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54 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects 45% 40% Mid-Range Estimated Soft Cost 35% (% of Construction) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1* 2* 3 6 7 4 8 9 5 10 Questionnaire Respondents Other Insurance + Legal Project Mgmt. and Construction Admin. FD PE * Respondents estimate PE + FD as combined amount; PE displayed here using average split Figure 34. Midpoint soft cost estimates for all components reported by surveyed cost estimators. 5.3. As-Built Cost Analysis Analyzing the database of actual as-built soft cost expenditures provided the following insights into soft costs: Soft costs have historically averaged 31% of construction costs, a value that is consistent with how the industry currently estimates soft costs both in total and at the component level. However, the range of variability in past projects has been wider than the range estimators report. While estimators report an uncertainty range of 10%, actual soft costs have been as low as 11% of hard costs and as high as 54% of hard costs, or an uncertainty range of around 20%. Soft costs have averaged around $2,600 per linear foot for light rail, and around $5,700 per linear foot for heavy rail, with a range between $300 and $10,000 per linear foot of guideway for both modes (2008$, outliers removed). The as-built analysis also revealed relationships between project characteristics and soft costs: Soft costs have been increasing over the past four decades, particularly for heavy rail projects. Project complexity, mode, delivery method, magnitude, and context all appear to drive soft costs. Univariate analysis reveals some relationships between these considerations and soft costs, but a more complete and consistent picture emerges through a multivariate regression analysis. A multivariate analysis of 10 variables captured the cumulative effect of a number of variables on soft cost percentages and was able to explain approximately 60% of variability in soft costs. Projects where alignments stretch longer distances tend to incur somewhat higher soft costs as a percentage of construction cost. More expensive construction projects tend to display somewhat smaller soft cost percentages, other things being equal. Heavy rail projects tend to incur somewhat higher soft costs than light rail, perhaps due to their relative complexity and higher engineering standards. A project to construct a new stand-alone transit line will usually require less design costs than a project to extend, expand, or interface with existing transit services.