Transportation Economics

Overview:

 

The Transportation Economics Branch provides transportation decision makers with expert research, analysis and legislative information to ensure productive and efficient use of public resources. The branch conducts economic analyses such as performing benefit-cost, economic impact and estimating motorist value of time. In addition, the branch publishes a county socioeconomic forecast and an overview of transportation funding in California. The branch assists Caltrans's Headquarters and district offices as well as entities such as the California State Transportation Agency, the California Transportation Commission, and external stakeholders. The Transportation Economics Branch can be reached at eab@dot.ca.gov

Major activities of the Branch include:

Resources

Studies

The California Life-Cycle Benefit/Cost Analysis Model (Cal-B/C)

Cal-B/C is a suite of Excel workbooks developed by Caltrans’s Transportation Economics Branch to provide decision-makers with the ability to assess the benefits and costs of transportation projects associated with the highway system. Cal-B/C is continuously updated to ensure that it aligns with current transportation benefit-cost findings and practices. Cal-B/C consists of five modules: 1) Cal-B/C Sketch, 2) Cal-B/C Active Transportation (AT), 3) Cal-B/C Park and Ride (PnR), 4) Cal-B/C Corridor, and 5) Cal-B/C Intermodal Freight (IF). The Cal-B/C Sketch model is periodically modified to comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs".

Cal - BC Modules - Version 7.1.  The Cal-B/C Sketch (Highway and Transit), Cal-B/c Corridor (Highway and Transit with Data Post-Processor), Cal-B/C Intermodal freight (Truck, rail), Cal-B/C Active transportation (Cycling, walking), and Cal-B/C park and ride (Carpool, bus, commuter rail).

Cal-B/C Modules

The Input Sheet workbook highlights data requirements needed to run Cal-B/C Sketch, AT, or PnR, based on the type of project.

Cal-B/C Sketch version 7.2 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on highway and transit physical and operational improvements.

Cal-B/C AT version 7.2 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on active transportations modes (e.g., biking and walking facilities).

Cal-B/C Corridor version 7.2 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on highway and transit modes, allowing the use of post-process travel demand and micro-simulation model data.

Cal-B/C IF version 7.2 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on intermodal freight improvements (e.g., freight network expansion and terminal efficiency).

  • Cal-B/C PnR v7.2 (XLSM)

    Cal-B/C PnR version 7.2 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on park-and-ride strategies (e.g., commuter parking and ride-sharing facilities).

The Senate Bill 1 (SB1) Grant Programs Emissions Calculator estimates emission changes for proposed transportation projects that are not quantifiable under the suite of Cal-B/C modules. This calculator uses a methodology similar to the one developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the California Freight Investment Program (CFIP).

* Note: Cal-B/C emission rates were updated from EMFAC 2014 to EMFAC 2017. Cal-B/C v7.2 and the Emissions Calculator reflects this change.

Cal-B/C Modules for Federal Discretionary Grants

Cal-B/C INFRA/BUILD Sketch Model version 7.1 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on highway and transit modes based on US DOT’s Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs.

Cal-B/C INFRA/BUILD AT Model version 7.1 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on active transportations modes (e.g., biking and walking facilities) based on US DOT’s Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs.

Cal-B/C INFRA/BUILD Corridor version 7.1 is Caltrans’s California Benefit/Cost Analysis tool which focuses on highway and transit modes allowing the user to post-process travel demand and micro-simulation model data based on US DOT’s Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs.

* Federal Discretionary Guidance 2020 Value Comparison Table (PDF)

* The model and comparison table is in accordance with the 2020 federal Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs 

Cal-B/C Version 7.1 User's Guide and Technical Documentations

* Note: Cal-B/C version 7.1 User’s Guide and Technical Documentations apply to v7.2 modules. Any EMFAC 2014 citation, within the documentations, is a reference to EMFAC 2017. 

Historical Technical Documents

December 21, 2017 Cal-B/C Workshop

December 21, 2017 Cal-B/C Webinar Recording - Morning Session

December 21, 2017 Cal-B/C Webinar Recording - Afternoon Session

January 16, 2018 Cal-B/C Workshop

January 16, 2018 Cal B/C Webinar Recording - Morning Session

January 16, 2018 Cal B/C Webinar Recording - Afternoon Session