Capturing the economic benefit of cycling infrastructure

Two bike riders on a cycle only bridge
A new, easy-to-use online tool, can now analyse the economic costs and benefits of investment in active transport infrastructure.

Overview of action

Action 5.4, Queensland Cycling Action Plan 2017–2019
Status: complete

Investigate options to integrate cost-benefit analysis methodologies and tools for active transport into transport project assessment and prioritisation to capture the economic benefits of cycling infrastructure as part of other projects.

Achievements

A new, easy-to-use online tool developed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads can now analyse the economic costs and benefits of investment in active transport infrastructure.

This is making it easier for planners and analysts to estimate the value of investments to ensure their projects achieve best value for money.

Within about 30 minutes, analysts can enter the details of their project —such as length, cost, counts (or projections) of people walking and bicycle riding and safety impacts—and the tool will produce a benefit cost ratio.

A peer review of this new tool by Professor Chris Cherry, visiting academic at the University of Queensland, was very positive and identified constructive improvements which are currently being implemented.

The tool is already used widely by staff and is accompanied by additional guidance documents, frequently asked questions and other information and support for staff. Practitioners from outside the department can request access to the tool available online.

So far, approximately 40 completed projects have been evaluated, and their reports have been published online, including the Veloway 1 (V1) Cycleway Stage C, which has an excellent benefit cost ratio of 5.4. This ratio shows that, on average, every $1 invested the V1 Cycleway Stage C returned more than $5 to Queensland in health benefits, reduced traffic congestion and other benefits.

Next steps

We will promote use of the tool to staff and stakeholders and will monitor its use to understand how it’s being used, and where improvements can be made.

Lead agency

Department of Transport and Main Roads