In collaboration with industry experts and researchers, OnTrackNorthAmerica is leading the development of a comprehensive dataset of land freight lifecycle impacts. Lasting negative impacts as well as costly delays during project development can be avoided if this wider set of factors, and stakeholder interests, are considered in plans and investments.
Infrastructure investments must reflect a complete understanding of the comparative impacts of trucks and railroads.
Labor Costs to build the project
Materials Costs not including land acquisition
Materials Lifecycle Impacts of sourcing and transporting construction materials
Contractor Costs including entities or companies that plan, engineer, finance, and build new infrastructure which may include the labor and materials
Existing rights-of-way or legacy rights of way for building the new transportation infrastructure
Right-of-way land needed for new transportation infrastructure must be purchased if there are not existing rights-of-way
Energy used to transport goods (diesel, gasoline, electricity, natural gas, etc)
Energy Lifecycle Impacts of sourcing, distributing, and using each fuel source used to transport goods
Labor and administration cost for providing the required transportation service
Maintenance of Transportation Assets required to keep freight transportation viable and safe
Useful Life of the Transportation Asset Estimated life of the road surface, foundation, bridges, and track
Transport Equipment acquisition including trucks, locomotives, containers, rail cars, etc., considered over useful life
Maintenance of Transport Equipment required to keep freight transportation equipment viable and safe
End of Life Equipment Disposition Value and Impact of equipment disposition at end of life
Criteria Pollutants from fuel emissions that cause smog, acid rain, and other health hazards
Greenhouse Gas emissions from the construction, operation, and maintenance of transport infrastructure that contribute to global warming
Noise impact on quality of life for areas abutting infrastructure from engines, rolling stock, and aerodynamics
Water Quality impact of vehicle and fuel contamination on adjacent and downstream wildlife and natural environment
Light Pollution impact from transportation on a community or on wildlife and the natural environment
Toxic releases including accidental and non-accidental releases of transported hazardous materials.
Wildlife Vitality including life expectancy and health impact on animals from truck and rail movements
Land Used for Transport needed by each mode for moving ton-miles of freight, including right-of-way and parking
Safety including fatalities and injuries per ton-mile of freight
Safety to the Transportation Providers including on-the-job fatalities and injuries
Travel Congestion – Recurring impacts on highway capacity, lost time, and impacts of additional fuel use from truck and railroad operations
Travel Congestion – Nonrecurring impacts on highway capacity, lost time, and impacts of additional fuel use from truck and railroad crashes
Peaceful Enjoyment impact on use of land adjacent to road and rail transportation corridors
Property Tax Impact due to presence of transport infrastructure
Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on adjacent property values
As our Project Advisor Dr. Jin relates in his support letter, there is a yawning gap between the volumes of thoughtful research and its pragmatic application in the field. This project bridges that gap. It provides the framework for applying the fine work of researchers that study the individual elements of transportation costs and impacts.
Research and data alone are not enough… More than new research, this project will empower policymakers, citizens, and businesses with the full lifecycle implications of truck and rail transportation investments. Armed with that knowledge, we can consciously choose a new future. You are invited to contribute.
Wang and M. Jin, “Transportation Performance Measurement System with a Case Study in Mississippi,” The Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, 45 (3), pp. 19-37, 2006. You can find the full text at https://collaboration.fhwa.dot.gov/dot/fhwa/pm/Lists/aReferences/DispForm.aspx?ID=79 or http://journals.oregondigital.org/trforum/article/view/606/511
P. Kelle and M. Jin, “Development of Performance Measurement for Freight Transportation,” Final Report 522, NCITEC and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, 2014. You can access it at https://www.ltrc.lsu.edu/pdf/2014/fr_522.pdf