Cost-benefit analysis Turmbergbahn

The Turmbergbahn has been in operation since 1888, making it the oldest funicular in Germany. It leads from the Karlsruhe district of Durlach to its 256-meter-high local mountain, the Turmberg. However, the concession of the funicular, which has been operated electrically since 1965, expires in the fall of 2022. For this reason, a comprehensive renewal of the railway is inevitable. An extension of the track as well as the adjustment of the operating hours to the frequency of the public transport in Karlsruhe optimize the integration into the local transport network.

After Montenius Consult had already prepared an economic feasibility study and DCF analysis for the project in 2017, which was based in particular on a detailed forecast of the passenger numbers to be expected in the case of the new construction, and was responsible for updating this at the end of 2018, Montenius Consult was now also able to support the realization of the project with a cost-benefit analysis.

The Standardized Evaluation Procedure, which makes the overall economic effects (operational and macroeconomic, social, ecological) of various investment measures comparable with each other, served as an orientation for the study design. This includes a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to assess the economic benefits and follow-up costs that show local decision-makers and public funding agencies all the relevant revenues and expenses from a business perspective.

In a CBA, two alternative future plan cases - the so-called without case (public transport network without implementation of the investment project) and the with case (public transport network with implementation of the project) - are compared and the overall economic benefits and costs resulting from the implementation of the project are calculated. For the project of the extension of the Turmbergbahn, the simplified procedure of the Standardized Evaluation Procedure, the so-called Project Dossier Procedure, could be applied.

Using the Project Dossier Procedure, a total of three alternative without cases were compared with the with case: a reconstruction of the funicular on the existing short route including a bus connection to the nearest tram station, the replacement by a shuttle bus service and the replacement by a bus circuit. In all three cases, the with case proved to be the option with a better cost-benefit ratio.

The planning approval process and funding application are to be initiated before the end of 2021. The construction phase is then expected to start at the end of 2022.

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