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As-Built Soft Cost Analysis 33 Table 13. Project characteristics tested as cost drivers. Mode Guideway length (linear feet) Percentage of guideway below grade Percentage of guideway not at grade Percentage of guideway at grade Percentage of guideway at grade (incl. built-up fill and retained cut) New line/extension of existing line/rehabilitation Procurement or delivery method (designbuild, etc.) Midpoint of expenditures (year) Planning/draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) midpoint (year) Preliminary engineering/final environmental impact statement (FEIS) midpoint (year) Final design midpoint (year) Construction midpoint (year) Revenue service begins (year) Number of stations Total project cost estimated at preliminary engineering Total project cost actual Economic conditions at estimated bid date (U.S. GDP growth) Experience level of sponsor Installation conditions (active service, no active service, etc.) Public or political involvement Use of contractors in management or development Unusual delays in project planning phases Agency tendency to minimize capital charges 4.3. Potential Issues in Soft Cost Categorization As described in Chapter 2, this project considers soft costs to be equivalent to professional ser- vices as defined in FTA's Standard Cost Category 80, Professional Services, in the Standard Cost Category Workbook (U.S. FTA, 2008). Refer to Section 1.3 for a definition of soft costs. According to the FTA definitions, however, other SCC categories besides Category 80 may contain expenditures that may be very similar to soft costs. This analysis has addressed these cases as follows: · Construction costs (Categories 10 through 50) contain some indirect costs that could be con- sidered soft costs, such as project and construction supervision, general conditions, contrac- tor's general liability, insurance, overhead, and profit, plus comparable subcontractors' costs. Because these soft costs are more associated with direct construction functions, they are treated as hard construction costs. · ROW, Land, Existing Improvements (Category 60) may include professional services associated with the real estate component of the project such as agency staff oversight and administration, real estate and relocation consultants, assessors, legal counsel, court expenses, and insurance. These costs have been considered separately in this analysis. · The Vehicles category (Category 70) includes supporting services associated with the vehicle procurement aspect of the project. These costs may include agency staff oversight and admin- istration, vehicle consultants, design and manufacturing contractors, legal counsel, and warranty and insurance costs that, like real estate soft costs, have been considered separately in this analysis. · Unallocated Contingency (Category 90) includes some costs that could depend on other costs. These costs are essential to cost estimates in earlier project phases, but by the completion of the project, these costs are zero in the as-built cost. This cost category was therefore excluded from this soft cost analysis. · Finance Charges (Category 100) contains costs that could be considered soft costs. These financing charges have been excluded from this analysis of soft costs because these costs are more project specific and depend on the availability of funding. They have more in common with the financing plan than the overall project development process.
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34 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects Table 14. Capital cost definitions of soft cost analysis terms. Light Rail Cost Categories Heavy Rail Cost Categories Term Used Here Applied from Table 12 Applied from Table 12 Soft costs as % of total  ÷ ( +  +  +  +  ÷ ( +  +  +  +  +  costs  +  + ) + ) Soft costs as % of  ÷ ( +  +  +  +  ÷ ( +  +  +  + ) construction costs ) Vehicle costs   ROW costs   Engineering soft costs [80.010] + [80.020] [8.02] + [8.03] Management soft costs [80.030] + [80.040] [8.03] + [8.04] + [8.05] + [8.06] This analysis uses terminology that implies certain groupings of cost categories from the two datasets for light and heavy rail. The numerical definition of these groupings is presented in Table 14. Project year in this analysis means the midpoint of expenditures, derived as the average year of expenditure for each individual cost element, weighted by expenditure amount. Other schedule years used in the analysis to denote project phases (e.g., preliminary engineering, design, construction and operations) mean the midpoint of that phase within the project schedule. This analysis relies on FTA's prior categorization of costs for projects constructed prior to the current SCC structure and clarifying guidance. Therefore, users of this analysis must be mindful of potentially inconsistent classification of costs within the data. This is because of a number of possible reasons, including: · Inconsistent reporting across agencies At a basic level, some judgment is required to classify specific expenditures within the SCC structure, even with the available guidance from FTA. Broad categories such as the demar- cation between vehicle and systems costs are likely to be more consistently comparable among the reporting agencies, while detailed cost items such as the difference between "Project Management for Design and Construction" and "Construction Administration and Management" are likely more susceptible to inconsistencies in reporting definitions. Since this dataset includes projects from across the country and across decades of construc- tion, the data may be susceptible to some level of inconsistent definitions of cost categories. Of particular relevance to this study is the reporting of professional service soft costs for vehi- cles and rights-of-way. These were initially reported into a database structure that was unclear about some of these related vehicle and right-of-way soft costs. More recent data- base structure and instructional guidance expressly defines the cost elements for vehicle and right-of-way soft costs. These more category-specific soft costs have been segmented from this analysis of construction-related soft cost. · Refinements to the cost structure The structure of FTA's SCC capital cost database has evolved over the past 20 years. This evolving framework for the cost data and varying levels of detail directly and indirectly affect some of the more detailed reporting and thereby the resulting relationships. The FTA Standard Cost Categories have clarified the right-of-way and vehicle cost cate- gories to include those categories related to soft costs. However, prior structures may not have been as clear and vehicle and right-of-way associated soft costs could be mixed into the general soft cost category. · Agency capital program policies The financial and administrative policies of the sponsoring agency can affect how soft costs are reported for a capital project, which could affect the amount and proportion of soft costs