REFIT project page

Introduction REFIT

REFIT stands for REFinement and test of sustainability Indicators and Tools with regard to European Transport

REFIT aims at:

  1. Providing clear linkages between tools and expertise on the one hand and European transport policy objectives and indicators on the other hand. (See figure)

  2. Completing the modelling tool box that can provide data for sustainability indicators

  3. Providing a rigorous assessment of policy packages, using the developed tool box

(Figure 1: REFIT will fit the objectives and indicators expressed in various EU-policy documents with the methods and models developed in the fourth, fifth and sixth framework)

The TRANSFORUM project is currently showing that much work has been done on methods and model development in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth framework of the European Commission and the combinations of models may be capable to execute complex ex-ante evaluations of European transport policies. Three of the most advanced models on the European scale are the SCENES-model, a multimodal network based transport model that simulates passenger and freight transport at European scale, the TREMOVE model that models environmental impact of transport policies and the CGEurope-model, a computable general equilibrium model that models economic impacts of transport policies. In addition the Commission has initiated a new network modelling study TRANS-TOOLS which aims at including amongst others the new member states (this project recently started and it is unsure whether results can be applied in full detail in REFIT).

The combination of these three models, as we propose in REFIT, offers a particular strong quantitative tool that is able to cover many of the aspects needed to evaluate most of the transport policies and measures proposed in the White Paper. There have been previous projects where the three models were successfully lined together (SCENES and TREMOVE in the TREMOVE project for DG ENV, SCENES and CGEurope in the IASON research project during the Fifth Framework Programme) and in addition these three models are the modelling core of the mid-term evaluation of the ‘White Paper on transport: time to decide' which will take place during the year 2005.

However, during these previous projects and during the development of the project proposal of the mid-term evaluation of the white paper, several gaps in the expertise and tools to quantify important indicators occurred. That is why REFIT will not only match these three models with sustainability indicators but REFIT will also complete the existing modelling tool box by enhancing the current models with expertise built up during previous EU-projects like for example IASON (spatial economic impacts), EXTERN-E (external impacts) and IMAGINE (noise), TRANS-TOOLS (networks, TEN's level). A first outline of the themes on which REFIT will develop evaluation modules on top of, or within, the existing framework of SCENES/TREMOVE/CGEUROPE are:

  • regional development impacts of accessibility, particularly for peripheral regions and countries,

  • fair competition between modes and the extent to which external costs are internalised,

  • ( un)employment; the contribution of individual transport policies to local economies in terms of regional job growth,

  • health impacts of noise and air-pollution and quality of life for citizens

  • transport safety and risk reduction,

  • equity issues and income distribution impacts of mobility.

The selection of these focus indicators is based on

1) the knowledge gaps experienced by the consortium while writing the project proposal that will support the mid-term evaluation of the White Paper on transport and

2) the themes and indicators that were assigned to be of priority interest by a group of policy Makers during a workshop organised by the SUMMA project.

Developing tools implies also testing and validating them, TRANS-TOOLS will have a role in this process. In addition REFIT will use the developed tool box to make a Strategic Sustainability Assessment of various policy packages of priority interest, in terms of the relevant policy targets for Europe. Sensitivity analysis will be applied to validate the analytical soundness of the tool box.

In summary

REFIT aims at enabling the monitoring of the implementation of the European transport policies by developing a Strategic Sustainability Assessment toolbox. This toolbox will

  • link the output of the SCENES, TREMOVE and CGEurope models to the main evaluation indicators and

  • include a number of newly developed evaluation modules on indicators that are till now hard to quantify.

[contact] Website: Martijn de Kievit     [site updated: 14th October 2008]