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88 CHAPTER 5 Cost Comparison Analysis One of the key objectives of this research was to compare Average cost per vehicle, and examine costs of revenue-generating systems. The results Average cost per transaction, and of this cost comparison analysis will help researchers and pol- Share of cost to total revenue. icy makers understand the magnitudes of costs incurred for each of the revenue systems and provide a methodology for Each unit of measurement has its own special characteristics. analyzing alternative revenue systems within transportation. It is expected that lane miles and centerline miles would have The comparison analysis depends on the costs and other related minor changes over time. From 1984 to 2005, VMT tended to data collected and described in Chapters 2 and 4. increase steadily. In periods in which there is volatility in This chapter begins by defining unit measurements for the gas prices and/or weak macroeconomic conditions, VMT has purpose of comparison within and between the three revenue tended to decrease slightly. This has been the case in recent systems (motor fuel taxes, tolling, and VMT fees) for which data years. For example, the VMT for the tolling facility on NYSTA were available. This chapter also compares the operating costs increased 2.6% from 2003 to 2004, but declined 3.4% between of cordon pricing and parking pricing systems. The chapter is 2004 and 2005. organized as follows: Average costs expressed in the six unit measurements cover average total operating cost, average administrative cost, aver- Section 5.1 introduces the unit measurements used in the age collection cost, average enforcement cost, and average cap- cost comparison analysis, ital cost (or average initial setting-up cost for VMT). For VMT Section 5.2 compares the costs within each of three revenue fees, average OBU cost and average miscellaneous cost are also systems, considered. Section 5.3 compares costs between the revenue systems, As observed from the cost data presented in Chapters 2 and and 4, the costs vary by year from 2003 to 2007, except for the VMT Section 5.4 presents the results of a sensitivity analysis. fee systems that have only 1 year of reported data. In addition, the costs differ from one state to another for motor fuel taxes, from one facility to another for tolling and cordon pricing, or 5.1 Unit Measurements for the from one provider to another for the VMT fee systems. Parking Cost Comparison Analysis pricing administrative costs are presented for only one system. To carry out a quantitative comparison for revenue sys- tems, it is necessary to normalize the collected cost data. Unit 5.2 Comparison Within measurement or cost per unit of measurement is an ideal eval- Revenue Systems uator for normalization and cost comparison. The unit mea- surements used in this report for the three systems (motor fuel As the first step for the cost comparison analysis, the cost taxes, tolling, and VMT fees) for which data would support data within each of the three revenue systems are compared such an analysis are and analyzed. Per-unit measurements defined in Section 5.1 are implemented in the comparison analysis. The cost data Average cost per lane mile, collected from states for fuel taxes are examined first, and Average cost per centerline mile, then the cost data for tolling and VMT fee systems are Average cost per 1,000 VMT, analyzed.