Investment in the transport infrastructure-New Jersey

Transport infrastructure in New Jersey

According to the report, the state of New Jersey would have taken several procedures to evaluate how much benefits they would accrue from the investment in their transport infrastructure through the benefit-cost framework (Transportation Cooperative Research Program, 2002). The first step is the determination of the policies or investment options for the infrastructure; here, experts decide what forms of the proposed infrastructure are workable against constraints such as time and budgets, in addition to the function they are supposed to serve. Secondly, the scope of the evaluation must be determined to ascertain what effects of transport infrastructure are significant to warrant analysis; the extent of measuring impacts is also established. The third step involves the classification of implications based on how their monetization or how measurable they are while avoiding duplication. The quantifiable impacts are then assessed or quantified in a similar unit of measurement, preferably a monetary one.

After the measurement, the impacts are assigned a dollar value where possible. The dollar value of the future benefits is then discounted to their present value for each alternative to ascertain their net benefits.Net benefits refer to the excess of what is left after the total costs expenditure incurred during the construction of the infrastructure has been covered by the dollar benefits that result upon completion, of course in their present value. However, impacts that are not immediately quantifiable in monetary terms are also taken into account. Based on the main assumptions, sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine how the results of the evaluation would be affected by changes in those assumptions. The assessment of all impacts, whether monetizable, measurable, or not measurable, is then combined for every alternative for comparison purposes. Finally, if the previous step does not present a viable option of comparisons, a scoring or weighting criteria, formal or informal, can be used to clarify decision-making.

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Underlying the benefit-cost framework is the fact assumption that when investing in transport systems, there should be a significant increase in performance, which would have otherwise been nonexistent if that investment did not take place (Transportation Cooperative Research Program, 2002). Therefore, before the investment is made, it is commonplace for the benefits to accrue as well as costs to be incurred to be determined. The cost of investment is determined as first being the initial outlay that is directly incurred and the subsequent costs that will be anticipated from changes in the performance due to the use of improved transport systems (Transportation Cooperative Research Program, 2002).

The direct expenditure incurred when making an investment in transport infrastructure

The direct expenditure that is incurred when making an investment in transport infrastructure is simple to quantify and assign value; for instance, the cost may be incurred in the course of making plans, designing, actual construction, and subsequent maintenance of the transport systems. On the other hand, the change in performance or improvement of the transport systems is assessed in terms of how much time is lost (or gained) by using the infrastructure, the cost of operation, and the costs attributed to the safety of users. The process of measuring and assigning value to the cost of improving transport based onresources that are used already have a value on them, in the form of market prices.

According to UWCFIRE (2009), the main factors that bring about variations in supply chains include but are not limited to weather, congestion, and fuel costs. Adverse weather affects the supply chain for goods on transit through air, road, or sea. Air transportation is the most affected, since incidences of storms may lead to the grounding of airplanes used for freight.Heavy snowfall may also lead to the blockage of major expressways, rendering them impassable. On the other hand,congestion may refer to the hold up of goods at the port or in transit through major highways. Congestion is a common phenomenon, especially on transitways that handle a large volume of traffic than their capacity can allow. It may also be seasonal, often following the influx of movements from one region to another. This causes delays in clearing and transporting of goods to their selected destinations and may lead to losses if goods are perishable ones. Lastly, high fuel costs would, more often than not, make use of one or the whole of the supply chains expensive, and the stakeholders involved will have to look for alternatives that are economical. Some modes of transport in the supply chains may be less affected than others if fuel costs were to go up; nevertheless, the overall cost increase would still be significant; hence, some of it may be passed on to end-users.


Transportation Cooperative Research Program. (2002). TCRP report 78, estimating the benefits and costs of public transit projects: a guide for practitioners, Parson’s Brinckerhoff Quade& Douglas, Inc., Portland, OR, pp. 12-17. Retrieved from:

UWCFIRE. (2009). Keeping the global supply chain moving. [Video file]. Retrieved from

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