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.
Major activities of the Branch include:
- California Household Travel Survey
- Census Transportation Planning Products
- National Household Travel Survey
- Transportation Economics Links
- Transportation Funding in California
- Vehicle Operation Cost Parameters (2016 Current Dollar Value)
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".
- In addition, 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 2020 INFRA/BUILD Sketch Model v7.1 (XLSM)
- Cal-B/C 2020 INFRA/BUILD Corridor Model v7.1 (XLSM)
- 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
- Cal-B/C Technical Supplement (PDF)
- Cal-B/C Technical Supplement Vol.2 (PDF)
- Cal-B/C Technical Supplement Vol.3 (PDF)
- Cal-B/C Technical Supplement Vol.4 (PDF)
- Cal-B/C User Guide v6.2 (PDF)
December 21, 2017 Cal-B/C Workshop
January 16, 2018 Cal-B/C Workshop
Note: Some documents cannot be posted at this time due to ADA compliance requirements. Please submit a request to email@example.com and Caltrans’s economic staff will send an e-copy of the file(s) via email if a document is unavailable to download.