Independent Cost Estimates for Design and Construction of Transit Facilities in Rural and Small Urban Areas

 

External link: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/173714.aspx

Publication date: December 1, 2015

Capsule summary: This report summarizes the results of a study that produced guidance for transportation planners seeking effective project cost estimation practices.

Author(s): Anderson, Stuart; Molenaar, Keith; Schexnayder, Clifford

Publisher(s): TRB


Definition: Planning practices for pedestrians, bikes and transit
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Definition: Financial strategies and techniques for transportation planning
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Definitions: Passenger transportation services
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Definitions: The movement of people
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Definition: Report published by a governmental body or other organization (e.g. FHWA, NAS, etc.)
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Description: The need for cost estimation guidance materials for rural and small urban area transit agencies led to the initiation of this research effort. Rural and small urban areas must maximize limited funding to meet the needs of their communities, meaning that an effective project development process is critical to transit agencies in these areas. This report offers guidance for producing cost estimates in order to facilitate informed and realistic project development.

Objectives: The objective of this research was to develop cost estimation guidance tools for transportation practitioners. In order to evaluate available data, the research team conducted a literature review, telephone interviews, and an online survey. The findings of this research were used to produce a cost estimation database and a prototype tool.

Findings: The research team found that construction projects in rural and small urban areas are particularly vulnerable to lack of funding. Initial cost estimates are often produced by consultants and based on similar projects. The outcomes of transit projects vary, and it is important to apply a comprehensive cost estimation approach in order to avoid project delays and suspension.

Recommendations: The guidance produced by this project may be used by state practitioners to determine how best to distribute funding and assistance to sub-recipient transit agencies. The findings of this research can be informative to planners seeking to improve their project development process. Future research is needed to address cost estimation needs for various types of transit facilities and services.

Research Theme: Financial Strategies, Planning for Pedestrians, Bikes, and Transit

Community Type: City, Rural, Small City

Transportation Mode: Personal, Transit

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