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Abstract

In 1992, Pickrell published a seminal piece examining the accuracy of ridership forecasts and capital cost estimates for fixed-guideway transit systems in the US. His research created heated discussions in the transit industry regarding the ability of transit planners to properly plan largescale transit systems. Since then, evidence has arisen to suggest that ridership forecasting and capital cost estimation of both new transit systems and extensions to existing transit system has improved. However, no statistical analysis has been conducted of US transit systems to determine this. This research fills this gap in the literature by examining 47 fixed-guideway transit projects planned in the US between 1972 and 2005 to see whether or not a Pickrell Effect can be observed whereby ridership forecasting and capital cost estimations improved due to Pickrell’s work.

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