How Accurate Are California's HSR Ridership Figures?
Martina Castro and Nathanael Johnson examine California's drive to construct the nations first high speed rail line.
The state senate ordered a second independent review led by a team at UC Berkely. It found major errors in the original report of more than plus or minus 50%. Sameer Mandanat reminds us that while "travel demand models are useful but always have to be taken with a grain of salt." The fact that these estimates have been used as accurate figures by politicians and planners has become problematic.
Bent Flyvbjerg a leading academic at Oxford University's BT Centre for Major Programme Management suggests "there needs to be a study of whether the decision is biased. Meaning whether it's optimistic or whether there is strategic misrepresentation."