Application of the Freight Transportation Investment Model
The Freight Transportation Investment Model (FTIM) is a sketch-planning tool used to compare the economic impacts of freight improvement projects. It can be applied to estimate impacts in areas that do not have a truck model, or that do not have freight data as extensive as that collected in the Portland metropolitan area. FTIM was developed by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) (Cambridge Systematics, 1999).
To calculate the direct and indirect economic impacts of freight improvement projects, the FTIM quantifies the travel time savings to motor carriers, annual truck trips, and value of time estimates:
Motor carrier benefits = Sum of (motor carrier time savings * trips by truck type * value of time)
FTIM then disaggregates benefits by industry group. Users may select one of two default industry mixes that best represents the area in which the project is located: distribution-intensive or manufacturing-intensive. Alternatively, regional data can be analyzed to develop a region-specific industry mix. REMI model output, customized for the analysis region, is then used to translate the value of motor carrier time savings by industry into economic impacts such as jobs, gross regional product, and personal income.
In the Columbus study, results for each of 10 proposed projects were reported in terms of the dollar value of annual travel time savings, total changes in employment, cumulative income benefits, and business sales benefits. Minimum and maximum estimates were provided to reflect variations in travel time savings for peak vs. off-peak periods. The most beneficial project was expected to result in time savings of $5.8 to 43.7 million annually and cumulative income benefits of $120 to $888 million over the 20-year analysis period. The results of the analysis were used to prioritize the 10 candidate projects.