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CHAPTER 2 How and Who This Guidebook Helps: Audience and Circumstances This Guidebook is geared toward project managers and cost estimators working for transit agencies or other organizations attempting to plan and construct new rail transit projects. Projects will benefit most from this Guidebook during early planning phases, typically during alternatives analysis or preliminary engineering as the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is prepared. Exhibits 1 and 2 describe this document's intended audience and circumstance. The definition and discussion of soft costs presented here is relevant to almost all kinds of major public transit capital infrastructure projects, but the methodology to estimate soft costs in Chapter 6 applies only to new rail construction projects. This Guidebook is designed to help practitioners in two ways: 1. By providing information. The first sections of this document supply basic information about what soft costs are, how transit agencies and their contractors estimate soft costs, how the estimates fit into the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts process, and how project characteristics such as guideway length or project delivery method have tended to drive soft costs up or down in the past. 2. By presenting a soft cost estimation methodology. The final sections of this Guidebook provide a new tool to estimate project soft costs, based on both the characteristics of the project and the organizational attributes of its sponsor agency. This methodology is based on industry sur- veys, interviews, and an extensive analysis of the "as-built" costs of nearly 60 rail transit proj- ects over the past three decades. By the end of this Guidebook, the reader should be armed with a clear understanding of what soft costs are and how they are estimated, a new way to approximate soft costs for themselves using a blend of art and science, and a resulting estimate of soft costs for a given project firmly rooted in historical experience. This Guidebook is intended for: This Guidebook addresses the A project manager or following types of projects: cost estimator Urban public transit An employee or contractor for construction projects a transit agency or other sponsor Projects that are early in agency (department of trans- planning stages, such as portation, airports authority, alternatives analysis or planning board, etc.) preliminary engineering Anyone responsible for high-level Heavy or light rail budgeting and/or New Starts Projects that potentially need application federal funding Exhibit 1. Who this Guidebook Exhibit 2. Projects this addresses. Guidebook addresses. 7