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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Standard Transportation Forecasting Techniques: How They Fail


The decade of the 1980s is proving to be a critical one for transportation system choices. Our transportation infrastructure is on the verge of collapse in many areas. Boston's rail system. New York's subway. Connecticut's highway bridges. and aging urban freeways in the nation's major cities. are all in dire need of rehabilitation. At the same time. funds are being solicited for new projects. most of which have been on the drawing board for more than a decade. These include interstate highway projects. as well as rail transit projects in major cities throughout the country. In view of the massive investment our current "wish list" of projects implies. it is appropriate to examine the justification for these investments and the way we forecast the need for them.

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