Oregon Metro chose RSG to develop a Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) toolkit. The toolkit supports transportation planning alternatives analyses by estimating the quantitative social return on investment of alternative transportation investment scenarios. The benefits calculator is implemented in the Python-based ActivitySim framework and builds on our previous work to develop benefit-cost analysis methods for activity-based travel demand models. A comprehensive set of criteria are measured in the benefits calculator, including the health benefits of physical activity, travel options/choices (using modeling logsums), highway safety benefits from fewer crashes, and reductions in emissions, surface water runoff, highway noise, vehicle operating costs, and vehicle ownership costs. In addition, the project costing workbook calculates total project costs by type and net present value, and the project prioritization assistance helps with outreach and regional project prioritization. Finally, the toolkit includes an interactive visualization website/dashboard with charts and maps to explore benefits across scenarios.
Once we completed the toolkit, we assisted Oregon Metro staff with its application for several regionally significant transportation planning projects. Future applications will help Oregon Metro inform the community discussion around project prioritization, especially the equity (i.e., environmental justice) components of transportation projects.