» Given the need to prioritize transportation investments, whose mobility needs are most important?
In an article earlier this month, I described the Seattle region’s draft proposal to spend $50 billion over the next twenty-five years on a massive transit expansion program. In that article, I compared the cost of building and operating new transit projects with the expected number of riders each proposed line would carry, concluding that the region was choosing projects that were relatively ineffective from the perspective of maximizing their benefit-cost ratios.
There is no formula that can definitively tell us whether a project is a good or bad one, or how it stacks up against other potential investments.
What I didn’t delve into was the fact that that metric—like any metric—was founded on an assumption that not only biased my conclusions, but also which was impossible to avoid, even if altered to reflect a different premise.
What I assumed
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