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Evaluatingthe Planning and Implementation of Major Transit Capital Projects in the Portland Region 
December 5, 2014 
PSU ...
Overview 
• 
The New Starts/Small Starts program 
• 
Before and After studies 
• 
Findings from TriMet’s studies 
• 
Findi...
New Starts/Small Starts 
• 
FTA’s primary grant program for major transit capital investments 
• 
New lines or extensions ...
A Before and After Study… 
• 
Required component of a New Starts project 
• 
analyzes a project’s impact 
• 
evaluatesthe ...
Report Topic Areas 
• 
Project Scope 
• 
Capital Costs 
• 
Service Levels 
• 
Operating & Maintenance Costs 
• 
Ridership
Background 
• 
New Starts program = discretionary $$ 
• 
Pickrell report (1990) on early transit projects (70s & 80s) 
• 
...
FTA Requirements 
• 
Before and After Study requirement (2001) 
• 
Documentation of capital costs (2005) 
– 
Standard Cost...
0 
2 
4 
6 
8 
06' 
07' 
08' 
09' 
10' 
11' 
12' 
13' 
14'* 
Completed FTA Before & After Studies 
* Estimated 
Yellow Lin...
Report Contents 
• 
Analyze 
– 
As-built/current conditions for each topic area 
• 
Evaluate 
– 
Transit service before vs...
Project Scope 
• 
What was built? 
• 
What did we plan to build? 
• 
Why are there differences?
Capital Costs 
• 
What did it cost? 
• 
What did we think it would cost? 
• 
Why are there differences?
Service Levels 
• 
What is the service we are providing? 
• 
What did we plan to provide? 
• 
Why are there differences?
Operating and Maintenance (O&M) Costs 
• 
What does it cost to operate? 
• 
What did we think it would cost? 
• 
Why are t...
Ridership 
• 
What is the ridership (after it settles)? 
• 
What did we expect? 
• 
Why are there differences?
How Did TriMet Do?
Interstate MAX 
• 
5.8 mile light rail extension on urban arterial 
• 
Replaces local bus service (line 5) 
• 
10 stations...
Interstate MAX (con’t) 
• 
Came in under budget 
• 
Ridership projections 
– 
13,900 (2005) 
– 
18,100 (2020) 
• 
Actual (...
Interstate MAX Takeaways 
• 
Built at right time 
• 
CMGC contracting 
• 
Experience matters 
• 
Opening year vs. horizon ...
WES Commuter Rail 
• 
14.7 mile commuter rail 
• 
Shared with freight railroad 
• 
5 stations 
• 
4 park-and-rides 
• 
Pre...
WES Commuter Rail (con’t) 
• 
Cost estimate 
– 
(2001) $84.8 million/planned opening 2004 
– 
(2001) $103 million using ac...
WES Commuter Rail (con’t) 
• 
Ridership 
– 
Range of 1,600 –2,400 riders (opening year) 
– 
Range of 3,000 –4,650 riders (...
WES Takeaways 
• 
Bad timing 
– 
FTA oversight growing = delays 
– 
Construction inflation = $$ 
– 
High unemployment at o...
I-205 MAX Green Line 
• 
8.3 mile light rail extension 
• 
15new stations 
– 
I-205 (8) 
– 
Portland Mall (7 pairs) 
• 
6 ...
Green Line (con’t) 
• 
Cost estimates 
– 
(2004) $494.8 million (or $595 million w/ actual inflation) 
– 
(2006) $575.7 mi...
Green Line Takeaways 
• 
Project scope changes minimal 
• 
Extensive local experience kept costs down despite rising infla...
Employment Forecasts 
Forecasted Growth (00'-09') 
Actual Growth (00'-10') 
Difference (in # of jobs) 
Downtown/ 
Lloyd 
1...
Other Projects
FrontRunner, UTA 
• 
44 mile commuter rail, 9 stations 
• 
$614 million (34% higher than PE estimate) 
• 
5,300 weekday tr...
FrontRunner(con’t) 
• 
Construction inflation 
• 
Freight RRs 
• 
Recession 
– 
Service impacts 
– 
Ridership impacts 
• 
...
Valley Metro Rail –Phoenix, AZ 
• 
19.7 mile light rail on urban arterials 
• 
28 stations 
• 
$1.405 billion 
– 
$1.076b ...
Valley Metro Rail (con’t) 
• 
Unanticipated growth of universities 
• 
Unanticipated growth of carless, low-income househo...
Euclid Corridor, Cleveland OH 
• 
7.1 miles BRT, 31 stations 
• 
4.4 miles exclusive ROW 
• 
$197.2 million 
– 
10-28% low...
Euclid Corridor (con’t) 
• 
Scope reductions 
• 
21% travel time savings 
• 
$1 million net O&M costs per year 
• 
Recessi...
Recap of Lessons Learned
Project Scope: Lessons Learned 
• 
Local requirements 
• 
Political pressure 
• 
Freight railroads
Capital Costs: Lessons Learned 
• 
Construction inflation 
• 
Schedule 
• 
Scope changes 
• 
Freight RRs 
• 
Local experie...
Service Levels: Lessons Learned 
• 
Replacing express & local service 
• 
Economic cycles 
• 
Transit priority 
• 
Travel ...
O&M Costs: Lessons Learned 
• 
New transit mode 
• 
Public demands for restoration of bus service 
• 
Service cuts 
• 
Fre...
Ridership: Lessons Learned 
• 
Land use forecasts 
• 
Service changes 
• 
Travel time 
• 
Fare policy
• 
Data preservation ongoing 
– 
Under budget and on schedule 
• 
Bus service planning in progress 
• 
“Before” transit ri...
THANK YOU 
Joe Recker 
TriMet Capital Projects 
reckerj@trimet.org 
Thank you, Questions?
Evaluating the planning and implementation of major transit capital projects in the Portland region
Evaluating the planning and implementation of major transit capital projects in the Portland region
Evaluating the planning and implementation of major transit capital projects in the Portland region
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Evaluating the planning and implementation of major transit capital projects in the Portland region

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Joseph Recker, Environmental Permits Coordinator, TriMet

Summary: The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) discretionary New Starts program is the federal government's largest discretionary funding program. From heavy to light rail, from commuter rail to bus rapid transit systems, the FTA's New Starts program has helped to make possible hundreds of new or extended transit fixed guideway systems across the country, including most of TriMet’s light rail extensions and WES commuter rail. Beginning in 2001, FTA has required project sponsors to prepare a Before and After Study report on the effectiveness of planning and implementation of New Starts and Small Starts projects. The studies focus on five transit characteristics – project scope, capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, service levels, and ridership behavior – and compares these characteristics at various planning milestones, as well as before and after implementation of the project.

TriMet, in conjunction with FTA, has completed or nearly completed Before and After Study reports for three projects – Interstate MAX, WES Commuter Rail, and the Green Line – and is in the process of working on two more. This presentation will briefly describe the federal New Starts program, FTA requirements for Before and After Studies, summarize findings from the three TriMet studies and provide comparisons with other completed New Starts projects across the U.S.

Published in: Engineering
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Evaluating the planning and implementation of major transit capital projects in the Portland region

  1. 1. Evaluatingthe Planning and Implementation of Major Transit Capital Projects in the Portland Region December 5, 2014 PSU Transportation Seminar Joe Recker, TriMet Capital Projects
  2. 2. Overview • The New Starts/Small Starts program • Before and After studies • Findings from TriMet’s studies • Findings from around the nation
  3. 3. New Starts/Small Starts • FTA’s primary grant program for major transit capital investments • New lines or extensions • Rail, BRT, or ferries • Evaluation process and milestones – Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) • $1.9 billion annually
  4. 4. A Before and After Study… • Required component of a New Starts project • analyzes a project’s impact • evaluatesthe consistency of the predicted performance, and • identifies sources of differences
  5. 5. Report Topic Areas • Project Scope • Capital Costs • Service Levels • Operating & Maintenance Costs • Ridership
  6. 6. Background • New Starts program = discretionary $$ • Pickrell report (1990) on early transit projects (70s & 80s) • FTA increases oversight – Project Management Oversight Contractors (PMOC) – Cost-effectiveness calculations – Risk assessments – Before and after studies
  7. 7. FTA Requirements • Before and After Study requirement (2001) • Documentation of capital costs (2005) – Standard Cost Category (SCC) format – Compare projects across the nation – Compare same project over time • Annual reports to Congress (SAFETEA-LU2005) • Preservation of ridership forecasts (2006) – Software compatibility over time
  8. 8. 0 2 4 6 8 06' 07' 08' 09' 10' 11' 12' 13' 14'* Completed FTA Before & After Studies * Estimated Yellow Line Green Line WES
  9. 9. Report Contents • Analyze – As-built/current conditions for each topic area • Evaluate – Transit service before vs. after – Consistency of predictions (at NS milestones) vs. as-built/after • Identify – Findings and recommendations
  10. 10. Project Scope • What was built? • What did we plan to build? • Why are there differences?
  11. 11. Capital Costs • What did it cost? • What did we think it would cost? • Why are there differences?
  12. 12. Service Levels • What is the service we are providing? • What did we plan to provide? • Why are there differences?
  13. 13. Operating and Maintenance (O&M) Costs • What does it cost to operate? • What did we think it would cost? • Why are there differences?
  14. 14. Ridership • What is the ridership (after it settles)? • What did we expect? • Why are there differences?
  15. 15. How Did TriMet Do?
  16. 16. Interstate MAX • 5.8 mile light rail extension on urban arterial • Replaces local bus service (line 5) • 10 stations • 2 park-and-ride lots • $350 million ($2004) • 15,200 average daily riders today
  17. 17. Interstate MAX (con’t) • Came in under budget • Ridership projections – 13,900 (2005) – 18,100 (2020) • Actual (2005) – 11,700 average weekday riders • On target for horizon year projections – 15,200 (current)
  18. 18. Interstate MAX Takeaways • Built at right time • CMGC contracting • Experience matters • Opening year vs. horizon year
  19. 19. WES Commuter Rail • 14.7 mile commuter rail • Shared with freight railroad • 5 stations • 4 park-and-rides • Premium transit service • $162 million • 2,000 average daily riders
  20. 20. WES Commuter Rail (con’t) • Cost estimate – (2001) $84.8 million/planned opening 2004 – (2001) $103 million using actual inflation rates – Assumptions incorrect • Project scope • Freight railroad negotiations • Federal $$ request changed past a threshold of “exempt” • Construction inflation
  21. 21. WES Commuter Rail (con’t) • Ridership – Range of 1,600 –2,400 riders (opening year) – Range of 3,000 –4,650 riders (2020) • 2009 –1,200 average daily riders • 2011 –1,600 average daily riders • 2014 –2,000 average daily riders • Key ridership factors – Employment and economy – Park-and-rides/transfers – Travel patterns
  22. 22. WES Takeaways • Bad timing – FTA oversight growing = delays – Construction inflation = $$ – High unemployment at opening = low ridership • Freight railroad scope changes = $$
  23. 23. I-205 MAX Green Line • 8.3 mile light rail extension • 15new stations – I-205 (8) – Portland Mall (7 pairs) • 6 park-and-rides (I-205 only) • $575.3 million • 20,400 average daily riders
  24. 24. Green Line (con’t) • Cost estimates – (2004) $494.8 million (or $595 million w/ actual inflation) – (2006) $575.7 million • Predicted Ridership – 25,500 (2009) – 46,250 (2025) • Service still well below planned levels
  25. 25. Green Line Takeaways • Project scope changes minimal • Extensive local experience kept costs down despite rising inflation • Travel forecasting – Park-and-ride behavior – Walk access – Land use • Service assumptions incorrect
  26. 26. Employment Forecasts Forecasted Growth (00'-09') Actual Growth (00'-10') Difference (in # of jobs) Downtown/ Lloyd 15% -8% -39,040 Banfield 7% -10% -6,595 I-205 22% 1% -11,587 Region 17% -3% -185,951
  27. 27. Other Projects
  28. 28. FrontRunner, UTA • 44 mile commuter rail, 9 stations • $614 million (34% higher than PE estimate) • 5,300 weekday trips – Predicted 8,400 (PE), 5,650 (FD) and 5,900 (FFGA)
  29. 29. FrontRunner(con’t) • Construction inflation • Freight RRs • Recession – Service impacts – Ridership impacts • Public pressure changed service plan
  30. 30. Valley Metro Rail –Phoenix, AZ • 19.7 mile light rail on urban arterials • 28 stations • $1.405 billion – $1.076b (PE) to $1.412b (FFGA) • 40,700 daily riders (current) – 25,800 –Early estimate for 2020
  31. 31. Valley Metro Rail (con’t) • Unanticipated growth of universities • Unanticipated growth of carless, low-income households • Local requirements changed • Travel time improved • Underestimated O&M Costs
  32. 32. Euclid Corridor, Cleveland OH • 7.1 miles BRT, 31 stations • 4.4 miles exclusive ROW • $197.2 million – 10-28% lower than early estimates • 14,300 riders (2011) – 21,100 (early on) – 13,500 (at FFGA)
  33. 33. Euclid Corridor (con’t) • Scope reductions • 21% travel time savings • $1 million net O&M costs per year • Recession & drastic service cuts – Euclid corridor ridership up 31% – Systemwideridership down 22%
  34. 34. Recap of Lessons Learned
  35. 35. Project Scope: Lessons Learned • Local requirements • Political pressure • Freight railroads
  36. 36. Capital Costs: Lessons Learned • Construction inflation • Schedule • Scope changes • Freight RRs • Local experience
  37. 37. Service Levels: Lessons Learned • Replacing express & local service • Economic cycles • Transit priority • Travel times
  38. 38. O&M Costs: Lessons Learned • New transit mode • Public demands for restoration of bus service • Service cuts • Freight RRs
  39. 39. Ridership: Lessons Learned • Land use forecasts • Service changes • Travel time • Fare policy
  40. 40. • Data preservation ongoing – Under budget and on schedule • Bus service planning in progress • “Before” transit rider surveys –spring 2015 • “After” surveys scheduled spring 2017.
  41. 41. THANK YOU Joe Recker TriMet Capital Projects reckerj@trimet.org Thank you, Questions?

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