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Transportation agencies face a significant challenge planning for long-range transportation needs at a time when traditional ways of forecasting long term trends can no longer keep up with the pace of change. Using a scenario analysis helps assess the likelihood, risks and opportunities of the scenarios and relate them to policy and investment recommendations. The purpose of the scenario exercise is to ask “What Could Happen” questions that explore the ways that trends may affect transportation investment and policy needs in the future.
The scenario analysis included both stakeholder input and research to determine the ‘levers’ that relate inputs (such as demographic and economic elements) to outputs (such as transportation demand by mode and user cost). Advisory committee input helped determine the structure of the scenarios to be examined, and also to interpret the implications of the scenarios on the basis of their outcomes.