity indicators; Social evaluation; Chile

There is increasing consent about the importance of incorporating wider impacts to analyse transport projects and plans. Recent research reports the need to assess equity impacts of urban projects to better allocate resources. This has an even larger meaning in Latin America, because of great inequalities present. Additionally, literature about accessibility highlights the readiness of their indicators on assessing equitable access to opportunities Hence, this work explores ways to measure access inequality aimed towards better methodologies for transport project assessment.

Chile represents an opportunity to develop this approach. Different accessibility measures for modelled future scenarios are analysed in the context of Santiago. The method builds from a simple accessibility formulation based on travel times forecasted by a four-step transport model. Using two subway projects as case study, methodological implications for assessment are then discussed. As a result, an index is proposed to incorporate equitable accessibility impacts parallel to CBA, which demands to further consolidate multi-criteria analysis. In the future it may also be possible to explore a value for accessibility to allow a different type of cost-benefit analysis. Conclusion remarks operational and concept issues that need to be addressed to further build a useful accessibility and equity indicators.