Assessment of modal transportation sustainability: application of data envelopment and concordance analyses



This study tries to characterize national transportation modes to assess balancing and sustainability. Using a pioneer measure for sustainable development (SD), and based on the conformity of the growths of all sectors with transportation modes, the countries are comparatively studied. The proposed measure, elasticity, for each pair of variables indicates the extent to which the two variables have been changing consistently. Indeed the elasticity values are measures of “harmonic development” reflecting sustainability. The study database consisted of key aspects of transportation sustainability in the form of national variables including transportation, economic, social and environmental categories in the period 1980-1995. Having developed the elasticity of the social, environmental and economic variables with respect to those of modal transportation, composite modal sustainability indices were suggested. The composite indices were then integrated into a unique SD index utilizing the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), and Concordance Analysis (CA) techniques. For comparative appraisal, country ranking and grouping based on DEA scores, as well as CA results were developed. The sustainability appraisal showed interesting patterns within and between group similarities and differences. The study confirmed the significance of modal transportation balancing and sustainability challenges of the 21stcentury. The research focus is on its methodology. Thus, the data gathered from any other time period and geographical scope may be used for further analysis.