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Tips on submitting a TIGER 3 benefit cost analysis

Back in July, we reported on the US DOT seminar How Lessons on how to compete for a US DOT TIGER Grant. Today, the US DOT’s Chief Economist Jack Wells hosted a webinar to describe what TIGER application reviewers are looking for in the project’s Benefit Cost Analysis section of the application. Here are the slides of the presentation;¬†here’s the webcast. Applicants (agency staff and the advocates helping them) should thoroughly review the notice of funding availability¬†(links to the¬†original¬†version that they requested comments on. No major changes were made.)

The webinar got deeper into the methodology of benefit cost analyses than can fit into a quick blog post. Here are a few points to consider, however:

  • The economists evaluate the credibility of the benefit cost analysis on a 1 to 4 scale
  • They are looking for positive net outcomes greater than one, but beyond that they’d rather see quality estimates than¬†exaggerated estimates
  • It can be difficult to estimate¬†livability¬†benefits, but they really want to see estimated usage — ie estimated numbers of bicycling and walking trips
  • The notice of funding availability has a table of dollars values to calculate the emission-reduction benefits of mode shift
  • Much attention was paid to avoid “double counting” of benefits and the inclusion of all costs, see the notice of availability and webinar slides for more
Upcoming TIGER 3 seminars:
August 22th          Project Readiness/NEPA

August 24th          Public Private Partnerships & TIFIA

August 30th          MARAD Port Outreach


Archived TIGER 3 sessions:

2010                 Benefit/Cost Analysis Practitioner’s Workshop

July 18th           How to Compete for TIGER Seminar

July 27th ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ÄúTalking Freight‚ÄĚ


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