A letter to the Iredell County Commissioners

Dear Iredell County Commissioners:

I noticed with great pleasure your courageous 5-0 vote against paying to extent Charlotte’s red line north to Iredell County.  You are exactly correct.  The transit planners and consultants always overestimate the ridership and underestimate the costs.  This fact is shown by the 2002 statistical study by Danish professors Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette Skamris Holm, and Søren Buhl. Their conclusion is below and I have linked their entire study.

I also wish to point out two John Locke Foundation transit studies linked here:



Again, thank you for your action and if we can be of further assistance, please contact me.

Michael Sanera

“Underestimating Costs in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?”

“This article presents results from the first statistically significant study of cost escalation in transportation infrastructure projects. Based on a sample of 258 transportation infrastructure projects worth US$90 billion and representing different project types, geographical regions, and historical periods, it is found with overwhelming statistical significance that the cost estimates used to decide whether such projects should be built are highly and systematically misleading. Underestimation cannot be explained by error and is best explained by strategic misrepresentation, that is, lying. The policy implications are clear: legislators, administrators, investors, media representatives, and members of the public who value honest numbers should not trust cost estimates and cost-benefit analyses produced by project promoters and their analysts.” (emphasis added)

American Planning Association Journal ? Summer 2002 ? Vol. 68, No. 3  page 279

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