Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

How (In)accurate Are Demand Forecasts in Public Works Projects?: The Case of Transportation

How (In)accurate Are Demand Forecasts in Public Works Projects?: The Case of Transportation Abstract This article presents results from the first statistically significant study of traffic forecasts in transportation infrastructure projects. The sample used is the largest of its kind, covering 210 projects in 14 nations worth U.S.$59 billion. The study shows with very high statistical significance that forecasters generally do a poor job of estimating the demand for transportation infrastructure projects. For 9 out of 10 rail projects, passenger forecasts are overestimated; the average overestima-tion is 106%. For half of all road projects, the difference between actual and forecasted traffic is more than ±20%. The result is substantial financial risks, which are typically ignored or downplayed by planners and decision makers to the detriment of social and economic welfare. Our data also show that forecasts have not become more accurate over the 30-year period studied, despite claims to the contrary by forecasters. The causes of inaccuracy in forecasts are different for rail and road projects, with political causes playing a larger role for rail than for road. The cure is transparency, accountability, and new forecasting methods. The challenge is to change the governance structures for forecasting and project development. Our article shows how planners may help achieve this. This article was substantially reproduced in the article "Inaccuracy in Traffic Forecasts", published in 2006 in Transport Reviews [Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm, and Søren L. Buhl, Transport Reviews, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 2006, pp. 1–24 (retracted)] and is the subject of a Notice of Redundant Publication in Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 78, Issue 3, page 352, 2012. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2012.719432 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Planning Association Taylor & Francis

How (In)accurate Are Demand Forecasts in Public Works Projects?: The Case of Transportation

16 pages

Loading next page...
 
/lp/taylor-francis/how-in-accurate-are-demand-forecasts-in-public-works-projects-the-case-16f9xQYJzN

References (57)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1939-0130
eISSN
0194-4363
DOI
10.1080/01944360508976688
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This article presents results from the first statistically significant study of traffic forecasts in transportation infrastructure projects. The sample used is the largest of its kind, covering 210 projects in 14 nations worth U.S.$59 billion. The study shows with very high statistical significance that forecasters generally do a poor job of estimating the demand for transportation infrastructure projects. For 9 out of 10 rail projects, passenger forecasts are overestimated; the average overestima-tion is 106%. For half of all road projects, the difference between actual and forecasted traffic is more than ±20%. The result is substantial financial risks, which are typically ignored or downplayed by planners and decision makers to the detriment of social and economic welfare. Our data also show that forecasts have not become more accurate over the 30-year period studied, despite claims to the contrary by forecasters. The causes of inaccuracy in forecasts are different for rail and road projects, with political causes playing a larger role for rail than for road. The cure is transparency, accountability, and new forecasting methods. The challenge is to change the governance structures for forecasting and project development. Our article shows how planners may help achieve this. This article was substantially reproduced in the article "Inaccuracy in Traffic Forecasts", published in 2006 in Transport Reviews [Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm, and Søren L. Buhl, Transport Reviews, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 2006, pp. 1–24 (retracted)] and is the subject of a Notice of Redundant Publication in Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 78, Issue 3, page 352, 2012. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2012.719432

Journal

Journal of the American Planning AssociationTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 30, 2005

There are no references for this article.