|dc.description.abstract||Estimating design and construction costs in a consistent, reliable, and accurate way is critical for an organization since the information generated is the basis for: projecting program funds, prioritizing projects by financial analysis, determining required funds, and providing a baseline for project control. This thesis focused on cost estimating methods, database, and prototype tool development for design and construction of rural and small urban transit facilities that are usually small, numerous, and geographically dispersed. To address these issues, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) funded a research team to provide guidance to state transit agencies in assisting their sub-recipients with preparing accurate design and construction cost estimates. This thesis was written according to the scope of the funded research project.
The main objectives of this study were to determine the distinct characteristics of rural and small urban transit facilities and to develop a cost database and a prototype tool to assist agencies with preparing conceptual estimates. Conducting a literature review and telephone interviews with experts in the transit facility industry improved the understanding of the estimating practices used in the rural and small urban transit facility industry. Unique characteristics and risk factors of those facilities were identified. A cost estimating database was constructed based on the historical cost data collected through online surveys. A cost estimating prototype tool was developed based on the findings obtained from the literature review, telephone interviews, and analysis of the cost estimating database. Review of the prototype tool was then performed to ensure the tool?s self-explanation, functionality, and user-friendliness. This thesis contributes to the transit facility industry by developing the first national database and prototype tool to support conceptual estimating for rural and small urban transit facilities. A research limitation of this research and recommendations for future research were explicitly described at the end of this thesis.||