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65 APPENDIX C VTrans Issues with Federal Highway Administration State Highway Cost Allocation Study Software Excerpts from a letter from Bart Selle, State of Vermont to Joseph 8. Rev&Tables state tax rates in 2B StateTaxRates worksheet: R Stowers, Sydec, Inc., dated November 28, 2005. It's not clear where the tax rate information is used. It seems to have no effect on the results. Revenue comes from the 1B StateRevControls worksheet. It is not calculated from the Vermont is successfully running FHWA's State Highway Cost tax rates. Analysis System (HCAS). This letter describes the problems we 9. CostAlloc operating gross weight in the 4C OGWDist work- encountered, and suggests improvements to the HCAS software. sheet: Problems are: We calculated operating-gross-weight-by-vehicle-type from Vermont WIM data, and replaced the default OGW 1. Directory location of the programs CostAlloc, Rev&Tables, table. If the weight ranges in the new table do not exactly and DefaultData: match the default weight ranges, the user will get "Bad The documentation recommends placing the HCAS soft- (vehicle type code)" warning messages when executing ware in the Excel default directory; however, users still the CalcRGOG on the 2H AllocationFactors worksheet. might get an error if they open HCAS from the Excel most- Although it is just a warning message, it would be helpful if recently-used-file list. One solution is to always navigate to it were documented. the HCAS spreadsheet from Excel. 10. "#REF" in 1F UserRevenueData in Rev&Tables: 2. Rev&Tables file names in the BasicQuestions worksheet: The table starting at cell BR60 has "#REF" in all the cells. Is there a reason why the user must change the file names in It doesn't seem to adversely affect anything, but it is a dis- the BasicQuestions worksheet? Could the file names be syn- traction. You provided a fix for Vermont's version, but that chronized with actual names on the FHWA CD? That would fix should be put in the FHWA version, too. facilitate testing HCAS "out of the box." 11. Rev&Tables report options in 2G TableSpec: 3. CostAlloc state code in 2H AllocationFactorsState: "Option 1" reports on 12 vehicle types, but it produces incor- Six state codes generate a Visual Basic "Run-time Error rect results on the cost side. The costs in Table 4 are shifted 13." Sydec fixed the problem for VT, but I believe the prob- and have different values when compared to the correct costs lem still exists for other states. in Table 3. Use "Option 2" for 20 vehicle types instead. 4. Rev&Tables Other Permits (Cell D22) in 1B StateRevCon- "Option 5" and "Option 7" for operating-gross-weight reports trols worksheet: do not allocate the correct expenditure amount. "Option 3" The "light vehicle" Other Permits cell cannot be zero (Cell appears to work OK. D22). A small value solves the problem. 5. Rev&Tables vehicle miles traveled information in 1F User- Other advice to a new HCAS user is RevenueData worksheet: Vermont collects VMT information on 12 vehicle classes. We do not allow large doubles or triples on Vermont high- Run the system exactly as delivered by the FHWA to prove ways; however, zeros for the DS7 vehicle type generates a that it works in your environment. visual basic error. The solution is to enter a small value such Run the system whenever anything changes. Frequently recon- as 0.00001 for the DS7s. cile the revenue and costs reports to the source worksheets. 6. Rev&Tables diesel tax rate in 2D LocalTaxRates worksheet: Problems are much easier to track if you haven't changed much The diesel tax rate value (cell C9) cannot be zero, or it will since the last successful execution. generate a visual basic error. A zero triggers an "N/A" entry Be very careful when deleting or zeroing out cells. If you in the tax evasion cells starting at C32. That alpha data inadvertently hit a space key, subsequent programs might causes a VB error in later calculations. The solution is to put generate a visual basic error. (A "space" and "delete" look in a very small number in cell C9. the same.) 7. CostAlloc traffic fatality information in the 4F MiscCost- Many options do not have a significant impact on the results. Data worksheet: Determine how sensitive the results are before spending HCAS does not seem to use the traffic fatality information. excessive time refining data. To test it, I entered large numbers in the thousands, but it had no effect on the result. If it is not needed, HCAS should Run HCAS on the fastest processor available. It will consume not ask for it. 100% of the cycles when executing.