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Independent Peer Review of the California High-Speed Rail Ridership and Revenue Forecasting Process

August 4, 2011 Comments off

Independent Peer Review of the California High-Speed Rail Ridership and Revenue Forecasting Process (PDF)
Source: California High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA)

The California High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) convened an independent peer review of the ridership and revenue forecasting process and outcomes. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Panel is charged with providing a comprehensive in-depth review of the models used to estimate ridership and revenue and the forecasts derived from them. The Panel held its first meeting at the Authority offices in Sacramento on Monday and Tuesday, January 10-11, 2011. This report summarizes the key issues, findings, and recommendations of the Panel.

Overall the Panel was impressed with many aspects of the work on ridership and revenue forecasting completed to date on the project. The approach undertaken by CS was ambitious, it represented a significant improvement in practice in several respects (for example, through the development and linkage of a complex set of advanced models), and it demonstrated commendable openness. However, there are important technical deficiencies in the model and the documentation thereof. The purpose of this report is to provide a critical review of the models and associated forecasts, focusing on those aspects that are questionable or deserving of more work.

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