Whether you are building a new trail or already maintaining one, it is critical to determine your maintenance costs. All maintenance issues need to flow from costs, because without them, you cannot determine accurately if your practices and methods are cost-effective. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has created this peer reviewed worksheet to enable you to capture your costs.
This survey worksheet was largely created from the responses to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2014 national maintenance survey which received feedback on 113 questions from 200 trail managers. The survey worksheet distills the 113 questions into four broad, general categories of maintenance activities applying to most rail-trails: surfaces and infrastructure, vegetation, amenities and cleanliness. Trail managers are invited to submit costs of labor, equipment and contracted services for their maintenance activities. Formulas for calculating the total cost are built into the spreadsheet. Instructions for filling the fields and an overview of methodology can be found on the Contact Information tab.
This survey worksheet is meant for a single trail, for a typical year. For those managers with multiple trails please complete as many questions as possible or at least your longest trail. Some of these questions may not apply to your trail and should be left blank.
Please direct any questions about this worksheet to Tom Sexton, Northeast Regional Director at RTC, at Tom@railstotrails.org.