Social Cost Benefit Analysis

Basic Information


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Price depends on the complexity of the project and available data. Prices are based on a per hour fee.

Application time

1 to 4 months

Assistance required

External assistance needed

Assistance data

Depends on the project and expected impacts. Common inputs are cost calculations, traffic forecasts etc.

Tool type

Method / Approach

Application area

  • Exploitation and business plans

Target Audience

  • Metropolitan regions


The SCBA is a decision support tool that measures and weighs various impacts of a project or policy. It compares project costs (capital and operating expenses) with a broad range of (social) impacts, e.g. travel time savings, travel costs, impacts on other modes, climate, safety, and the environment. Also impacts on property values and economic impacts can be analysed.

Decisio planners and economists have been using and improving our Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) tool for over a decade. The tool supports decision makers in various policy areas like transport economics (individual and collective transport measures, cycling, rail, highways, waterways, airports), (renewable) energy, spatial development, water management and tourism.

The output of the SCBA tool indicates weather benefits outweigh costs of certain projects and allow for comparison of different (variations of) measures. Outputs indicate which measure has the highest 'social yield', to what extent goals are reached, which side effects occur and to which parties costs and benefits accrue.

Good Example

In Amsterdam the SCBA tool was used to assess the impacts of several options for bridging the IJ-river which divides the city centre and the rapidly growing neighbourhood of Amsterdam North. The current use of ferries is stretched to its limits. Several options for bridges, tunnels, cable cars and extended ferry operations were compared. A combination of a bridge and extended ferry operations proved to be the best option in terms of costs and benefits for all stakeholders and was decided on by City-council.

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of CINEA. Neither the European Union nor CINEA can be held responsible for them.

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