Decision-Making on Transportation Mega-projects: An Interpretative Analysis

Over the last several decades population and economic growth in urban areas has intensified the need for more efficient transportation, including the expansion of existing transportation networks, or the construction of new transit projects. In either case, these infrastructure investments require careful prioritization and selection among available alternatives, and are subject to budgetary and other resource constraints. As the New York metropolitan area is facing major present and future investment decisions, the associated challenges related to infrastructure investment decision-making become obvious. The Trans-Hudson Passenger Rail Tunnel project, terminated in October 2010, or New York's Second Avenue Subway project, are telling illustrations of the tensions between the need for improved transportation, and the multiple challenges decision-makers face. A rich transportation-economic literature has been developed to assist analysts and decision makers in the selection of investments. In practice, however, decision-making rarely seems to follow a rational process. This can be seen in massive cost over-runs and demand over-estimates that characterize many transportation investment projects. While more recent research on transportation mega-projects attempts to account for political considerations, to date no research has established the types, nor the range of factors, which explain the decision-making processes of transportation investment. Against this background, this research explores why inferior transportation projects are implemented, when they are defined as investments and do not meet acceptable transportation economic criteria.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $62560.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Mooney, Deborah

  • Performing Organizations:

    City College of the City University of New York

    30 West Broadway, 11th Floor
    New York, NY  United States  10007
  • Principal Investigators:

    Berechman, Joseph

  • Start Date: 20111201
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32566

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01490376
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49111-29-23
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 21 2013 1:00AM