New, Even More Exaggerated, Florida High-Speed Rail Numbers

The notoriously inaccurate ridership projections and related under-estimation of costs that have plagued the international planning industry have imposed billions of dollars of unplanned costs on unsuspecting taxpayers. The Flyvbjerg international study found the underestimation of costs and overestimation of ridership and revenue so pervasive that they labeled it "strategic misrepresentation," which they also called "lying." They essentially attributed this costly practice to an interest on the part of project promoters to proceed with projects based upon "low-ball" costs and revenues, because if more realistic costs and revenues were projected, the projects would not be approved.

But it is not just taxpayers who are unsuspecting. Some media outlets have accepted the new projections as if they are ultimate truth. They more likely the equivalent of fairytales. One Miami Herald article went so far as to imply that the size and number of offices of the international planning firms placed their work beyond question. The article noted that one of the companies authoring the new ridership study is "a transportation and infrastructure consulting firm founded in 1952 and has 56 offices in eight countries." The other is noted as having 16 offices worldwide.

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