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99 tainer on flat car (COFC), double-stack COFC and truck ship- Freight Evaluation Framework in detail, as well as how it ments for container travel. In contrast, Huntsville involved was applied to the case studies described earlier in this fully loaded versus less-than-fully loaded Boeing 747-400 chapter. freight aircraft. These cases illustrate the importance of imple- Roundtable 2, Usefulness of the Freight Evaluation menting the Framework in sufficient detail to capture differ- Framework--The purpose of this roundtable was to dis- ences in modal and trip characteristics among affected classes cuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Freight Evaluation of vehicles and trips. Framework and how it might be modified. Panel members Bob Wilds (Greater Vancouver Gateway Council), Eric Wide Economic Impacts Madden (Pennsylvania DOT), and Darrell Wilson (Nor- folk Southern) described how the Framework could be All of the cases involved projects leading to savings in useful (or not) within their own freight investment evalu- the cost of doing business (for at least some industries at ation discussions. some locations). These transport efficiency and business pro- Roundtable 3, How to Sell Freight Investments--The ductivity enhancements typically lead to broader impacts purpose of this roundtable was to allow stakeholders to on local economic growth. One of the cases--Huntsville-- share experiences in identifying, measuring, and high- was selected to illustrate how a regional economic impact lighting freight project benefits and selling them to the model can be applied successfully to assess the broader job public so that there is greater understanding and support and income growth impacts of a freight facility improvement for investment in freight projects. Panel members Maura project. Twomey (California Transportation Commission) and Taken together as a group, the case studies demonstrate Karen Schmidt (Washington State Freight Mobility Strate- both the feasibility and value of relying on a uniform Frame- gic Investment Board) described their evaluation programs work for analysis of freight project benefits. Differences and how benefits are considered within application and among the cases illustrate how a range of analysis tools can be funding requests. applied within the common framework, as appropriate, given Roundtable 4, Benefit Estimation Tools and Their Lim- the range of different modes, project types, commodity classes, itations--The purpose of this roundtable was to discuss and applicable stakeholder groups. However, those differ- the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of existing data ences also point to both the need for, and the importance of, and tools used to estimate the benefits of freight investments carefully tailoring analysis to the circumstances of different and how they might be improved. Gill Hicks (Cambridge situations. Systematics, Inc.), Bill Burgel (HDR, Inc), Glen Weisbrod, Joe Bryan (Halcrow), and Jack Wells (U.S.DOT) described 5.4 Freight Investment Workshop what existing tools were used within the Framework and what gaps might exist. In addition to utilizing a case study approach to evaluate the usefulness of the Framework, the research team worked with AASHTO, TRB, and the NCFRP-05 Project Panel to Workshop Summary and Lessons Learned conduct a hands-on workshop, Partnerships for Funding Freight Infrastructure Investments, to provide feedback on the Freight Following the roundtable discussions, Dr. Michael Meyer Evaluation Framework; identify how it can and should be (Georgia Tech University) summarized the discussions in three used to support investment decisions, financing, or public- key areas: private partnership (PPP) structuring; and describe how it could be useful in supporting partnerships for funding freight Affirmation of the essence of the Framework--Workshop infrastructure investments. Four roundtable discussions were participants affirmed the usefulness of the Framework, par- held, as described in the following. ticularly its ability to identify, account for, and categorize costs, benefits, and potential beneficiaries. Both public- and Roundtable 1, Case Studies of Freight Infrastructure private-sector participants noted the Framework would be Investments--The purpose of this roundtable was to discuss useful for evaluating freight investments. how the Freight Evaluation Framework can be applied to Strengths--Participants identified a number of positive real-life freight investments and used to support investment attributes of the Framework, as currently constructed, decisions, financing, or PPP structuring. Panel members including the following: Glen Weisbrod (EDRG), Michael Fischer (Cambridge The ability to identify cross-modal impacts and provide Systematics, Inc.), Daniel Brod (DecisionTek), and Paula good analysis capability in a multimodal sense; Dowell (Cambridge Systematics, Inc.) described the Strong stakeholder identification;

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100 Provision of a structure for models, providing feedback The Framework focuses on congestion benefits and for benefits and costs; impacts, and may not fully address potential safety, eco- Acts as an effective decision support tool, which helps nomic development, and access benefits. inform the "smell test" by project evaluators/investors; Some of the analytical tools the Framework needs for and implementation are proprietary. Could be used to accelerate project development, if The Framework seems too complex for some stakehold- early benefits can be identified. ers to implement. Concerns--Participants also identified a number of con- The Framework might be missing some stakeholders, cerns with the Framework and how it could be applied, as particularly those that want to maintain the status quo. follows: The Framework needs to include long-, medium-, and The Framework is a good first approximation of bene- short-term investment timeframes. fits and impacts, but might struggle when identifying Should consider how to incorporate political risk and pass-through benefits and potential inequities among the collaborative nature of investments within the parties. Framework. Assigning benefits when one of the potential partners is not interested in participating in the project might run Choice of value of time for freight movements is a critical the risk that the entire project fails. input.