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Knowledge Base - Multimodal Benefit Cost Analysis and Free Trial


  
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TREDIS Trial - sub-county level

International Users of TREDIS

MBCA versus Full TREDIS

Benefit Cost versus Economic Impact

MBCA

MBCA Features

Using MBCA

Obtaining TREDIS-MBCA

TREDIS MBCA Subscriptions

Grant applications

International use of TREDIS MBCA

TREDIS MBCA Cost

TREDIS MBCA Features

TREDIS Trial

Access to TREDIS Trial

MBCA versus Trial

TREDIS Trial Features

Sample Projects

Using Sample Projects

Copy Project Feature

Sharing Projects

 


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TREDIS Trial - sub-county level

Question: Does the TREDIS trial include sub-county level data?

Answer:  No. The simulated data in the trial includes state, county, a custom region for a metro area comprised of three counties, and applicable FAF zone. Sub-county, or zip code level data operates as a custom region.

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International Users of TREDIS

Question: Any international applications thus far outside of Canada and Australia? Are you stepping up your marketing in overseas markets?

Answer:  Currently, TREDIS is available for use in North America and Australia. We are in talks with transportation agencies, consultants, and universities for custom applications of TREDIS around the world. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about specific applications outside of North America and Australia.

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MBCA versus Full TREDIS

Question: What is the difference between MBCA and the full TREDIS Economics Suite?

Answer:  The free MBCA tool is a benefit-cost calculator – which means it compares project costs with a monetary valuation of changes in travel time, travel cost, safety, air pollution and reliability. Benefit-cost analysis reflects “first-order” impacts of transportation system changes; it does not reflect “wider economic impacts” or reflect “economic feasibility” considerations. MBCA is one of five types of economic analysis included in the full TREDIS Economics Suite. The other four types of economic analysis - which can be of equal or greater concern – are Economic Impact Analysis (assessing wider economic effects on productivity, regional employment, income and GDP), Public-Private Economic Feasibility (assessing cash flow effects), Fiscal Impact Analysis (assessing net tax revenue effects) and Freight Flow Analysis (assessing regional freight and trade flow changes). The MBCA benefit-cost calculator does not depend on information regarding the economy of study area. However, the other types of economic analysis do require specification of a study area, and their results also depend on proprietary information regarding the structure of specified area economy and its taxation systems. They are available via a subscription fee.

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Benefit Cost versus Economic Impact

Question: What is the difference between Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) and Economic Impact Analysis (EIA)?

Answer:  In the transportation context, BCA is usually implemented as a comparison of project costs and user benefits, and is the first stage in a broader process of economic assessment. It is sometimes referred to as engineering-based analysis because all of its elements – construction cost, traffic flow, safety and emissions – can be directly observed or estimated by transportation engineers and planners. The results – a benefit/cost ratio and net benefit value – are calculated based on the assignment of monetary valuation factors for transportation-related improvements, which are based on either actual cost or a survey-based “willingness to pay.” BCA is often used as an element in grant applications and project funding decisions.

EIA, in contrast, assesses the wider effects on the economy – as reflected by jobs and income for area residents. It goes well beyond direct user benefits to also consider how transportation projects can affect job access, product delivery markets, supply chain reliability, household budgets and business operating costs – leading to changes in productivity, business location patterns and ultimately employment and income growth for the affected area. EIA is broader than user benefit analysis in BCA in that it considers wider economic effects on area residents (and not just traveler benefits), but it is narrower in that it does not consider personal time savings or other benefits that do not directly affect the flow of money in the economy (even though they may have a value to people). There is great public interest in EIA for policy, planning and prioritization, and it is often used alongside BCA for project decision-making. The TREDIS Economics Suite provides both BCA and EIA.

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MBCA

Question: What kind of tool is MBCA?

Answer:  MBCA is an economic tool that is easy to use. Users are prompted to enter project costs and timing, and describe broad-brush impacts on transportation facility or system performance, such as vehicle or passenger volume, travel times, distances, congestion, reliability and safety. The system that calculates the economic value of benefits covering not only traveller benefits, but also broader societal benefits including business productivity, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, fuel use, and safety changes. The system is transparent; as it provides a series that trace through calculations of resulting public and private benefits and costs, and discount rates can be changed as desired. (MBCA is not designed for later stage refinement of project designs, in which facility design, geometrics and control features may also become important.)

Question: What makes MBCA unique?

Answer:  There are excellent benefit-cost tools produced by US DOT for specialized and detailed analysis of single modes, including BCA.net and HERS for highways. However, MBCA is the first free tool that equally covers all forms of air, water, rail and road transportation, as well as non-motorized (pedestrian and bicycle) transportation. It ends up that there are some important differences among the modes in terms of nomenclature, value of time; treatment of driver, passenger and freight loads; induced demand, and trip balancing when mode switching occurs. MBCA addresses all of these issues. MBCA is also set up as a “sketch planning” tool for early stage assessment of project alternatives, meaning that it is very broad in its coverage but not deep in its requirements. This makes it particularly useful for three types of projects:

1.) Single mode projects (e.g., roadway or rail line or airport or seaport improvements) where there are clear ‘no build” vs. “build” alternatives, or multiple project alternatives, which lead to distinct differences in volume of use, travel times, safety or reliability characteristics; or

2.) Single mode projects that also have implications of other modes, such as a transit line that reduces roadway congestion, or a high speed rail line that reduces terminal congestion at an airport, or a ferry service that reduces car delays on a bridge route.

3.) Multiple mode projects, such as coordinated set of airport terminal and access roadway improvements, or coordinated program of transit and highway capacity enhancement along a single congested corridor, or road-rail crossing project that will enhanced safety and reliability for both train and road vehicles.

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MBCA Features

Question: What feature makes MBCA stand out?

Answer:  A distinguishing feature of MBCA is that it enables users to define custom modes, sub-modes, time periods and trip purposes. This enables users to define and compare an unlimited number of modal variants that differ in capacity, fuel use and performance, such as: Rail Transit (BRT, light/heavy rail, express/local service, high speed/conventional rail), Bus Transit (van, bus, articulated bus, double-deck bus), aviation (prop, corporate jet, regional jet) and Active Transportation (walk, bicycle). And it enables comparison of special time periods such as peak tourism vs. off-peak seasons. Some of these options are already set up; others can be created by the user.

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Using MBCA

Question: What kind of tool is MBCA?

Answer:  MBCA is an economic tool that is easy to use. Users are prompted to enter project costs and timing, and describe broad-brush impacts on transportation facility or system performance, such as vehicle or passenger volume, travel times, distances, congestion, reliability and safety. The system that calculates the economic value of benefits covering not only traveller benefits, but also broader societal benefits including business productivity, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, fuel use, and safety changes. The system is transparent; as it provides a series that trace through calculations of resulting public and private benefits and costs, and discount rates can be changed as desired. (MBCA is not designed for later stage refinement of project designs, in which facility design, geometrics and control features may also become important.)

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Obtaining TREDIS-MBCA

Question: How do I obtain access to the MBCA tool?

Answer:  Go to the “Free Tools” page of the TREDIS website and register. You will be emailed a username and temporary password with login details.

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TREDIS MBCA Subscriptions

Question: How long will I have access to the MBCA tool?

Answer:  Access to the free MBCA tool is available for 1 year and is renewable on an annual basis.

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Grant applications

Question: Can I use the benefit cost results generated by the MBCA tool on my grant application?

Answer:  Yes. The MBCA tool was designed with the requirements of transportation grant applications in mind.

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International use of TREDIS MBCA

Question: Can I only use the MBCA tool for Benefit Cost Analysis in the USA?

Answer:  We offer a Canadian and USA version of the MBCA tool. The version selected is determined by the country you enter in your registration form.

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TREDIS MBCA Cost

Question: TREDIS-MBCA is currently offered for free.

Answer:  How much does the MBCA tool cost?

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TREDIS MBCA Features

Question: While using the MBCA tool, I received notification that a particular feature is not enabled in MBCA tool. How do I obtain access?

Answer:  Any feature that is not available in the MBCA tool is available in the fee-based subscription. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or a quote.

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TREDIS Trial

Question: Does the TREDIS trial contain data for my state?

Answer:  No. The trial is loaded with simulated data for a fictional state in the USA.

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Access to TREDIS Trial

Question: How do I obtain access to a TREDIS trial?

Answer:  Go to the “Free Tools” page of the TREDIS website and register. You will be emailed a username and temporary password with login details.

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MBCA versus Trial

Question: What’s the difference between a TREDIS trial and the MBCA tool?

Answer:  The TREDIS trial gives you access to the full economic suite and a majority of features enabled in TREDIS. However, it is based on simulated data and is only to be used for demonstrative purposes. The MBCA tool contains actual data, which may be used for the Benefit Cost Analysis of your transportation projects.

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TREDIS Trial Features

Question: Will I see all of the TREDIS features and capabilities enabled in the trial?

Answer:  No. Some data and functionality are not available in the trial. Based on the nature of the data required to run certain freight capabilities and the demographics report, we are not able to provide access to them in the trial. Please contact us for a live demonstration at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Sample Projects

Question: Are there sample projects available in the TREDIS trial?

Answer:  Yes. We have loaded the TREDIS trial with several sample projects. They are available for viewing when you login. After logging into your trial, you may access the accompanying sample project case study write-ups in the User Resources library.

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Using Sample Projects

Question: How do I change inputs for a sample project in the TREDIS trial?

Answer:  To modify any project that was created by another user, you need to copy the project first. You will then be the “owner” of that project. To alleviate any confusion while using the trial, you should rename the project copy.

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Copy Project Feature

Question: How do I copy a project in the TREDIS trial?

Answer: First, select the project name in the Current Project list. Then, click the Copy button. You will be able to rename the project. Then, click the Copy button to save your change. You may do this with any of the sample projects that are available in the trial account. Note that it will take a few moments for TREDIS to copy all project data.

 

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Sharing Projects

Question: Can I share a project with another TREDIS trial user?

Answer: No. The share projects function is not enabled in the trial account. However, you can share projects with your colleagues when using a full TREDIS subscription.

 

 

 

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