Typical Criteria Used in the Evaluation of Transportation Alternatives

These 59 evaluation questions were included in the Draft Final Report of July 17, 2001 for the Central Area Loop Study in Cincinnati, Ohio. See the Skyloop website for a description. It was prepared for the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments by Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglass, Inc. It has been used to evaluate the four Central Area Loop technology alternatives included in this study. It can serve as a check-list for others doing similar alternatives analysis studies if modified to fit their particular circumstances.

Category Evaluation Question
Cost Effectiveness To what extent does this transportation system represent a cost-effective investment?
Are there front-end costs and time associated with this transportation system to ready it for implementation?
How severe are the secondary costs (utilities, street changes) due to placing this transportation system and its structures in likely locations?
What is the technical life expectancy of this technology?
To what extend does this transportation system imply a reasonable level of annual costs?
Are there any extraordinary power  requirements associated with this technology?
Is this transportation system labor intensive to operate and maintain?
What relative degree of  vehicle failure or downtime is likely with this technology?
What level of vehicle spares seems indicated as prudent?
Equity Will the transportation system distribute costs and benefits equally to all segments of the population within the service area?
Will the transportation system serve a variety of populations?
Will the transportation system provide affordable transportation to low-income individuals?
Safety/Access Is this transportation system ADA compliant?
Does the transportation system meet fire/life safety requirements?
Is there a perception of personal safety within the vehicle and at the stations?
Will there be difficulties meeting building code requirements?
Does the transportation system provide convenient access to all users?
Does the transportation system present a safety hazard to non-users?
Effectiveness Does the transportation system have acceptable point-to-point travel times including station dwell times?
Does the system provide reliable service levels?
Does the transportation system provide adequate service to the study area destinations in terms of frequency of service and  geographic coverage?
Will the transportation system adequately serve projected ridership and/or attract sufficient ridership to justify the investment?
How reliable is the transportation system in maintaining schedule?
Does this transportation system facilitate intermodal transfer movements among public transit service providers?


         General Impacts Will there by adverse effects to historic structures and districts?
Are noise and vibration generated or caused by the operation of this transportation system acceptable or manageable?
Are impacts associated with ecology, hazardous materials or wetlands anticipated?
        Rights-of-Way Can the transportation system be installed within existing public rights-of-way?
Will there be displacements or relocations associated with the construction and operation of this technology?
       Visual Impacts Will the transportation system, including its associated structures, create visual impacts within the study area?
       Urban Integration Will the vehicles, line structures, stations and system-wide elements integrate well into the urban form and character of the area served?
Can the geometric requirements of the transportation system (minimum turning radius, grade climbing ability, vehicle envelope, etc.) be accommodated in various locations in the study area?
Will the fixed facilities or operations of this transportation system create real or perceived barriers dividing neighborhoods?
Does the transportation system and its guideway structures and stations cause diminished capacity for motor vehicle traffic flow in general?
Will there be any specific traffic impacts associated with the technology?
Will there be an specific construction impacts associated with the technology?
System Flexibility Can the transportation system respond to changes in ridership levels?
Is the alignment easily expandable?
Are there extraordinary requirements of the transportation system in its storage and maintenance facility location or design?
Are new stations or boarding areas accommodated easily?
Can the barrier-free, proof-of-purchase far collection method be used with this technology?
Are there excessive or unusual clearance requirements associated with this technology?
Does this transportation system require a fully-separated operating envelope?
Utilization of Existing Infrastructure Can this transportation system utilize existing bridges within the study area?
Will the transportation system require the construction of a guideway or track structure?
Will the transportation system enhance the existing regional transportation investment?
Does this transportation system have enough vertical alignment flexibility to minimize guideway costs?
Implementation Obstacles Are there several operational systems using this transportation system in the US or abroad?
Are vehicles of this transportation system generally reliable and safe in operation?
Are there at least two suppliers worldwide who could or would produce this technology?
If this transportation system  becomes selected for an initial order, is it likely additional compatible sets of equipment can be procured in five years under competitive circumstances?
Does this transportation system drive the scoping of a procurement such that the vehicles, guideway, and systems must be combined?
Is there confidence that cost estimates can be projected accurately?
Are there any factors that would preclude cost estimates from being projected accurately?
Does the transportation system utilize proprietary transportation technology, or is the technology generally available?
Are multiple suppliers available to allow competition for the initial system?
How long a period will be required to demonstrate and prove the safety and operational reliability of the system?
Is there significant technical risk associated with the implementation of the transportation system?
Does this transportation system utilize proven available technology?


Last modified: September 09, 2001