Transport and Ethics

Transport and Ethics

Ethics and the Evaluation of Transport Policies and Projects

Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Bert van Wee

This insightful book discusses the use of Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) for transport policy options from an ethical perspective. Each detailed chapter deals with issues such as: the use and ethical aspects of CBA in transport, social exclusion, the environment and long term sustainability, safety, ethics of research and modelling transport. It summarizes ethics-based critics on CBA and discusses their relevance for accessibility, the environment and safety. In addition it explores ethical dilemmas of doing CBAs and CBA related research. The book concludes with possible avenues for further exploring the links between transport and ethics.

Preface and acknowledgements

Bert van Wee

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, transport, valuation, environment, environmental economics, transport, valuation, urban and regional studies, transport

Extract

This book is written thanks to my faculty offering me a part-time sabbatical, in order to study ‘something other’ than my mainstream research focus (I hold a chair in Transport Policy). I chose the link between transport and ethics. What were the reasons for this decision? A first motivation is my deep interest in multi-disciplinary research. After a (Dutch equivalent of a) Masters in geography, I have been professionally inspired by other disciplines, the most important being civil engineering, economics, psychology, environmental and managerial sciences. New job positions were the most important trigger for studying ‘new’ disciplines, but also my belief that both scientific progress, as well as the practical use of science, benefits from a multi-disciplinary (and in some cases an interdisciplinary) approach. In addition, ethics (and more broadly, philosophy) had been – up to undertaking the work that resulted in this book – almost completely absent in my research focus. A second motivation comes from my experiences with Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA). Although they are quite positive, I had the feeling that something was still missing. Part of my work relates to the ex ante evaluation of transport projects and policies. In most western countries mainstream economic reasoning is very dominant in ex ante evaluations of transport projects and policies, CBA being the most widely used framework for evaluation. I have supported the use of CBA in several roles, for instance in my work as a member of scientific committees, to check if CBAs  for large infrastructure projects were made...