Overview of transport infrastructure expenditures and costs

This study provide estimates of total, average and marginal infrastructure cost figures for road transport, rail transport, inland waterways transport (IWT), maritime transport and aviation in the EU28 Member States and some other Western countries (i.e. Norway, Switzerland, the US states California and Missouri, the Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia, and Japan). These infrastructure cost figures are estimated for 2016. For road, rail and IWT, the costs of the entire national (or state/province) transport network were estimated. For aviation and maritime transport, on the other hand, infrastructure costs for some specific ports and airports were estimated.

The total infrastructure costs of road, rail and inland waterway transport in the EU28 are estimated at € 267 billion for 2016. As for aviation and maritime transport infrastructure costs are estimated for a selection of (air)ports, no total infrastructure cost figures at the EU28 level are provided for these modes. The highest average infrastructure costs (in €/1,000 passenger kilometre or €/1,000 tonne kilometre) are found for rail transport, which can be mainly explained by the relatively high fixed costs (e.g. construction costs) for rail infrastructure compared to road or IWT infrastructure.  

In addition to an overview of transport infrastructure costs, this study also assesses the development in infrastructure expenditures for road, rail and inland navigation transport over the period 1995-2016.

The assessment of transport infrastructure expenditures and costs is part of the project ‘Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Charging and Internalisation of Transport Externalities’ commissioned by the European Commission DG MOVE.  The objective of this study was to assess the extent to which the ‘user pays’ and the ‘polluter pays’ principles are implemented in EU Member States and in other developed countries. More information on the other deliverables produced within this project can be found here.



TRT, Planco, ISL, INFRAS, PMR, Ricardo