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Project summary

Name of the case study
Transport Project Assessment Guidelines

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Short description of the case study
The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) in Finland has developed common guidelines for project assessment for all state transport projects. The latest general instructions for the assessment come from the year 2000, but the method itself has a longer tradition in road project evaluation. Some improvements were proposed 2002.

The procedure is based on cost-benefit-analyses (CBA) also including some environmental and social aspects and has strong influence on decision-making. All transport projects proposed by state organisations must go through this procedure, and the resulting benefit/cost ratio is an important factor in considering state fund allocation to projects. Basically the method in the assessment is a CBA over 30 years using 5% discount rent, using forecast where the actual data is not available. The costs included are normally the infrastructure investment and maintenance, traffic operations (vehicle costs/km and time costs/h both accident costs) and external costs (noise and emissions). Project assessment procedure also includes verbal and indicator-based evaluation on impacts not mentioned above (e.g. impacts on scenery, nature, land use or urban form), and comparison of these impacts to traffic policy aims. This is more or less background information and not included in the basic CBA-analyses, and has not so direct influence on decision-making.

The guidelines were prepared in the Ministry of Transport and Communications in co-operation with institutions controlled by the ministry and maintaining transport infrastructure: Road, Rail and Maritime Administrations. These administrations normally implement the assessment in their projects, often in co-operation with the municipalities. Here, the implementing of the guidelines in any particular project is the case, developing these unified guidelines for all modes is the background.

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