EBP established the Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) framework and provided major technical assistance to support a 2021 Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) grant application submitted by FDOT. The CARSI program is managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with funds awarded to projects in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to improve the safety of highway-rail crossings.
Five projects received awards nationally in this the second CARSI 2021 award phase. The South Florida Rail Transit Authority (SFRTA) will receive a $12.9 million grant to modernize 25 rail crossings on its Tri-Rail commuter rail line in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. The project will upgrade LED lights and update signal houses, gate mechanisms, cantilevers and light assemblies. The rail line is in an area where vehicular traffic has increased and where train traffic is expected to increase over the next several years, as well.
The project improvements will provide a variety of benefits that can be quantified for the purposes of the BCA. The upgraded equipment associated with the active crossing protection will reduce the number of gate malfunctions that are caused by ageing equipment, weather events, and commercial power surges. These benefits have been quantified as they relate to travel time savings, fuel consumption reduction, emissions savings, crash reductions, and life-cycle cost savings.