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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Active transport economic appraisal tool

We have developed an interactive cost-benefit analysis tool for estimating the economic costs and benefits of investment in active transport infrastructure, consistent with the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines (M4 Active Travel)

The tool can be used to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of proposed infrastructure or to evaluate recently completed projects, both for stand-alone active transport projects or as part of larger transport projects.

How to use the tool

The tool takes about 30 minutes to complete if all the input data is available. It is recommended that only practitioners with economics knowledge and experience use the tool. 

To apply the tool to either pre or post project evaluation situations, you will need:

  • the project location, length, type and how it connects with other nearby active transport infrastructure
  • information on how trip distances and the type of infrastructure used will change because of the project
  • the estimated cost and year of delivery
  • current or forecast average daily counts of cyclists and pedestrians.

Default parameter values used to calculate costs and benefits are sourced primarily from the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines (ATAP) and indexed to 2021 Australian dollars ($AUD).

The tool contains 'help' buttons throughout which provide additional information on what inputs are required, how the tool uses them and where default values are sourced from. 

For personal mobility devices, users should be aware that there is limited evidence and guidance for assessing the benefits and costs associated at this stage. If users wish to include these modes within their analysis, they should review and amend the default parameter values included within the tool as appropriate. Alternatively, these modes may be removed by setting their demand to zero.

Accessing the tool

For more information about the tool or to get access, please email our Cycling and Walking Team at

When you request access to the tool, we will offer to include you on the active transport economic appraisal tool mailing list. The mailing list will be the primary means of communication between us and the users of the tool. Calls for feedback and notifications about planned upgrades will be sent through the mailing list. We will regularly update the tool as evidence and best practice evolves. 

Last updated 21 September 2022