By Eric Sundquist
New analysis by Washington State DOT staff and published by the multiagency Transportation Revenue Forecast Council revises highway travel demand estimates sharply downward.
The previous year’s estimate projected a return to rapid growth in vehicle miles traveled, despite recent essentially flat growth over the previous five years (see page 4 of the department’s Corridor Capacity Report). Updated modeling predicts modest 0.4 percent annual growth through 2019 followed by modest 0.4 annual declines.
“WSDOT wants the VMT forecast to be as accurate as possible,” said Daniela Bremmer, director of strategic assessment and performance analysis. “Under the past forecast model, VMT had been overestimated. In September 2014, the forecast model was modified so the forecast better aligned with recent VMT history and our fuel consumption forecasts. This helps us more accurately plan for the future.”
Eric Sundquist is Managing Director of SSTI.