Design of build-operate-transfer contract for integrated rail and property development with uncertainty in future urban population

Jinyan Sang, Zhi Chun Li, William H.K. Lam, Sze Chun Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a novel model of the design of a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for integrated rail and property (R + P) development when the size of future urban population is uncertain. A real-option approach is adopted to accurately capture the potential economic value of a BOT investment project under uncertainty and its externality effects on urban spatial structure. The proposed model is formulated as a two-stage problem. The first stage of the model optimizes the concession period and rail line parameters (including rail line length, and number and locations of stations) through a Nash bargaining game between a private investor and the government. The second stage determines the headways and fares during the private operation and after transferring the BOT project to the government. The private investor's objective is to maximize its own net profit received during the concession period, whereas the government aims to maximize social welfare over the whole life-cycle of the project. The proposed model is extended to explore the effects of future population jumps due to non-recurrent random events and station deployments with even and uneven station spacings. The results show that compared with the rail-only scheme, the R + P scheme can lead to a win-win situation for the government and private investor. In the BOT contract design, ignoring the effects of population jumps and using an average (or even) station spacing as an estimate of actual station deployment can cause a large bias of the parameter values designed in the contract and an underestimate of project values in terms of expected net profit and expected social welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-66
Number of pages31
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • BOT contract
  • Integrated rail and property development
  • Nash bargaining game
  • Poisson jump
  • Population uncertainty
  • Real options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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