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Revista de Ingeniería

versión impresa ISSN 0121-4993


PENALOSA, Enrique. Comments to the article "An economic evaluation of the TransMilenio System" by Juan Carlos Echeverry, Ana María Ibáñez and Andrés Moya. [online]. 2005, n.21, pp.78-82. ISSN 0121-4993.

In the article "An economic evaluation of the TransMilenio system" the authors make an effort to identify and estimate most of the socioeconomic impacts of the implementation of TransMilenio Phase I. As a result of the intrinsic limitations of the Cost/Benefit analysis, they ignore key elements in public policy decision making. But most important, the evaluation has several mistakes that undermine the results of the analysis. The evaluation, among others: includes an estimation of travel time lost by non-users that does not have any technical background and is not consistent with empirical measurements of the travel times in the City of Bogotá; it assigns all the congestion in the City to the implementation of TransMilenio, when there are other major causes, such as the increase in the use of private cars; it uses different values of time for users and non users that are also estimated after the project implementation; it ignores the increase or decrease of welfare in consumers only quantifying producer's surplus or deficit; it does not adjust values due to subsidies or taxes, which constitute internal transfers in the society; and it does not quantify other impacts, due to difficulties in their economic estimation. The fact that the article has been presented and accepted in several national and international forums does not give an indication that it is right. If the study concludes that the net effect is negative, then do the authors suggest that Bogotá could be better off without TransMilenio than with it?

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