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74 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects for all projects. The heavy rail dataset does not report contingencies. Therefore, this cost cat- egory has no impact on the analysis and was omitted. · Finance Charges: A small number of light rail projects report finance charges. However, these costs are largely a function of the financial structure and policies of the sponsor agency, and do not affect the relationship between project characteristics and construction-related soft costs. To ensure comparability, finance charges (8.08 for heavy rail and 100.00 for light rail) were omitted entirely from the analysis. These steps help to ensure that this technical analysis is based on a uniformly reported dataset for both light and heavy rail construction projects. C.3. Adjustment for Inflation and Nationalization The soft cost analysis adjusted all costs for inflation and local price differentials, and expresses nominal costs in U.S. 2008 dollars. The historical cost index from Means Construction Cost Index (Murphy, 2008) was applied to inflate all costs to the study base year of 2008. Differences in local metropolitan area labor, equipment, and material costs were adjusted to U.S. average 2008 dol- lars based on the Means Construction Cost Index (Murphy, 2008) for the 38 largest U.S. metro- politan areas. For example, cost of labor was less expensive in Charlotte than New York, so this analysis factors base-year dollars up in Charlotte and down in New York to the average nation- wide value. Each cost amount is also associated with a year of expenditure corresponding to the midpoint of the individual element expenditure. C.4. Outliers Omitted Some inconsistencies in the data appear to be a result of conflicting cost reporting or inter- pretation of the cost element definitions. These projects were omitted because they were consid- ered as non-representative outliers or as reflecting incomplete data. For example, the Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line/Ravenswood Rehabilitation project overhauled an existing rapid transit line and built only minimal new guideway; therefore this project does not offer a consis- tent cost basis to express the project costs on a per-linear-foot basis and compare that with the other projects in the database. In other project cases, while the overall soft costs total was in the reasonable range and could be used, the breakdown by individual soft cost element was not and that project was withdrawn from the more detailed analyses. For example, some projects reported zero costs for an individ- ual soft cost component such as preliminary engineering or final design, but the overall soft cost value was in the reasonable range. Therefore, the total soft cost was used, but the cost analysis at the component level was not used. Finally, not all detailed information on project schedule was always available. Wherever data was considered incomplete, questionable, or incomparable to other projects, these projects were omitted from the analysis in situations where appropriate. Table 17 below shows the resulting sample size from removing outliers or incomplete data points. C.5. Vehicle Soft Costs This analysis sought to determine if any soft costs were reported in a category outside of SCC 80. FTA instructions for reporting project costs within the Standard Cost Categories guide grantees to report professional services related to vehicle procurement under SCC 70 Vehicles, not the general soft cost category (SCC 80 Professional Services). However, the strict separation