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.

Chapter 9: Epilogue and Discussion

Bert van Wee

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

Extract

This book has shown that, although the literature that explicitly discusses ethical aspects of transport is limited, there certainly are many ethical dimensions related to transport, at least in the ex ante evaluation of transport projects and policies. The importance of such issues is recognized by the respondents to the questionnaire study, as described in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses the use and ethical aspects of Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) in transport. It shows that, although CBA is a very attractive tool for the ex ante evaluation of transport projects and policies, its use is not indisputable. Criticisms include – among others – the limitations of utilitarianism, the use of indicators to be evaluated, the fact that distribution effects are often ignored, and the ignorance of the process of ex ante evaluation. Based on Chapter 3, a checklist was developed that could be used for the application of theoretical insights into the area of transport. As is the general case in the area of applied ethics, the selection of ethical theories to be used for a specific transport related evaluation purpose is case specific, and there is no general recipe for making related choices. The checklist aims nevertheless to give some guidance, if one wants to apply ethical theories in the area of the ex ante evaluation of transport policy options. Partly based on the checklist of Chapter 3, Chapters 4–6 focus on the what-question: what are the ethical aspects of specific subjects? Chapter 4 discusses social exclusion, an important concept...

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