Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index: multivariate analysis of indicators with an application to selected states and National Capital Territory (NCT) of India


There is an increasing demand for quantifying, evaluating and reporting sustainability of transportation systems, especially in case of developing countries. However, sustainable transportation being a complicated area of concern is becoming equally challenging. In this concern, the quantification of the sustainable transportation attainment levels covering three pillars of sustainability (i.e., Environmental, Social and Economical) is useful. The main aim of this paper is to develop a model which can quantify and report the attainment levels of sustainable transportation and which is flexible, robust, comprehensive as well as transferable. In this line, a five-stage model is presented which produces a composite index called Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA). Using ISTA, transportation system of various zones can be evaluated, compared and tracked. The shortlisting and finalizing of optimum number of zones and sustainable transportation indicators (STIs), in this study, were done by a proposed tool called Bargain Matrix. STIs were broadly classified into three sustainability pillars which were further divided into ten subdivisions. This study used a total of 116 STIs, which were normalized using rescaling method, weighted and aggregated using principal component analysis/factor analysis. The proposed five-stage model was applied to 26 states and National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, India (i.e., a total of 27 zones). Based on the computed ISTA, while Tamil Nadu (0.6002), Telangana (0.5613) and Andhra Pradesh (0.5580) showed “Best Relative Transport Sustainability Attainment,” Goa (0.3852) and Chhattisgarh (0.4278) showed “Weakest Relative Transport Sustainability Attainment.”

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    Andra Pradesh was divided into two separate states: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the year 2014.


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The authors would like to thank and acknowledge the Transportation Engineering and Planning (TE&P) Division, institute administration and Civil Engineering Department at National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar for providing the necessary facilities and support for this research.


This paper presents part of the research work carried out by the author*, who receives Doctoral Fellowship from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.

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Correspondence to Ubaid Illahi.

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See Tables 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Table 7 Missing values Bargain Matrix of Environmental STIs
Table 8 Missing values Bargain Matrix of Social STIs
Table 9 Missing values Bargain Matrix of Economical STIs
Table 10 Normalized values (NV) of sustainable transportation indicators (STIs) for the state of Andhra Pradesh
Table 11 Computation of Tertiary Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA″) of Pillar-I: Environment for the state of Andhra Pradesh
Table 12 Computation of Tertiary Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA″) of Pillar-II: Social for the state of Andhra Pradesh
Table 13 Computation of Tertiary Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA″) of Pillar-III: Economical for the state of Andhra Pradesh
Table 14 Computation of Secondary Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA″) of three Pillars of sustainability for the state of Andhra Pradesh
Table 15 Computation of Primary Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index (ISTA) for the state of Andhra Pradesh

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Illahi, U., Mir, M.S. Sustainable Transportation Attainment Index: multivariate analysis of indicators with an application to selected states and National Capital Territory (NCT) of India. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 3578–3622 (2021).

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  • Sustainable transportation
  • Indicator sets
  • Frameworks
  • Principal component analysis
  • Factor analysis
  • Composite index