Towards a more equitable distribution of resources: Using activity-based models and subjective well-being measures in transport project evaluation

Bat hen Nahmias–Biran, Yoram Shiftan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this paper, we develop an innovative and comprehensive transport evaluation criterion to better account for equity considerations in transport project evaluation. This work explores transportation benefits from the consumer's perspective to accessibility as a key benefit generated by any transportation project. To assess the full benefits of transportation project implementation for various consumers and calculate the improvement in accessibility, it is best to use Activity-Based Models (ABM). ABMs have two important advantages for equity analysis, which have not been utilized in the literature so far: first, ability to analyze results by various groups of the population; second, these models can utilize the Activity Based Accessibility (ABA) measure to estimate the overall benefits from transport investments and policies. The ABA measure allows one person to have different accessibilities for different choice situations, depending on his/her characteristics. We suggest including social and spatial factors in social welfare assessment by introducing the concept of accessibility gains to key social activities. Specifically, it is suggested to incorporate subjective well-being consideration into a new evaluation framework “Equity Benefit Analysis” (EBA). we use an alternative measure, “Subjective Value of Accessibility gains” (SVOA), which is based on the ABM accessibility measure as well as on Subjective Well-Being (SWB) measure, as the key benefit taken into account in the evaluation process. The SVOA is not intended to replace the current practice of analyzing equity by comparing various impacts on different groups of the population, but can aid by providing policymakers with a single measure advancing both equity and efficiency considerations and facilitating comparison among alternatives. Initial case study results indicate the SVOA can show higher benefits to policies focusing on the needs of vulnerable social groups that compared traditional measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-684
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Activity-Based Models
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Equity
  • Evaluation
  • Multi-Criteria Analysis
  • Subjective Well-Being


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