Avoiding Transportation Future Shock

by Scott R. Rutherford, Dir.; Washington State Transportation Center,
Jack Lattemann, Transit Planner; Metro-Mailstop 52, 821 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98104,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 2, Pg. 60-62

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Seattle, Washington's regional government planning group, called METRO, has undertaken a future scenarios approach to transportation planning. Working with an outside panel of experts from several disciplines such as banking, and economics, the agency developed several sets of scenarios that will help forecast ridership and future public transportation needs for the region. Among the factors considered were national economy and policy stances that affect local transportation. For example, they constructed scenarios based on federal government deregulation and increased regulation and intervention, on trade practices on federal spending on military vs domestic programs. They also posited both lower and higher energy costs, and looked at the aerospace industry, which depends mainly on government contracts and which is the major local employer. Several sets of demographic trends were also put into the matrix. The Futures team ended up with three major scenarios on which to plan future transportation projects that require capital investment. The scenarios will be reevaluated every several years to see the original assumptions are valid.

Subject Headings: Urban areas | Planning | Washington | Transportation management | Transportation models |

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