What is the value of a park or subway?
September 11, 2012 8:48 AM Subscribe
How do they determine the real costs/values of things like Amtrak, a subway, a highway or a dam?
posted by ebesan to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It is easy enough to add up operating/maintenance costs, tolls, and projected lifetime; but how do economists/social scientists factor in the value of say, 5.3 million rides/weekdays, on the NYC subway? (they are not clogging the roads, polluting, late for work due to a traffic jam) The bridges and highways that trucks use to supply goods? Bus stops that are well-lit and convenient, encouraging bus-ridership? bike lanes? Planting more trees in urban areas? After all, if we built more roads, we'd sell more cars, mechanics would have more work, add construction jobs, and Detroit benefits. Can you put a number on the social good of things like parks? Who crunches these things, and how?