Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference



This Desk Reference is intended to meet the needs of a wide range of practitioners looking to conduct benefit/cost analysis of operations strategies. The guidance provided in the Desk Reference includes basic background information on benefit/cost analysis, including basic terminology and concepts, intended to support the needs of practitioners just getting started with B/C analysis, who may be unfamiliar with the general process. Building off this primer base, the Desk Reference also describes some of the more complex analytical concepts and latest research in order to support more advanced analysts in conducting their analysis. Some of the more advanced topics include capturing the impacts of travel time reliability; assessing the synergistic effects of combining different strategies; and capturing the benefits and costs of supporting infrastructure, such as traffic surveillance and communications. This Desk Reference is supported by an Operations B/C decision support tool, called the Tool for Operations Benefit/Cost (TOPS-BC). This spreadsheet-based tool is designed to assist practitioners in conducting benefit/cost analysis.

Source Organization Location

Washington, DC

Operations Area of Practice

  • ITS System architecture
  • Strategic Planning
  • Cost / Benefit Analysis

Organizational Capability Element

  • Programming/Budget/Funding
  • Economic Analysis of Reliability/Costs and Benefits
  • Evaluation of Operations Strategies

Content Type

  • Informational Product

Role in Organization

  • Associate Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Manager / First Line Supervisor
  • Principal Engineer
  • Researcher/Academic
  • Senior Engineer
  • Senior Manager

Publishing Organization

  • FHWA

Document Downloads

Project Website

Operations Benefit/Cost Analysis Desk Reference

Prime Contractor
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Doug Sallman, Erin Flanigan, Krista Jeannotte, Chris Heddon, and Dorothy Morallos
Issue Date
May 15th, 2012
Publication Number
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