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Transport Infrastructure

Building the future of mobility and connectivity
Economic output is directly tied to an ability to move people and goods in an efficient and cost-effective manner. However, developing—and maintaining—the necessary transport infrastructure is challenging, with planners and policy makers often balancing complex political, fiscal, social, and environmental tradeoffs. Faced with large capital investments and increasingly strained public finances, stakeholders have a difficult choice: Optimize an existing asset, or build something new.
We combine deep knowledge of individual asset classes—roads, railways, metropolitan transport systems, airports, and seaports—with distinct functional expertise. By drawing on our deep insights and applying best-practice tools and methodologies, we bring a fresh perspective to complex problems within the transport infrastructure industry.

What we do

Planning, financing, and risk management

Support clients on asset planning and prioritization, financial projections (including demand modeling and operating models), and contracting strategies (including public-private partnerships) to manage risk.

Stakeholder management and project organization

Ensure stakeholders are aligned and project outcomes are mutually beneficial, while advising on risk and regulatory management.

Asset design

Balance technical and commercial design considerations and support building capabilities that enable project leaders to make appropriate trade-offs.

Value engineering

Apply design-to-cost and design-to-market principles to maximize the value of transport infrastructure through proprietary tools and methodologies like engineering trade-off approaches, construction cost benchmarking, and clean-sheet analysis.

Procurement strategies

Optimize costs and align the incentives of downstream suppliers and subcontractors through our category consolidation approach and supplier trainings.

Lean construction

Implement lean construction techniques such as critical path compression, parallel processing, and last planner system to improve productivity and complete projects on time and on budget.

Commercial excellence

Apply cutting-edge sales and marketing techniques to help clients understand customers, develop pricing tactics to optimize yield, and brainstorm fare and non-fare revenue strategies.

Operational excellence

Balance short- and long-term considerations to minimize maintenance costs once an asset is in operation.

Examples of our work

Driving growth

Worked with a South American toll operator to design a new organizational structure for its corporate center—redefining roles, applying a shared service model, and developing a five-year strategy to support its future growth goals, all while managing costs.

Reducing costs

Helped a European government agency analyze its road maintenance and finance decisions to determine future funding, with subsequent support of the road authority leading to a savings of 15 to 20 percent.

Increasing efficiency

Supported an urban transit system in identifying and implementing cost-efficiency measures in metro and bus operations, as well as reducing its broader administrative and support functions.

Spurring investment

Helped a government entity in North America design a new public-private agency to oversee infrastructure investments and to invest public funds to spur private investment in public infrastructure.

Featured capabilities

Rail network model: A proven approach that incorporates the main elements of a rail network to model potential improvements and their associated value and cost.

Global road benchmarking: A powerful analysis tool that allows asset owners to ascertain a benchmark cost for critical components of their project, better positioning them to prevent problems match best-in-class performance schedules.

Capex value chain creation tools: A set of tools to increase capital project value at all stages of construction, cost control, procurement, and capital project risk assessment.

End-to-end public-private partnership process: A comprehensive process map and suite of tools that helps clients capture maximum value and address a range of specific topics, including process management and governance.

TCO road maintenance model: A tool that calculates the total cost of ownership (TCO) and optimal maintenance of road surfaces.

More from this practice

Global Infrastructure Initiative

Our research suggests up to 40 percent of global infrastructure and capital project investment is poorly spent because of bottlenecks, lack of innovation, and market failures. McKinsey established the GII to address these issues, promote economic growth, and contribute to more resilient and secure communities.