The long term social benefits of urban transit investments: A CBA of the Stockholm Metro

Daniel Jonsson
Mattias Lundberg

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) has been a fundament of appraisal in Northern European Countries for decades and is becoming increasingly important in Sweden (Eliasson and Lundberg, 2011). Still, the CBA methodology is a relatively young tool and has been developed for evaluation of smaller infrastructure objects. Also proponents of the CBA method recognise some methodological problems (see for instance Mackie and Preston (1998)), in particular of large infrastructure investments. To undermine the trust in CBA as an accurate decision support, it is often stated in the Swedish debate that the Stockholm Metro, build in the 1950’s and now central for the functioning of the traffic system and commuting, would not have shown a positive CBA outcome if the present methods and tools had been available at the time.

The purpose of this paper is to perform an ex-post cost benefit analysis of the Metro system, the largest urban rail investment in Sweden. The Stockholm Metro has a track length of 105 kilometres, of which 62 kilometres are in tunnels, with a total of 100 stations spread over three lines. The application of CBA to an investment of the size of the Stockholm Metro illustrates clearly that there are certain benefits that may not be sufficiently well captured in standard CBA: land-use benefits, labour market benefits and benefits arising from increased capacity in the road and public transit network. In this paper we try to assess the size of the external labour market effects and land-use effects in the Stockholm Metro case.



International Conference on Electric Road Systems starts today

Electric Road Systems (ERS) is a relatively new concept with many initiatives on the way. To learn from each other and stimulate new collaborations the Swedish Research and Innovation Platform for Electric Roads arranged the first international conference...


Same survey of road users’ attitudes in 50 countries

At the Road Safety on Five Continents Conference, RS5C, one entire session presented a large survey of road users' attitudes in 38 countries. Results show large differences between countries in many areas, both regarding behavior and attitudes. A new survey...


Good results with alcohol interlock program according to Swedish study

An alcohol interlock program makes it possible for drink driving offenders to continue their everyday lives. In a Swedish study most of the participants were satisfied with the program and experienced improved health. They also reported drinking alcohol more...


Traffic safety in the spotlight

Today the Conference Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C) opened in Jeju Island, South Korea. More than 220 participators have come from all over the world to present findings and learn about traffic safety. Dr. Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the...


VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...