Seeking comments to strengthen my research methodology

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    Marie Louis

    Dear all,

     I have embarked on a research project to compare the cost effectiveness and the environmental impacts of bus rapid transit and light rail transit in given cities in the US and other countries. I am especially in need of knowledgeable guidance and comments to strengthen my research methodology. I therefore kindly ask if you would please consider  giving me some comments.
    Thank you even for just taking the time to read this my request. 


    Marie – exactly what are you looking for – do you mean .. is there anyone able to read what you have written already.. or do you want to raise an issue? Your request is a little confusing.


    Dear Louis

    Congrats for taking up such a study

    1. For the first objective (Cost effectiveness) you can depend up on secondary data  (cost per miles etc…..)
    2. For environmental impacts, you need to specify the nature of impact. That means, is it that occurred at the time of constructing the project or rather the recurring impact like carbon emission.  
    3. If you are interested to extend your study to India, hope we can have an association. 


    Dr Hareesh N Ramanathan



    Sounds like you have a comparative analysis proposed?  How have you developed your methods so far?


    Marie Louis


     I have started the research method section and I would like to find someone who is willing to comment on that said section. Would you be interested ? Thank you in advance for your help. 



    Marie Louis

     Dr. Ramanathan,

    1. For the cost effective, I have collected such data vehicle miles traveled, passenger miles traveled, etc… and then I developed an equation to get the cost per miles.

    2. Environmental impacts: I am looking at the recurring impact like carbon emission, NH3, etc.. I am trying to collect energy consumption, type of fuels, etc…  data.

    3. I would be interested in extending my study to India. My advisor said it is up to me because I need to find similar studies so I can continue researching after I graduate.

    Thank you so much for your help so far.



    Marie Louis


    So far I am trying to create some formulas for each part of the study, but I feel like those equations are not strong enough to get accurate findings. So, I am looking for comments on them.

    Please let me know if you would like to help/review. Thank you for your time and help.




    Hi Marie,

    Sorry, I have been trying to get caught up on my own work (hopeless task that it is…)

    I’m not an expert on formulas actually, but thinking about developing “indicators”  (real indicators are a life-study in themselves, but for our purposes here I mean the kinds of data to collect and the ways you combine them in order to give you some meaningful insight into your problem) I am not too bad.

    Why formulas exactly?  And what kind are you proposing?  I see up-thread that you are working to develop a cost-effectiveness measure, but I wonder if a single measure will be appropriate for that?  You might need to compare various measures of cost-effectiveness in different ways, not just cost-per-mile, as only one output measure may tell an incomplete story of such a complex issue.

    For environmental data, again, there are so many ways to look at it that you might not be able to develop single measures.

    My other question is, is the ultimate purpose of this research to recommend a policy or course of action?  That could significantly change what measures you develop, as they must in some way relate to the constraints of the arena you are working in.

    I hope my questions don’t imply you have not thought this through, as I haven’t seen your entire proposal, obviously.  I’m asking these questions more in the spirit of helping you zero in on your purpose to help clarify what kinds of metrics you will need to develop and possibly to combine them.

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