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According to FTA’s Guidance, the Value of Passenger Time May be Adjusted for Regional Differences. Can you Please Explain Further How This Number May Be Adjusted?

The standard value of passenger time in the HMCE tool is pre-set at $15.58 per hour. Consistent with FEMA and DOT guidance, this represents one half of the average national wage, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The value allows the HMCE tool to evaluate the benefits of avoided service outages or alternative services, as well as the cost of outages associated with project implementation.
Applicants have three options for this value:

  1. Use the standard value in the tool of $15.58 per hour, reflecting 50 percent of the national average wage rate.
  2. Adjust the value to account for regional differences, using regional wage information reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Based on an analysis of the September 2013 BLS report “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation &mdash September 2013”, Historical Listings through September 2013, and National Compensation Survey data from 2010-2011 for applicable Census regions and combined statistical areas (CSAs, i.e. adjacent metropolitan areas), comparing regional average wage values to the regional average private industry wages resulted in the following adjustments:

    • Regional:
      1. New England (CT, RI, MA, ME, NH, VT): $18.38 per hour
      2. Mid-Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA): $17.59 per hour
      3. South-Atlantic (MD, DC, DE, VA, NC, etc.): $14.38 per hour
    • Combined Statistical Areas
    1. Boston-Worcester-Manchester (RI, MA, NH) CSA: $18.80 per hour
    2. New York-Newark-Bridgeport Mid-Atlantic (NY-NJ-CT) CSA: $19.40 per hour
    3. Philadelphia-Camden-Vineyard (PA-NJ-DE-MD) CSA: $17.86 per hour
    4. Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia (DC-MD-VA-WV) CSA: $18.25 per hour
    5. Adjust the value to account for regional differences as follows: Calculate one half of the average household income for the applicant’s service area, or for all public transportation users in the applicant’s service area, divided by the average household size for the population used.

Regardless of the approach selected, the same value must be used in all proposals submitted by a single applicant. If an applicant intends to use the third option, additional backup documentation is required, including copies of the applicable census tables, the calculations used, and a brief statement of why one of the other two options is not accurate or sufficient for the analysis. Other alternative approaches are not recommended.

Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2017
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