Dr. Andy Obermeyer, transport and traffic scientist at the TU Dresden, analyses whether and what influence small individual travel time gains have on the general travel time value and thus on the economic efficiency of transport projects.

Travel time savings are usually the dominant component in social cost-benefit analysis of transport projects, especially in road transport. Accordingly, the factor converting travel time savings to monetary valued user benefits, the so-called value of travel time, is essential for cost-benefit analyses. A particular problem is the monetarization of small travel time savings of only a few seconds or minutes on a single trip of a person. It is uncertain if these minimal time changes are beneficial for the person. Therefore, it is an open question which value of travel time should be applied in the economic analysis to monetize small travel time savings.

This problem is the subject of a recent publication by the Dresden Transport and Traffic Sciences at TU Dresden in the magazine "Zeitschrift für Verkehrswissenschaft" (Magazine for Transport and Traffic Sciences). In the article, Dr. rer. pol. Andy Obermeyer, transportation economist and research associate at the Chair of Economics, esp. Transport Policy and Spatial Economics at the TU Dresden, summarizes the arguments for and against a specific treatment of small travel time savings in cost-benefit analyses. In particular, he shows the conditions under which such specific treatment is possible. He also provides an overview of how various countries, including Germany, handle small travel time savings in the cost-benefit analysis of transport infrastructure projects.


Andy Obermeyer (2021): Small individual travel time gains in benefit-cost analyses of transport projects, Journal of Transport Science (ZfV), 91(2), 61-80. (in German)