Proposed September 2011 Spokane Bus Service Reductions

Follow the links on this page for the proposal:  Proposed September 2011 Service Reductions – About STA – Spokane Transit Authority (STA).

The following chart is from the STA:

As you can see – either the STA’s forecast or the real world – one of the two – was off in space.

Comment on Forecasting

I have not looked closely at STA forecasting or past history and have no reason at all to suggest their forecast was badly done. In fact, STA is responding quickly (for a government agency) and aggressively to the changes that have occurred in their area.

One problem I have seen in some area forecasts has been extending the trend of the most recent 2 or 4 years in to the future, even if the recent trend is significantly different than the historical trend. Unless you have much confidence as to why the recent trend is different than the longer term trend, extending the trend line way off into the future is risky and likely to create forecasts that are not accurate. Long term forecasts, which are used to drive long term plans and spending, should be revisited yearly – they often are not.

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2 Responses to Proposed September 2011 Spokane Bus Service Reductions

  1. Steve says:

    Seems pretty much in line with the rest of the public and private forecasts throughout the world pre-recession. Almost everybody was wrong about growth continuing. Forecasts are helpful but you need to live with reality once you get there. Nothing unique with STA.

  2. inlandnw says:

    Yes, I agree with your comment.

    That’s why I wrote this below the chart, where it might not have been obvious enough:

    As you can see – either the STA’s forecast or the real world – one of the two – was off in space.

    I am not in a position to know if it was one or the other or a bit of both – I left it at that 🙂

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