Cost

Detailed communications equipment costs for the Denver Regional Transportation District regional transit AVL/CAD system.

The costs of the three major components of the AVL/CAD system supporting driver communication from the report, Assessment of the Denver Regional Transportation District Automatic Vehicle Location System


August 2000
Denver,Colorado,United States


Summary Information

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) implemented an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to upgrade communications, improve safety, and monitor bus schedule adherence in real-time. RTD equipped its entire fleet of 1,335 vehicles (buses, light rail cars, and supervisor and maintenance vehicles) with AVL/CAD. The communications portion of the AVL system supports voice and data communications between dispatchers, drivers, and supervisors over nine microwave channels. Five channels are dynamically assigned to dispatcher-driver pairs, two channels are for data communications, and two channels are dedicated to maintenance and supervisor communications.

The GPS/In-Vehicle Logic Unit (IVLU)/Transit Control Head (TCH) on-board device is used for data communications. Drivers press a button on the TCH to initiate voice communication with the dispatcher. Supervisors are able to talk with the dispatcher and drivers via the in-vehicle equipment. Supervisors can contact a driver directly, or request the dispatcher initiate contact with the driver.

The costs of the three major components of the AVL/CAD system supporting driver communications, dispatch center hardware, in-vehicle communications equipment, and field communication hardware, are detailed below. Extended costs are the unit costs multiplied by the quantity of units.

Dispatch Center Hardware

The total cost of the dispatch center hardware was $1,247,866 (see table below). Costs included dispatch center hardware at all three centers for the Denver AVL system including the base radio communications hardware, radio/data computers, and the AVL consoles used by dispatchers to track the field vehicles. Installation costs are listed separately for each element, as applicable. The radio/data computer cost was $434,129.


Hardware Description
Quantity
Unit Cost
Extended Cost
Install Cost
Total Cost
Console electronics
1
$29,670
$29,670
$7,958
$37,628
Supervisor Position
1
$69,185
$69,185
$7,785
$76,970
Console Position
6
$71,278
$427,666
$40,953
$468,619
Radio/Data Computer
1
$339,484
$339,484
$94,645
$434,129
CAD Terminals
10
$2,732
$27,318
$66,154
$93,472
Logging Recorder
1
$77,757
$77,757
$0
$77,757
Electrical Backup (UPS)
2
$29,646
$59,291
$0
$59,291
TOTAL
a
a
$1,030,371
$217,495
$1,247,866


In-Vehicle Hardware

The total in-vehicle hardware and installation cost was $5,231,814 (see table below). The total cost included equipment on the inside and outside of the vehicle enabling it to send and receive data and voice communications such as GPS/In-Vehicle Logical Unit (IVLU)/Transit Control Head (TCH), radios, and antennas. This cost also included AVL equipment used by field supervisors and maintenance, such as mobile data terminals. Installation costs are listed separately for each element, as applicable. The per vehicle cost for the mobile radio unit and GPS/IVLU/TCH unit are $1,545 and $3,517, respectively.


Hardware Description
Quantity
Unit Cost
Extended Cost
Install Cost
Total Cost
Supervisor radio and mobile power source
98
$1,878
$184,050
$41,816
$225,866
Supervisor MDTs
30
$3,653
$109,585
$0
$109,585
Bus mobile radio and power source
832
$1,545
$1,285,174
$476,292
$1,761,466
GPS/IVLU/TCH
865
$3,517
$3,042,276
$0
$3,042,276
Portable radio
80
$851
$68,101
$66,154
$93,472
Single unit charger
50
$81
$4,032
$0
$4,032
Six unit charger
16
$478
$7,652
$0
$7,652
Electrical Backup (UPS)
2
$29,646
$59,291
$0
$59,291
Mobile port charger
30
$168
$5,040
$0
$5,040
Spare battery
30
$68
$2,050
$0
$2,050
Speaker/Mike Assembly
30
$57
$1,714
$0
$1,714
TOTAL
a
a
$4,709,674
$522,140
$5,231,814


Field Communication Hardware

The total field communication hardware cost was $1,451,940 (see table below). The cost included all devices other than vehicle or dispatch center equipment required to establish communications to include microwave radio transmitters and antennas. Installation costs are listed separately for each element, as applicable.


Hardware Description
Quantity
Unit Cost
Extended Cost
Install Cost
Total Cost
UHF repeater
27
$6,877
$185,674
$109,698
$295,372
200' 7/8" Tx line
26
$6,493
$168,822
$66,840
$235,662
Voting comparator
6
$5,399
$32,394
$0
$32,394
Multicoupler/combiner
6
$0
$0
$184,815
$184,815
Microwave terminal
8
$49,060
$392,480
$36,403
$428,883
Microwave antenna
8
$5,673
$45,387
$17,053
$62,440
Battery/charger
6
$7,039
$42,236
$5,376
$47,613
Digital mux
6
$1,886
$11,313
$4,536
$15,849
Digital channel bank
12
$5,192
$62,304
$0
$62,304
Microwave service channel
6
$2,128
$12,769
$0
$12,769
Microwave alarm master
1
$14,561
$14,561
$0
$14,561
Microwave alarm remote
6
$1,993
$11,957
$3,024
$14,981
7.5 dB antenna with line
4
$3,941
$23,765
$3,560
$27,325
Desktop base station
4
$4,243
$16,972
$0
$16,972
TOTAL
a
a
$1,020,634
$431,305
$1,451,940


The annual cost of maintaining all AVL equipment not in the vehicle for 1997 was $174,223. Examples of included costs are AVL manager salary, central processor maintenance, wireline communications and microwave towers maintenance, AVL manager station maintenance, software maintenance, and hardware (i.e., hard drives, printers) maintenance. Software and hardware maintenance were contracted on-call agreements for one year. A breakout of communications maintenance cost was not provided in the report. The report indicated that the maintenance costs for in-vehicle communications equipment (radios, IVLUs, and TCHs) were not specifically tracked; however, the cost is estimated to be the full time equivalent of approximately one person.

The operations cost for the AVL system was $1,723,404 and included the communication system including microwave towers, power used by the AVL system and communication towers, office supplies (i.e., paper, floppy disks), and salary and benefits for 25 to 30 full- and part-time dispatchers. A breakout of the communication system operations cost was not provided in the report.

For a breakout of all AVL/CAD system components and associated costs see the system cost summary - The Denver Regional Transportation District deployed a regional transit AVL/CAD system for $10.4 million; O&M costs were estimated at $1.9 million.


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Source

Assessment of the Denver Regional Transportation District Automatic Vehicle Location System

Author: Weatherford, Matt

Published By: Federal Transit Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by Castle Rock Consultants for the U.S. DOT through the Volpe National Transportation System Center

Source Date: August 2000

EDL Number: 13589

Other Reference Number: Report No. DOT-VNTSC-FTA-00-04

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4346

System Cost

Dispatch Center Hardware: $1,247,866.
- Radio/Data Computer: $434,129.

In-vehicle Hardware: $5,231,814.
- Mobile Radio Unit: $1,545 per vehicle.
- GPS/IVLU/TCH Unit: $3,517 per vehicle.

Field Communication Hardware: $1,451,940.

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Cost ID: 2004-00067