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Summary 9 Table 3. Comparing industry practice to historical actuals: soft costs as a percentage of hard costs. S.5. Future Research Direction This report and the accompanying Guidebook give transit agencies and other project sponsors a better understanding of what soft costs are, how they are estimated, and what has caused changes in soft costs in past projects. The Guidebook synthesizes the research and analysis from this technical report into a straightforward primer on soft costs and introduces a new methodology to estimate soft costs based on a review of historical drivers and costs. More in-depth research into the documentation of one or more recent construction proj- ects will enhance the understanding of the exact composition of soft costs and cost drivers. Future research might further examine the more-detailed elements of soft costs below the Standard Cost Category component level and document more of the estimation techniques used in later project phases. Given the specificity of this work, the research may need to be more closely tailored to a specific mode or operating environment (e.g., streetcar versus light rail on exclusive right-of-way). Moreover, a comprehensive industry outreach program will provide further insight on context-specific soft-cost estimation practices. Finally, the methodology to estimate soft costs for public transportation infrastructure projects developed here is based on past heavy and light rail construction projects and is therefore not entirely applicable to other prevalent public transportation capital infrastruc- ture projects such as bus rapid transit (BRT), commuter rail, streetcar, or state-of-good- repair projects to repair or replace aging infrastructure. Additional data and research would help estimate soft costs for these kinds of projects.