The financial crisis in 2008/2009 has made many countries aware that public funds need to be managed better. A logical step is to identify methods that thoroughly assess the impacts of infrastructure and service investment. The authors argue that assessments should both identify and use performance indicators related to the ‘triple bottom line’, i.e. economic, social and environmental impacts.

This paper provides an overview of assessment methods used to evaluate public transport investments. Positive and negative aspects of various assessment tools are identified and discussed. Some developing world examples appear to be more elaborate and appropriate, than developed world examples, including examples from the United States (U.S.). Although the authors conclude that all methods/tools have challenges, they are of the opinion that a broad and inclusive assessment of public transport investment projects is a must and that the narrowly analyzed and ad-hoc investments witnessed around the world should be avoided.