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Applying a custom Multiple Account Evaluation framework
Translink, Vancouver’s transportation authority
Capturing non-monetary benefits such as reduced crowding and improvements to station waiting areas and access was a major consideration for this comprehensive MAE.
Crowding and delays on the Expo Line, the primary transit corridor between Downtown Vancouver and the regional centres of Metrotown, New Westminster and Surrey Centre, have necessitated capacity increases to enable transit mode share growth in the region.
Planned improvements to the line include extending all services to four or five car trains and improving passenger access and waiting areas. A study was commissioned to assess the cost, ridership and operational implications in order to guide TransLink through the implementation of these improvements.
As a sub-consultant to SNC-Lavalin, SDG developed future-year ridership forecasts for a range of growth scenarios and upgrades in addition to leading the development of the Multiple Account Evaluation (MAE) framework used as the primary assessment tool.
How we did it
Steer Davies Gleave produced a comprehensive and versatile tool to undertake the evaluation as the project required a custom approach to capture benefits like reduced crowding and improvements to station waiting areas and access. The MAE framework proved useful as it allowed the client to assess the complex aspects of any investment decision.
The framework offered a structured approach to examining a broad range of attributes including environmental, economic, social and other factors. In turn this allows the project to be viewed from an integrated perspective while also revealing an assessment of specific attributes.
Following the submission of the upgrade strategy, TransLink reappointed the project team, including Steer Davies Gleave, to expand on their MAE framework by monetizing some of the upgrade benefits. This will be done through a stated preference survey covering valuation of ‘soft’ factors, such as crowding, ease of circulation station facilities and security and safety. This data could then be applied to other rapid transit projects in the region.
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