California Department of Transportation
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Vehicle Operation Cost Parameters
(2016 Current Dollar Value)

The Economics Analysis Branch utilizes standard economic valuations for application in benefit-cost analysis. These values are used consistently across the Cal-B/C Framework, which includes the Cal-B/C V6.0 and Cal-B/C Corridor . The values are recommended for use in economic analysis on all modes, including highway, rail and transit projects. The economic values represent statewide averages.

Travel Time Parameter


Discount Rate


Real (Inflation Adjusted)


Value of Time

Dollar Per Person Hour


$ 13.65


$ 31.40

Auto/Truck Composite (Weighted-Average)

$ 18.95

Transit (in vehicle)

$ 13.65

Transit (out of vehicle)

$ 27.30

Average Peak Vehicle Occupancy Rate


Average Non-peak Vehicle Occupancy Rate


Vehicle Operation Cost Parameters


Average Fuel Price

Dollar Per Gallon

Regular Unleaded (auto)

$ 3.18

Diesel (truck)

$ 3.00

Fuel Price (excluding taxes)

Dollar Per Gallon

Regular Unleaded (auto)

$ 2.65

Diesel (truck)

$ 2.40

Non-Fuel Costs

Dollar Per Mile


$ 0.313


$ 0.429

Accident Cost  Parameters


Cost of Highway Accident

Dollar Per Accident

Fatal Accident

$ 10,800,000

Injury Accident

$ 148,800

Property Damage Only (PDO) Accident

$ 9,700

Average Cost per Accident

$ 185,600

Cost of an Event

Dollar Per Event

Cost of a Fatality

$ 9,800,000

Cost of an Injury

Dollar Per Event

Level A (Severe)

$ 466,400

Level B (Moderate)

$ 127,000

Level C (Minor)

$ 64,900

Cost of Property Damage

$ 2,700


Emission Cost Parameters


Health Cost of Transportation Emission

Dollar Per U.S. Ton


L.A. South Coast

CA Urban Area

CA Rural Area

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

$ 160


$ 75

Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)

$ 63,900

$ 18,700

$ 13,900

Particular Matter (PM10)

$ 523,300

$ 151,100

$ 107,700

Sulfur Oxide (SOx)

$ 196,600

$ 75,500

$ 54,400

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

$ 3,970

$ 1,305

$ 1,025


*The Cal-B/C Framework is setup to evaluate costs and benefits in constant dollars without escalating future values.
**The Cal-B/C Framework includes a two-percent "uprating" factor, so that subsequent years reflect the increasing values. This approach is consistent with Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, United States Government,2016.

The Cal-B/C Framework, as a standard benefit-cost approach, focuses on estimating travel time savings, vehicle operating cost savings, safety savings and vehicle emissions savings. The Framework offers a simple, practical method for preparing economic evaluations on prospective highway, rail and transit improvement projects. For individuals interested in non-traditional impacts, such as noise and land use, we provide the following links with information on some other impacts from transportation improvements:


Caltrans is providing this information solely for user consideration and does not endorse the opinions or values provided.