Gannett Fleming Uses @RISK to Get Public Transit Projects Funded


Gannett Fleming


Construction & Engineering, Consulting & Legal, Logistics & Transportation


@RISK & TopRank


Regulation Compliance in Public Transit Projects

Are public transit projects risky? You bet!

Local transit authorities often apply for federal contributions to help fund capital projects. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the federal body overseeing public transit, has established guidelines that call for detailed risk assessments by qualified consultants before granting federal funds. Gannett Fleming, a national planning, design, and management firm, uses Palisade’s @RISK for schedule risk analysis to provide detailed project planning and risk assessment services that exceed FTA guidelines.

@RISK for Project Meets Strict Federal Guidelines

To ensure sufficient recognition and treatment of project risk, the FTA guidelines require a comprehensive risk assessment which includes:

  • A detailed analysis of baseline scope, schedule and costs, following a prescribed process,
  • The identification of all forms of risk with respective qualitative and quantitative values,
  • The establishment of a probability range for the total project costs using Monte Carlo type simulations,
  • The identification of correlated risks and their treatment in the analysis,
  • The identification of the most significant risks to the project and strategies for their management,
  • The risk assessment must be performed by a qualified, independent, third party.

These requirements open the door for experienced consulting firms such as Gannett Fleming. Using Microsoft Project and @RISK, Gannett Fleming has performed a number of successful risk assessments. According to Dan Estrada, Project Manager for Gannett Fleming, “@RISK facilitates an integrated approach to quantifying schedule and cost risks and offers concise evaluations of their potential impacts. The software allows us to confidently address FTA requirements.”


Gannett Fleming, a national planning, design, and management firm, uses @RISK to provide detailed project planning and risk assessment services that exceed US Federal Transit Authority guidelines.

The Need for Certainty

When it comes to public transit projects, taxpayers and all levels of government are wary of cost and schedule overruns. Before committing funding to a project, all parties work together to ensure a high probability of success. The best metric for measuring this success is completing the project on time and within budget.

Whereas confidence levels of 50% or less may be acceptable for entrepreneurs and other risk-takers, public bodies including the FTA are expecting confidence levels of 70-80% and sometimes higher. @RISK aides in identifying inherent confidence levels. As respective confidence levels are compared to preliminary budgets and schedules, contingency and schedule float are thus evaluated for sufficiency.

The Gannett Fleming Solution

Gannett Fleming is uniquely qualified to perform capital project risk assessments. With almost 90 years of planning, design, and construction management experience, Gannett Fleming is leading the industry in objective project planning and risk assessment services.

The key to Gannett Fleming’s success is an integrated cost and schedule approach. According to Mr. Estrada, “We’ve been very successful assessing project risk on several major transit projects. The key is to perform an integrated cost and schedule risk analysis, one that recognizes the interplay of time and money.”

About Gannett Fleming

Gannett Fleming Inc. is an international consulting engineering and construction management firm that has been providing quality, full-service, multi-disciplinary engineering services and technical innovation in the U.S. and abroad since 1915. With almost 90 years of experience, Gannett Fleming’s extensive array of services makes it a leader in the engineering industry and a one-stop shop for clients.

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