Scenario Planning Applications for Freight Transportation
Operator: Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Scenario Planning Applications for Freight Transportation conference. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. If you require assistance, please press star then zero on your telephone keypad. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Rae Keasler.
Rae Keasler, FHWA Office of Planning: Good morning and good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us for today's webinar on freight Scenario Planning. Before we begin with the presenters, I'd like to discuss a few housekeeping items. If you haven't participated in a webinar before, please note that we do have a chat box on the bottom left of your screen. You are welcome and encouraged to submit any comments or questions you might have. We'll try to address those questions either during the presentation or at the end of this webinar; the last 20 minutes or so are dedicated for a question and answer session. We'll address them.
Due to popular demand for this webinar -- we appreciate your interest -- we have scheduled a follow-up webinar, which will be September 11, 2014. It will have the exact same presenters, the exact same materials; we'll just open that up for additional people to attend. If you enjoy this webinar and want to pass along the information to others, please share that with them. They can register for that webinar on the National Highway Institute's website. Lastly, I wanted to share with everyone that this event has been shared with the American Planning Association and is being considered for 1.5 Certification Maintenance hours. I will ask that you check back with APA's calendar of events in about a month to see if the event has been approved. If it has, you can go ahead and register for your credits there. Thank you again for participating. I'd like to go ahead and put this back over to Dave Harris, our first presenter.
Dave Harris, FHWA Office of Planning: Thank you, Rae. Welcome to today's webinar on Scenario Planning Applications for Freight Transportation. Thank you for participating. As Rae mentioned, my name is Dave Harris, and I work in the Office of Planning within the Federal Highway Administration. I, along with my colleague, Chip Millard of Federal Highways Office of Freight Management and Operations, will serve as moderators for today's webinar. Chip will be conducting the question and answer period at the end of the webinar. Today, we are excited to present the sixth webinar in a series supported by the Scenario Planning Program offered by Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. Since we're always interested in feedback about how the program can support our stakeholders, we would like to ask a few short polling questions, which will be pulled up momentarily. You should see them coming up on your screen. We will give you a few moments to fill those out.
Dave Harris: Okay. Looks like our answers are slowing down. Just a little summary there, got a good representation between State DOT and MPOs. Most folks seem to be listening by themselves, but we do have a good number of folks [participating] in a group. Regarding agencies engaged in Scenario Planning for freight, I've got a small percentage there -- 20%, not small, but a good representation. And it looks like as far as familiarity with Scenario Planning, there also seems to be a good representation. And freight Scenario Planning as we will see is a little different animal, a little more specific. We have a few less folks that are familiar with that. If we can go ahead and close that poll, please? Okay. Thank you everyone for your responses.
Today's webinar will explore applications of Scenario Planning for freight transportation planning. The webinar brings perspective of agencies to discuss how they have used Scenario Planning in support of their freight Scenario Planning activities. While we do recognize that the term Scenario Planning may also have different meanings, depending on its context, today's webinar will focus on a specific Scenario Planning approach that is often used to address uncertainty and long-term planning for freight investments. We will also provide information about the more traditional Scenario Planning approach that you may be already familiar with.
Regarding today's agenda, today's webinar features a great group of presenters to give us a look at how agencies are using Scenario Planning for freight, transportation infrastructure, and investments. Dr. Chris Caplice, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics, will first offer perspectives on using a Scenario Planning approach for freight transportation. Following that presentation, representatives from two peer agencies will share how they are applying Scenario Planning to their agency freight transportation activities. We are excited to have the Director of the Washington State Department of Transportation Freight Systems Division, Barbara Ivanov, and Ted Dahlburg from the Delaware Regional Valley Planning Commission. Finally, we will conclude with a question and answer period and allow time for a general discussion. As we go along today, feel free to enter your questions or comments into the chat pod on the left side of your screen. At the end of the presentations, we will use these questions and comments as the starting point for our discussions.
In general, what is Scenario Planning? Overall, we see Scenario Planning as an enhancement of, not a replacement for, the traditional planning process. It is a flexible technique that can be adapted for many purposes, scales, and issues, and can be used in many different types of areas.
There are many benefits to using Scenario Planning, including the following: Scenario Planning can help agencies and stakeholders compare transportation choices and consequences, allowing for better, more informed decisions; and exercises conducted in conjunction with Scenario Planning such as the “chip game,” where participants place chips on a map to indicate areas of preferred growth or redevelopment can be very useful. In addition to these types of exercises, Scenario Planning software programs can be used to build scenarios that compare alternatives. Scenario Planning can also promote greater interest from a broader set of the population by engaging stakeholders in the process of creating and evaluating alternative futures. It can also help the public better understand planning challenges, encourage enthusiasm and interest to global elected officials, and allow the public and others to weigh in on desired actions and policies. In engaging stakeholders in discussions about alternative futures, it can also promote dialogue among transportation and land-use professionals and other members of the community. Finally, Scenario Planning can build consensus by bringing folks together to engage in discussions about a community, its potential futures, and action steps to lead it there.
Just a note here that, while optional, MAP-21 [the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act] does encourage Scenario Planning. MAP-21 does this in a number of methods. I'll just briefly go over these. One statement from MAP-21 says the metropolitan Planning Organization that chooses to develop multiple scenarios under a subparagraph A shall be encouraged to consider: first, potential regional investment strategies for the planning horizon; the assumed distribution of population and employment; the scenario that, to the maximum extent practicable, maintains baseline conditions for the performance measures identified; next, scenario improves the baseline conditions for as many of the performance measures identified as possible and revenue constraint scenarios based on the total revenues expected to be available over the forecast period of the plan. And lastly, estimated costs and potential revenues available to support each scenario.
So then how does Federal Highway and Federal Transit support Scenario Planning? Well, we support Scenario Planning through the Scenario Planning Program that is run jointly with the Federal Transit Administration. This program was initially developed in response to SAFETEA-LU [the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for
Chip Millard: Thank you, Dave. Move on to the next slide here.
With applying Scenario Planning and transportation, thinking about what Dave just talked about with Scenario Planning or visioning process, it's important to understand how freight works when conducting planning activities. Freight transportation is multimodal and often long-distance. Freight transportation volumes are driven by a company, and ultimately, consumer demand and freight transportation demand have a close tie to the types of land use [for] communities and other locations. All of these need to be considered when you're trying to do Scenario Planning in the method that Dave has just discussed, in terms of trying to do freight Scenario Planning.
In terms of more specifically about this webinar, [we’re] thinking about freight transportation and issues about how freight transportation generally works. Freight transportation demand, while often consistent over time, can sometimes change significantly due to a variety of factors. Some of those factors are up there. These are important things to think about as relates to the presentations you're going to hear now. Whether it is national or human-induced disasters or events, macro-scale economic changes, demographic changes, political and regulatory changes, infrastructure availability, or technological developments -- these are some of the kinds of broad types of factors that can influence what can occur with freight transportation demand and how it can change in a positive or negative way. It's important to think about those things. Understanding those factors can impact freight transportation and the implications of those changes related to those factors can enhance freight transportation planning efforts. Keeping these in mind can be very helpful.
I'll turn it over to the presenters and I'll introduce Dr. Chris Caplice with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], Executive Director of [the] MIT Technology Center for Transportation and Logistics and the founder of the MIT Freight Lab. [His] primary research is in the design, procurement, and management of transportation systems to include combinatorial auctions, robust planning, and performance metrics. Prior to joining MIT, Dr. Caplice held senior management positions in supply chain consulting, product development and professional services, and served in the Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Caplice has presented and published in numerous business and academic conferences and journals, including [the] Journal [of] Business Logistics, International Journal of Logistics Management, and Transportation Research. He has a PhD from MIT in transportation logistics systems, a Master’s of Science in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. Dr. Caplice's presentation examines some of the challenges that can arise [when] trying to make projections about the future based on past trends. It also discusses how identifying and examining hypothetical scenarios can lead to insights about freight transportation needs. I will turn it over to Chris.
Dr. Chris Caplice: Great. Thanks, Chip. This is Chris Caplice up at MIT. Let me talk to you a little bit about the project we did -- the NCHRP 2083 project. [There were] two main objectives. The first one was to be able to provide decisionmakers, whether that is State DOT executives or MPO executives, with some analysis of [the] driving forces that Chip was talking about that could have an impact on freight patterns. So try to give them some idea of things to look out for in the year 2030 and beyond. The second piece though was to enable discussions between different parties that typically don't always participate in these discussions, mainly the private sector and some other players. To do this, I'll describe the process that we followed, but let me finish with the headlines. The[re] were two key lessons that we learned -- that this whole project reinforced. [T]he first is while these macro-economic trends [and] technologies that Chip talked about -- these social, technological, environmental, political factors -- have tremendous impact on supply chain -- both demand and supply -- they're next to impossible to predict. The second thing -- the big take away from this project -- was that it's better to prepare for potential effects than try to predict future events. So those are the two key points. I'll come back to those throughout my presentation. What we're really trying to do is figure out a way to plan.
How do you plan? The methods of planning are a function of what your planning horizon is. If you have a short planning horizon (next day, week, month, quarter, year), there are a lot of different point forecast techniques you can use. Time series analysis, exponential smoothing, and regression analysis are a lot of things where you look at the recent past and project it to the future. It's like boxing. Take what's around you and project in a certain direction. It works really well for short time frames. What works even better is if you do a plus or minus, a risk management approach or a range forecast. So this is where you make your projections, but then you change some of the key drivers a little bit. Increase it by 10%, decrease by 10%, and say this is the range we expect. Some people call this Scenario Planning. They view the plus 5% as one scenario, even as another and then the low-end as another scenario. When I talk about scenario planning, I'm not talking about that. This is just range forecast[ing] because they are all based off of the same set of assumptions. [There are] some minor tweaks or sensitivity analysis around it.
The real question we have is challenges -- what about 10 plus years out? Can you use these techniques for point forecasts or even range forecasts when you're talking over decades? I would argue that you can't.
Let me give you an example. This is my favorite chart. I use this in every presentation I give. This is from Shell. It shows the dark line, the price of oil in dollars per barrel from 1970 up to around 2003. That's that dark black line. The colorful lines that project out of different time periods are the projections at that time for what the price of oil will be going forward. And there are two big things I want you to see. First, they are always wrong but that's what forecasts are -- always wrong. The important thing is how they are wrong. They are wrong in two main ways. One is they are always linear. Linear because that's the way humans think. We think this way. We project, we think in linear fashion because it's very hard to predict an event in the future. So we think trends will continue. The other thing is to look at the slope of the line. You'll notice that the slope, the rise over the run, is steepest when I'm at the most volatile period. So that first line from 1981 is the steepest projection because look at the volatility from the late 70s to the early 80s. As things stabilize, so did the forecast.
Each of these is a reflection of the local conditions. Look at what's happening around you and that influences what your long-term projection is. That's a problem. That leads to the fundamental problem, limitation of all planning and we as humans are provincials in time. What do I mean by that? A provincial tends to be someone who does not leave the value -- they don't see the big world. Provincials in time mean that they think the time period they're living in is everything. They don't think beyond it. It manifests itself in three ways. First, when we look at the future, we use today's lenses. We can't imagine anything beyond the technology and limitations we have today. Second, we forget how we got here today. Seems pure data when we look over our shoulder when in fact, there was a lot of decision-making going on. It's a muddy path, not always clear. It appears clear when we look backward. Then the third one, we think this will go on forever, change happens slowly. This is something when we are in a boom; we think the boom will go forever. Recession, the recession will go on forever. Human rate, human nature of thinking.
Let me give you one example of the idea of shortsightedness to illustrate the concept of being a provincial in time. This is the great horse manure crisis of 1894. Around the turn-of-the-century, there were over 150,000 horses in New York City. And as horses will, they produced a lot of manure. 2000 tons a day were produced. And so their estimates in the paper that manure would reach the third floor by 1930,and 9 feet in London by 1950. All these estimates of this disaster. The interesting thing and the picture in the lower left illustrate this; it came about because of an innovation in transportation. The horse drawn carriage was the big innovation, lowered the cost of transportation, more people used it. So you would have more and more of these trolleys showing up. You can see a broom in the bottom left picture. The conditions were so bad that there was a whole profession -- I wouldn't call it a career -- of people that would sweep the streets because it was that bad. This was a real problem. We know about this because there was a conference in urban planning to be held in New York City around them. If you did go to it, it was not a full planned 10 days because they could not solve the crisis. We know that didn't happen. It did not hit 9 feet in London or the third floors by 1930. The reason why we know is because it was the automobile that came in. And interestingly, the automobile was an economic savior at the time. It was saving us all from the horses and the problems they brought. But by the time this was happening, there were over 4000 cars sold in the US. This was not a Jules Vern science fiction thing. It was actually happening. The people at the time were looking at the future thinking horses. And so you need to think with not just today's lenses. This is a classic example, but there are many other examples we could go through with different technologies.
What I want to do is go back to the original question we had. How do you plan? How do you do a plan for ten plus years out? Everything we've shown so far is that idea of boxing. I look at what's around me and I assume the future is going to be kind of like the recent past and I project it. I might modify a little bit but project forward. The idea of Scenario Planning is to shift from predicting, from boxing, to preparing which is more like judo. The idea is I make a future scenario and I say, how would I react to that? How would I respond to that? You prepare for the set of different futures. And so what you're doing is totally shifting the way you think about the future. Not trying to predict what's going to happen. You're saying of these different possible futures, here is how we prepare for future one, future two, and so on. The fatal flaw here is what futures do you pick? There are a million of them you can pick from. How do you know which ones? I like to refer to this as the Jean-Luc Picard problem. Any Star Trek fan will recognize this picture. This is from Star Trek the next generation where there's an episode where Worf comes back from some battle or something and they see all these different starship Enterprises. This is the problem we face every day. We have all these futures that we have to decide. There are 2000 different Enterprises here. How do we pick which one to do? We can't model all the potential futures. We have to widdle it down. The way you can do that is by using this pretty standard process for Scenario Planning.
Let me describe some of the futures you might want to avoid because you can't model and prepare for everything because if you do that, it will already be over by the time you finish. So let's talk about some futures you might want to avoid planning. The first one is the preferred future, which is the vision. If you have a vision of what you want the future to look like, that should not be part of your Scenario Planning. I'll explain why in a second. Another one you want to avoid is what you think is going to happen which sounds totally counterintuitive. The probable future, the one you predict will happen. Then you can think of all these other possible or plausible ones that fit in this larger set. Why do you want to avoid the probable and preferred futures? They are like magnets. So by -- if you have a scenario and one of them is what you really want, your vision, and all the other scenarios will be forgotten. It's like it’s critical. Gravity will pull you in and it will become back to a single point forecast. You need to make sure that you don't just have a preferred future scenario and a probable, most likely future scenario because it defeats the purpose of Scenario Planning. So you can’t explore them all. You have to create a handful of plausible alternative futures that really contain the most relevant uncertainty dimensions along those social, technological, environmental, economic, and political dimensions. So there's a lot of work that's been done here. And some criteria that are set up for good scenarios. You have to be set up to be for the decision you're trying to make. They have to be plausible. You can't have too many tractor beams or crazy things. You have to have alternatives. This is what I was getting at before. You can't have a favorite scenario and then one I really don't like. Again, you'd be sucking all the gravity into that one and people would ignore the other. They needed to be consistent, different from each other; it's helpful that they are memorable. These turn into touchstones when you talk to other people and you refer to them. They should challenge, they shouldn't be ho-hum things. You want to really challenge people to think a little differently. So one of the things I find counterintuitive and people have a hard time understanding is I'm going to create these scenarios. They don't have to be accurate. The event forecasting is not important. I don't need to create a scenario I think will happen. I don't even care if they are going to be close to happening. If I do two, three, four of these scenarios, each one of them probably won't happen but something in the middle will. The idea is you don't want to make these projections of the future. They are just scenarios that highlight differences between them. The critical thing here is to focus not on events that happened but the effect that it has on your system. It's very important when you set up scenarios like this to think about the system you're trying to make decisions on. And for transportation, freight transportation and supply chain management, we're very lucky in that there are only so many effects that any event can have. You can boil it down to just five effects. If I have a freight transportation system or I'm a company with a supply chain, there's really only five effects that any event can have on the. One is it can change where I get things from my sourcing patterns. If the price of tariffs coming between us and Europe, it's going to change where I source. If there's a pandemic somewhere, that could change where I source. All these different events could boil down to the effect of changing where I source. It could impact where I go to, my destination. It could impact how I get there through my routing. It could impact the total flow volume coming in, increase or decrease. It can impact the value density and by value density, I'm using that of a proxy of the type of products shipped.
You can think of a technology as an event as things get miniaturized, what that's doing; Increasing the flow volume. And it's impacting the value density; the value density ratio is going way up. There is high-value in smaller sizes. So this is a great tool to take that wide range of potential events and boiling them down to five effects. And that's an easier way to think about the world. Okay. So the big benefit for Scenario Planning is the challenge, forecasting doesn't work that well because of step changes. We don't forecast when an event is going to happen. Very tough to forecast what happened in Ukraine, right? But these step changes are driven by events and events are impossible to predict. And so our planners do a pretty good job preparing, what we're doing is shifting from trying to predict those events that drive everything to prepare for those potential effects. That's the whole of just what Scenario Planning is doing. What did we do? The team here at MIT along with NCHRP and TRB and some great sponsors who you will hear from in a few minutes, we created four scenarios. We set them up for November 2nd, 2037. Way out in the future. Why did we pick a random date? Random date stick in your mind more 2037 instead of 2040. We picked November 2nd because in each scenario the Boston Red Sox beat someone in the World Series. I'm glad that the scenario isn't for 2014 because it would be a little bit of a stretch this year. So we created four worlds. What we did for the major dimensions as we went through pretty heavy industry analysis, expert interviews, surveying that there were two main driving factors that we focused on. One is level of trade where there is global, local, regional, how that effect. And the one other one was resource availability. Resource availability really drove a lot of the dynamics. We looked at those two as the major drivers but then we created and filled in other details for each of the scenarios. I'll talk about them in a few seconds. They captured very different potential futures of the world. So next, we ran six one-day workshops across the US. We tried to hit everything on both coasts and a little bit in the middle in Minneapolis. These were one-day workshops. I'll describe what those were in a second. But we have this where we had participants from the government at the Federal, State, local levels and then we also had private sectors from shippers, carriers, three PL, brokers and then a wide variety of industries within those, tried to capture all the modes. And we had one to one and a half day workshop. The result of the project was this toolkit. We developed this toolkit, and it's available as a report, 750, guidelines, materials, presentations, videos, anything you need to run a Scenario Planning workshop. And I have the website there for you. And we can provide that to you. You can find some information there. Let me talk about the workshop structure. And the couple minutes I have left -- what we did for this is you bring together a group of different people as diverse as possible, bring them together and first you introduce them all and get them to think a little differently. You try to break them away from their day-to-day thinking and then you divide them into four groups; one group for each scenario. You try to select those groups so it's not all one shippers in one, carriers in the other. You have a mix in each. You immerse them in that scenario. You make them think its 2037 and the world looks like this. Then you ask them, okay, here's a list of investments or potential brainstorming ideas. How do you think these investments should be made given that you're in the world of global marketplace or the world of 1 million markets or one world order? Then you get feedback and evaluation from them. Then you bring them all together and compare and find out, what is a no-brainer strategy or investment that's common in all four s scenarios? What are ones that don't make sense anywhere? Where our investments that make sense in global marketplace but no sense in the other three? So you identify all of these strategies and investments that are either robust, they make sense or don't make sense across everything or they are contingent. If contingent, then you start understanding what is it that needs to make it so that this investment makes make sense? That's how you build it a lot of those other factors. So this is what the workshop looks like. Let me talk a second about what immersion does. This immersion, the idea and the real benefit of any of these sessions is in who you invite. Your different people and they have different ways of thinking. If you look at this chart, and on the vertical axis is analytical from very high analytical skills at the top too low, and how intuitive someone is from high on the right to low on the left. And we created the collateral for these Scenario Planning immersions to capture all of this. So we created pamphlets and brochures for each of the four scenarios that are made available as part of this toolkit. Within them we have very detailed statistics and numbers and charts for those people that are very high analytical and they like the details, so they need that to believe in the scenario. Then we developed stories. Like narratives, those really captured those highly analytic but more intuitive people because they need that narrative to tie it together. Those people who are not as analytical but highly intuitive, they like the big picture thing and so we created videos. Newscast videos that each one around four to six minutes and it's there to give another flavor for it. We tried to capture different ways that people think. You might wonder why we didn't do anything for the people with low analytical and low intuitive capabilities. We just chose not to invite them to the workshop as they are not adding too much. What I'm trying to bring out here is that the toolkit tries to capture all of these different ways of thinking. Last slide. What did we learn? The process and method, attendee selection is first, second and third most important component of a workshop. This set the dynamic of discussion. If you don't have people in there with new ideas, you're not going to get too much out. Group facilitation of that group is a critical skill. If you can't provide it in your own organization, I recommend you bring someone external Inc. Sometimes it's better to have a third-party there than someone within your organization to lead this. Then you can play good, bad cop, separate the discussion. Positive and negative voting mechanisms work. I found it very, very helpful to make sure everyone votes for what investment they think is good but very important that they vote for something they don't like. What did they say no to? It's not a strategy until someone says no to it. You force that to happen. Then immersion seems to work with collateral. Some of the big insights we found after running this, the six workshops in a dozen to two dozen other ones, system connections seem to be the most robust investments. Things that are tied things together. And then the flexible use of existing facilities was another one that was very robust. The last two challenges that we are going to talk about for the rest of the webinar is how do we enable DOT's and other planning agencies to conduct these workshops? How can this be incorporated to compliment replace but complement existing planning processes? I went a little long but that's it for me. I will turn it back to you, Chip.
Chip Millard: All right. Thank you, Chris. Really appreciate your presentation. As a reminder, we will address questions at the end of the webinar. Feel free to type your questions into the chat box or “chat pod” as we go along. For our next presentation, we’ll hear from the Director of the Washington State Department of Transportation Freight Systems Division, Barbara Ivanov. As Director, her responsibilities include developing the multimodal Washington State Freight Mobility Plan and leading initiatives to analyze system performance, develop a resilient freight system, and reduce the environmental impacts of freight movements. She also oversees Washington State’s freight rail programs, including management of the State-owned PCC short line railroad, the State’s freight rail grant and loan programs, and the Green Train railcar program as well as the State’s freight research program. Barbara holds many professional association roles, including her current role as Chair of the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board Freight Systems Group. She is a graduate of University of Washington Executive MBA program and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English cum laude.
Barbara's presentation provides a State DOT perspective on freight transportation Scenario Planning and discusses how a State DOT can examine hypothetical future scenarios to inform freight transportation planning efforts within the State and the bordering States. I'll turn it over to Barbara.
Barbara Ivanov: Thanks so much. Thanks for the kind words and wasn't Chris fantastic? Every time I hear that I go, yeah. Let's do some more of that.
It's my job to say, after hearing his presentation and having been one of those workshops, what can a State DOT actually do with this new practicum? What can we achieve and how can we best achieve it? In our State, we actually use Scenario Planning as part of the development of our new Washington State Freight Plan. And as several of you have indicated, that plan must be compliant with the MAP-21 transportation reauthorization act and the guidance therein. And in that guidance, the Federal Government strongly encourages -- I feel, strongly encouraged to actually use the freight analysis forecast methodology to make a prediction of growth for each mode. So that's something that we'll get into in a bit. In the plan in our state plan, we also wanted to make a strong case for funding our priority projects, whether those were from federal freight, competitive grant p programs, whether it's part of again, reauthorization, of an upcoming bill, or whether it's actually our state level, funding packages that will enable us to make improvements and preserve the system. So the plan indeed is to guide both our capital and operational policy changes and improvements in our state freight system. So within the plan, we did a few really cool things. I'm not going to elaborate on all of them but I want to draw your eyes to number six. In the new really cool things we did, that is, we tested the Federal Freight Analysis Framework Forecast against both the results of a near-term trend analysis which was an additional tool that we work through, and with scenario planning. We used exactly the Scenario Planning toolkit that Chris described and developed in partnership with the federal government and us and all the other agencies. So I'm able to then share with you -- share with you, how did that work out for you? What actually happened? And our -- are DOT's capable of making use of this great, new information? So Chris talked about and he has some cool pictures of horse manure about why trade forecasts are always wrong. I think when we look at this, in our business, whether you are and -- in engineering, a planner in the organization, whether you are in programming of future projects, all of those traditionally take a set growth rate and apply that to current conditions and project it forward. So whether you're looking at the freight forecast or you using any other freight forecasting modeling efforts, you're going to see that the primary difference between those models will be what the long-term growth rate is. How is that chosen? There are national consultants, regional, and various levels and layers of government who produce these models. But in all cases, when you get into the guts of them, it's going to be based on some assumptions about growth rates. And Chris pointed out we're building transportation -- our big capital expenditure product -- project that is used -- we've got some doddering around in there, well over 100 years old and we can't afford to improve them. I do want to say one thing, though; that again, I'll touch back to, why do we look at the near-term trends as well? DOT's don't only invest in long-term megaproject capital infrastructure. We also have the ability to look at near-term operational improvements, Traffic management improvements. So we need to have one eye -- one eye on the near-term, and another eye on that longer-term outcome. So when we look back, we can certainly see in 1954, that's the year I was born, Chris picked 37, I like 54 because it's my number. Did anybody in the US understand in 2014 how trade lanes would connect our global economy? It's very striking, isn't it? That nobody was talking about one of our largest trade partners being China, mainland China, Certainly Asia. It is impossible to have actually seen, be visionary enough to see the rise of global trade and the marketplace that we currently live in. It's also impossible to have predicted which kinds of industries would drive our economic outcome, whether again at the national, international, regional level, I think a lot of times, if you're planning in a smaller town or a smaller region, one of the traps we can fall into is we only look at our little world. The boundaries around our states and don't understand that our economy is like a floater, floating out in a giant sea of these big, enormous economic trends. So by golly, if it's happened before, it's probable that in the next 60 years, we're going to see these global and domestic industries reorganize, collapse, and radically change. So how do we know where we can invest today? Our investment decisions are being made now for a completely unpredictable future. We used to Scenario Planning just as Chris described. He did so well, I won't reiterate this. But we gathered a statewide meeting because we work at the state level and we had people flying in because our state out in the West, they're of some size and scale and you can take six hours to drive across the state. So people came from all over the state and participated. They were assigned one of these working groups, one of these long-range outcomes, scenario outcomes. And then they worked with us to actually determine which segments, which facilities on our multimodal state freight system are going to be important, are likely to have commonality of importance in the long-term. So they looked again at the supply chain outcomes sourcing patterns. If you're not into freight, it really means where stuff comes from. So if today I'm able to grow wheat in the Heartland of the US and we really do have climate change that makes that entire move north, that would change where we get wheat; That kind of stuff. If there's a lot of manufacturing of low-cost goods now in Asia and China, and that shifts to Africa, that would shift where we get s tuff. Where are things sourced from? The destination is usually found in large concentration of populations, but not necessarily the case. It could be distribution center, some kind of intermediary processing area. The routing means I've got a choice of which intermodal Lane I want to use to get there. Certainly the volume and value can change. So we looked at these investments bundles, but I will tell you, my experience was all people wanted to talk about was infrastructure. We really didn't get into land-use or policy and regulatory initiatives. They were pretty much ready to leap to which court or should we invest in and why? These are actually maps of the highway freight corridor doors in our state, in that magical year, 2037. And I don't know if you can see as clearly as I can, but the I-five corridor runs from British Columbia down to the Mexican border but through our state on the West side. And then we have shown in red again, one predominant East-West corridor. We also map the neighboring states, high-volume truck freight corridors because they can certainly serve as an alternate in long-range planning and truly in Oregon. Highway 84 is the preferred East-West route along our border with Oregon to our own Highway 14 in our state. Then we looked at all of the rails, freight, waterway and pipeline corridor doors. And again, as it happens in our state, with the rail corridor following I-5 very closely as does the pipeline, so that I-5 North-South run includes not only the interstate freeway but very high-volume rail and pipeline corridors. The waterway runs east-west in the Columbia River system and then the Puget Sound out on the West. So those were the choices that people had to look at. So I want to come back to this issue of how we combine both Scenario Planning and looking at the near-term with trends analysis. So as an example, when we see what the forecast predicts, we see that rapid truck growth is expected along that north-south Interstate Five corridor. It's going to be dominant. To be honest, right now that seems like the only possible outcome. I personally struggle with putting some other hat on or some other scenario that would imagine that that's not going to be the case as our population grows. However, this Scenario Planning workshop forced us to examine other futures where that is not the only possible outcome. And we talk at the DOT; we're very strong that we are the Department of Transportation in Washington State. We are a multimodal transportation organization. However, they always say budget is policy. If you look at our budget, it's about highways. And in the vast majority of our projects, they are on highways. And we tend to have a lot of people engaged in working on those kinds of projects. So whether government regimes in force much stricter environmental policies -- that was the one world order, the essence of that message, whether US trade is not out here in the West, really currently focused on mainland China, Southeast Asia, but now, if we move to the NAFTA, which would be our concentrating block or whether advanced technology means,–.I know a lot of you have heard of 3-D printers. There's more coming that could actually dispersed goods production. We earlier talked about freight is the accommodation that gets goods from where they are coming from, their source, to some sort of processing or storage area to the consumer. Well, what if our technology changed so much that we were actually manufacturing small batches in your local community? So you weren't transporting things and these long global trade lanes, you are producing and consuming that much closer to home? Whichever of those scenarios were to actually happen, we need to look up and see demand on our east-west transcontinental freight rail system, our waterway system, and our intermodal needs are going to be much more in the forefront. And that was frankly, something we're still digesting within our agency. How do we look at these near-term trends? I come back to that because I know whether you are DOT, NPO, local city, we need to look to the future for those big capital expenditures, but we also need to understand what we can do now with operational and perhaps policy issues. We recruit over 150 shippers, people who make and ship things, receivers, people who -- retailers who received goods and sell them and freight carriers to understand these near-term industry trends. And that helped us in those one-on-one interviews, people were pretty open about sharing, the paper industry, you think it’s dead but actually, here's what we know about it. Perhaps it's not dead, just going to be concentrated in a couple of places. It also gave us information for something Chris did not mention but is part of your toolkit. It's known as sensors in the ground. That's very specific, real information about near-term trends that help us say, are we really moving towards one of these scenarios or away from one? Because they're not always going to come true, right? So we want to be able to lean into preparing for that by constantly communicating and understanding what are these near-term trends from industry subsectors that are going to affect that demand for freight systems. So we use these near-term industry trends to put a band, Chris referred to it as a range around that long-term projection. And again, there were multiple trends involved in the range that we assigned, but after listening to some of that would have diminished the number of trucks on the road but many more that would increase it, we are saying that we see a strong positive spin to that straight line forecast in the near-term. All right. So wrapping this up, what did we learn out of this? I would say one thing we learned, when we held a very large -- imagine it was kind of cool -- each of those four scenarios had about 12 or 15 people. I think having more than that in one of the scenarios discussion areas would be really difficult. You just -- people can't participate if there are more than 12. They don't get to actually talk and interchange ideas well. So again, we had around 60 people at state level. To be frank, not everybody really knows a lot about industries. So I'm wondering if -- this is the question for all of us to consider -- I'd love your feedback on this -- whether we might have been better off drilling down -- the way the private sector does this is they literally have the leading world experts in if it's an oil company in oil, so they don't bring in a generalist to help discuss, what are those trends going to be or what do you think -- how would this affect energy in the future? They really do bring experts together. So perhaps that would be a way for us to think about doing this when we do it again. I'd say the second bullet is critical for us in the industry trying to apply this. And I honestly don't think that state devotees -- at least hours and maybe yours -- we don't know what to do with this information right now. We talk about the fact -- Chris alluded to the fact that we in the public sector our long-term thinkers and private sector is on this one or two-year planning horizon. Well, I'm not thinking that the case. I know this is being recorded and I'll go to some horrible jail or something for saying it, but actually, our leadership has to be focused on the near-term. We're just struggling, struggling to find funding, and sufficient funding to preserve the existing system. So it's very difficult, I believe, for any of us in our executives -- and our executives as well to get up out of that struggle for, how am I going to meet my 2--year budget to consider how to build this into our existing planning -- critical decision path from planning to programming, timing to budget to construction execution? My third bullet under MAP-21, our guidance in the state freight plan currently says, you really should do a 20-year forecast and they provide us with great data sets. I don't want for a moment to say the FAF forecasts are unhelpful. They are very helpful. They are the only -- as you well know -- national data set that we have. So there's a lot of value in that. But I do think that it would be great -- this comes to my final point -- if FHWA and those of us working at the street and state and MPO, local levels, think about how we integrate the forecast we're provided with, this trends analysis issue, so that we're actually providing near-term improvements, probably operational improvements or maybe very low-cost capital improvements and Scenario Planning. That's what I'm looking for, is business processes wherein each of these very valuable tools find a home and influence ultimately, not only the planning but programming which leads to an implemented improvement. So with that, I'll say thanks so much. And I'm eager to hear from my colleagues on what happens next.
Chip Millard: Okay. Thank you, Barbara, for your interesting and informative presentation. We'll move onto the last presentation.
I'm excited to introduce Ted Dahlburg of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which is the officially designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Philadelphia metropolitan area. It includes Camden, New Jersey, and also Trenton, New Jersey. Ted is the Manager of DVRPC’s Office of Freight and Aviation Planning. His primary responsibilities include integrating freight and aviation considerations into DVRPC’s long-range plans and capital programs, promoting strategies to maximize the benefit of freight and aviation activity, and managing specific technical studies. In these efforts, Ted works closely with the local freight and aviation communities, member governments, staff and many external partners.
Ted has been a member of DVRPC's planning division since 1988. Prior to joining, he was a Senior Transportation Planner for the Delaware County Planning Department. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.
Ted's presentation brings us the MPO perspective, highlighting how DVRPC is using Scenario Planning to enhance its freight transportation planning efforts in its region and with its State DOT and nearby partners to gain a better understanding about potential future freight needs.
Ted, I'll turn it over to you to give your presentation.
Ted Dahlburg: Thank you very much, Chip, for that great introduction. It's a real honor to participate with Chris and Barb today on this panel. It's a pleasure to speak to all of you about freight Scenario Planning.
My presentation is going to come from the perspective of a customer and a user, as someone who implemented the freight Scenario Planning workshop here and to tell you how it's significantly impacted our work, helped us establish priorities, and even spurred innovation.
DVRPC is the MPO for the greater Philadelphia region. As you might expect for the nation's sixth largest metropolitan area, we have a very extensive intertwined freight network. We have 100 million people living within 500 miles of the region. All of our local nine counties have active freight rail lines and seven have active Marine terminals. At the same time, I think it's really important to point out in working here at and MPO like barb at the State DOT, freight is one of many different planning considerations. I would say for a lot of people here, it's an uphill battle and freight is not a priority. It's just one of many competing interests. In addition, on the funding side, we simply don't have all the money that we need to do what we want to. So the key part of freight planning is the idea of how you do get people to pay attention? That brings us to the workshop. We were -- as Chris pointed out, we were one of the six workshops that were held across the country. Way back in 2010. I still have people coming to me today saying, wow, that was four years ago. They still talk about this event. It does -- did accomplish some of the best things that I think freight planning can do. And that is to bring planners together with freight stakeholders. Yes, they are not always the savviest like some of our local stakeholder planners, about freight planning issues in general but an event like this serves to be so educational and informative for them. It gets our planning community to uniquely think about overarching trends and not just the Panama Canal expansion but maybe some other things that are more fundamental that could really impact freight flows in our region. And then as barb was mentioning, people love to identify infrastructure, which is important, to move the freight. And lastly, it gave us some marching orders for the DVRPC staff as far as direction and framework for our work. So we've been doing freight planning work for a while. It was a great event. With the workshop, it was something maybe you come back and you do every couple years. On the scale that was done in 2010. Like Barbara's workshop, we had about 70 total participants that came from the private and public sector. All the freight modes were represented. Shippers as well, due to Chris's contacts with counsel supply chain management professionals, brought several new participants in to our forum. Also note that we had many DVRPC top managers participate. Long-range plan staff and the TIP people as well. So we did a good job in getting the rest of the agency involved in this effort as well. One key of course -- this may be comes back to the challenge at the end -- our workshop was masterfully executed and facilitated by Dr. Caplice and his MIT team. In particular, the scenario in Mercian was very well received, as was the gaming portion. People really like that and responded to it. Our workshop -- you're looking at the gaming board here. Our workshop was structured around eight investment bundles or packages. We also broke out into the same four breakout groups, one for each scenario. Each participant was given several poker chips for voting and one thing that impressed me was how seriously each of the participants took the voting. As was mentioned before, there was both an ability to emphasize certain investments or to deemphasize them. So that was the last part of 2010. And then here was -- when we brought the four groups back together, there were several emergent themes I would say that came across from all four groups, maybe we would call these the no-brainers. One was to invest in multimodal transportation system, not just to emphasize one mode, so that's good. We get people seeing the big picture. Another was to emphasize north-south interstate highways in our region over the east-west interstate highways. Emphasize interstate highways in rail facilities over the local and county type facilities. And finally, keeps coming up in all the presentations so far, fortifying connectors to intermodal facilities and what we now call freight centers. So now what I'd like to do is spend a few minutes to say, the workshop was highly successful. In the meantime, we've used that to frame our work and go from there, from what occurred at the workshop. For example, one of them was based on the investment on those we have packaged together and developed a freight planning web-based mapping tool. Seven categories, which is basically like the eight investment bundles. And 20 layers, 400 features. It's user-friendly. It's customizable. We use this to promote awareness with our other planning partners. It's a good inventory of what we have in the region. And that's a really important starting point. A little more about the tool called Philly Freight Finder. Here is one category towards waterways. Consistent of three layers. This is information we had not presented prior to the workshop. In the case of ports and waterways, consists of rivers and port terminals. You begin to provide people easy access to good geography for the freight network. We do all the mapping and coding in-house. And we're now working to make this tool open source so that others can use it as well. So if you're interested in this, please let me know. We are working on a new section that we will develop in County profiles as well, for each of the nine local counties. Here you are looking at a screenshot, some data interface. One of the port facilities highlighted in blue in the middle of the graphic here, and you will see that a data card is associated with it. This in fact is a port facility for each of the individual features against 400. We are trying to provide owner operator information as well as activity and capacity. So we are building a freight model, a freight tool for us to also maintain a state of data platform over time that we are pursuing with our freight planning partners. Another one of the priorities that came out of the workshop was south interstate highways. We can't take credit for this, but it's just coincidental, there's been a lot of investment going on now with the widening of the New Jersey Turnpike. Significant interchange improvements in Gloucester County and also the I-95, Pennsylvania Turnpike intersection. And a major multiyear reconstruction project of I-95. So that funding is flowing now. But here's something that we can do because so much attention was assigned to that corridor. That is working with the I-95 corridor coalition and DVRPC's Congestion Management Office. We have been plotting and depicting real-time speed and travel time data on I-95, and using that to share information with our freight partners. On the left, just generally speaking, red is bad. So you've got two different days here that you're looking at -- 2012 and a year later, 2013. With the red representing congestion, you'll see that it is spreading temporally and spatially. And that's largely as a result of major construction going on I-95 in this area. So just bringing it back that here's investment that's occurring. And this information is available real-time as well as for the most recent months. This is information that we are now seeking to share with our freight stakeholders so that they can learn times to avoid when they're making their deliveries. We've mentioned connectors before. We have 30 miles of connectors in our region, 11 officially designated NHS connectors. Last mile, first mile freight. Usually defined as 100 trucks per day by direction, often locally owned where you need to accommodate big trucks and there may be neighborhood issues. We continue to try to keep our sensors in the ground. We were recently asked by port to do an intersection study on one of these facilities. As a related part to that, we were also exploring an I'd -- idea of taking the connector concept and applying it to freight centers which you might call FOD, freight oriented development. We've identified 44 industrial freight centers in our region, 258 contiguous acres in size or larger. So they include not only intermodal facilities but also manufacturing, warehousing and utilities. They are employer -- employment centers, excellent paying jobs and offer opportunities for redevelopment. So in the future, we will be looking at identifying one connector for each of the designated freight centers. Because freight, rail and especially the class one system was accorded top priority through the workshop, we've continued to conduct freight rail research in-house. We recently completed a study that looked at a really tricky grade crossing issue on CSX mainline in the Philadelphia area where this rail line is intersected by two highways and even a trolley line on one of the highways. So we continued to collect research there. What you're looking at is some pictures here, a one-mile elevated section in Philadelphia is called the 25th Street viaduct, the main rail artery through the city for double stack clearance trains, also the new oil trains coming in to local refineries. The elevated structure is 90 years old and consists of 450 columns. And while the structure is essentially sound, the concrete is spilling and dropping into the street. So we are placing a high emphasis on infrastructure like this to bring this to the attention of the local planning community. We've been very fortunate through some local efforts to have two Tiger grants funded that improved the class one rail system in the region. We also continue to try to promote freight rail education. It's a little bit of an unknown to many city and county planners because of our connections through our freight advisory committee. There's some natural pairings that can be made to take planners out to look at projects and better understand freight operations and facilities into their respective jurisdictions. The last thing I want to mention was I think another positive thing that came out of the workshop was the need to look at specific commodities and supply chains, not just infrastructure. Here's a local game changer for us with six local refineries and terminals. There's been a large shift here locally in crude oil shipments into the region moving from ship to rail and as you can see, on the right there, that 95% of the crude oil was formerly imported overseas from other countries. And now we're looking at presently 48% moving by rail from domestic sources. That's very radical. And obviously has major implications for counties and cities that these trains traverse. So changing factors, driving forces are very important. My summary slide, I think I agree with what's been said so far. Things do change rather dramatically. Even last 20 years, things that you could perhaps never have anticipated or foreseen. We found that there were many positive, permanent things that came out of the Scenario Planning workshop. We intend to do something very much like it again. As we update the agency's long-range plan over the next two years as I indicated before. I think it’s part of an effective ongoing Freight Planning Program. A major challenge is going to be replicating the quality of the 2010 workshop. It was so successful in defining the potential futures. That was already done for us. The group facilitation was expert. I agree on the size of discussion about maybe 12 to 15 people helps make it productive. So thank you very much, and look forward to any discussion or questions. And here's my contact information.
Chip Millard: Okay. Thank you, Ted. Another excellent presentation talking about DVRPC as well as the MPO's freight Scenario Planning efforts. Appreciate all of our presenters talking on today's webinar.
What we'll do now is transition to the question and answer period to address questions you may have for all of our presenters. Feel free to use the chat pod at the bottom left of your screen to type your question if you haven't already done so. We will try to address as many questions as possible in the time we have remaining.
And we had a couple of questions here, a couple things that were clarification points but I'll mention them. There was a link that was posted to the report that Dr. Caplice talked about in his presentation. And that link is from the New York MPO put in there. Thank you.
Also the files for download, they will be posted here. I think they are up there now. In case people were wondering about that, files for the presentation are all on one slide deck available for download. It's a little hard for me to see because it's pretty small here. We have one question that was typed in just now in the chat box. I think it's for Ted. Did you have much pushback from DVRPC to accept the scenario? I believe that's what the question is asking. If Darrell feels want to provide a little more clarification, that would be fine. Ted, if you want to answer that question, please do so.
Ted Dahlburg: Well, maybe one anecdote was I remember one participant saying that, that scenario is absolutely not possible. And so the whole gist of the Scenario Planning is to improve our agility in thinking. In fact, if I recall correctly, it was a scenario that seemed somewhat likely. So I think there is maybe reluctance, from some people. But the soundness of the logic of the approach is so good that I think with the immersion with the video, the brochure, and there were pre-readings that were also sent out as well. I think a lot of people came prepared and with an understanding to think about 2037 in the Philadelphia region in that case to bring it back to today.
Chip Millard: Okay. Thank you, Ted. I see a number of people are typing. I'll open up same question even though it wasn't directed to you, Barb. In terms of if you had any pushback, with Washington State DOT in terms of the scenarios that were outlined in terms of accessing some, -- accepting and rejecting some, with the DVRPC experience?
Barbara Ivanov: No, not at all. They thought they were very interesting and the videos really set it up. So their production quality -- you guys again can go check those out online right now. I think they were great.
Chip Millard: Excellent. Okay. Looks like we may have just gotten a question that came in here. Yes. Looks like -- it's hard for me to read because my box is small here -- my apologies -- what does it say here -- it's hard for me to scroll -- my apologies -- is the Scenario Planning process in the NCHRP report a version of robust decision-making process? I think that's probably most directed for Chris, but I'll let anybody answer the question.
Dr. Chris Caplice: This is Chris. No. It's not. Although almost all the Scenario Planning comes from Peter Schwartz and that group. So remnants or pieces similar? Sure. We didn't use that as the base. We tried to take a generic approach to this. But there's a lot of really good sources out there to emulate. And they all differ around the edges, but generally they follow the same kind of format. I would recommend to anyone, Peter Schwartz's book, The Long View, is a great starter if you want to get into Scenario Planning.
Chip Millard: Thank you, Chris. We're talking about some of the issues in terms of getting the questions answered. I appreciate your response in terms of how the process -- where it came from. We have a question from skip Yeager from the mobile group. Would he or any of the presenters care to discuss as to how that will affect the freight plans on both coasts, not just the West Coast but also the East Coast?
Barbara Ivanov: I'm waiting for Ted. This is Barb.
[Laughter] Go ahead, Barb.
Barbara Ivanov: We're too polite. Again, we did look at any event, it certainly adding capacity to a different Trade Lane would be one potential effect, but what we were looking at is -- I think that would have fallen under even more global trade. It's just there's a global marketplace and there's many pathways in terms of capacity in our trade lanes. So again, we didn't focus on what happens if a known event occurs. What we said was more general, which is because you can't -- if I can expand on this for just one moment because I think it's very interesting to me, at the time we held our workshop, was 2011. I believe a volcano in Iceland had just erupted and completely stopped all air cargo between US and Europe. So again, although the Panama Canal expansion is something that is known to us, it's a planned event, we can't, over the course of the next 20 or 30 years, know where there will be more capacity. Nicaragua is talking about maybe they'll have a Canal. But the gist of this is not to focus on a particular cause. What you're looking at is a scenario we are in such as Panama Canal expansion and again, a lot of investment is going on in expansion of global trade lanes. And we have a pretty free and open market. So in that scenario, what is probable and where do you think on our infrastructure there'll be more less demand? And I'll give you one example that came to mind when we were discussing all of this. So nobody asked. So what, barb? When I said our highway, because I work a lot with the truck group, we're surprised by the fact that under various scenarios, our I-Five and East-West mainline freight rail lines are going to be very important to us. And you might say to me, although you haven't yet, so what, Barb? We don't own or operate those. What does that matter to us? And I can now answer, because we had a surprising event, right? A complete restructuring of US energy sourcing, for crude oil. That was not known to us at all in Washington State. Maybe you guys are smarter than me. In 2011, we didn't know anything about that. In fact, we were still trying to recover from the loss of freight rail traffic when the intermodal traffic from China collapsed in 2009-10. We had lots of capacity, which we may not in the future. Now that we are shipping energy crude by train. But the point isn't, I could have known that suddenly the US was going to be energy independent. There's no way to understand all the things that can happen. If we had been wiser, if we had really taken this scenario result to an action step, we would have started saying, what's our role in that, then? What about grade crossing conflicts? If we can anticipate that in most of these scenarios, we're going to see a lot more demand on the Transcontinental Railway System. What is our role? And how do we start preparing to know which at grade crossings are going to be a problem and what growth -- right? So we could have done more than that than just one -- I guess that's BNF's problem.
Ted Dahlburg: Just to follow-up on Barb's comment, I agree with everything she said. You mentioned the Panama Canal expansion because that seems to be one external force or factor that's a lot of people are familiar with. Seems like there's been a lot of presentations and discussions and even with that, the impacts on the West Coast and East Coast and individual ports is really not known. So it's really important to go above, transcend just that one improvement and start to think about what was attended to the four different scenarios that were identified that we considered.
Chip Millard: Okay. Thank you, Ted. One thing I'll very quickly mentioned because I don't want to spend too much time on it, when thinking about the Panama Canal, a lot of that is driven by larger ships, really driven by Europe and US trade. Some of those ships are going to be larger than even what the expanded Panama Canal is going to be. Thinking about that issue and thinking about the fact that Asia and Europe trade is what's driving ship growth and driving the different needs, thinking about from my own point of view, Suez Canal, and what kind of implications that might have, I'll say that very quickly. One thing I wanted to mention of a logistical issue with the webinar is that unlike a lot of -- unlike the talking, the phone lines will close down immediately at 2:30. So what we'll do is try to get through the rest of the questions before then. The next question we have here is from Kenneth. Where the general topics of the workshops infrastructure specific or policy specific?
Ted Dahlburg: In our case in Philadelphia, they were infrastructure specific. Again, we had the gaming process ultimately, came back to a different investment bundles. H1 reflecting a different mode of trip -- Freight Transportation. So after the scenario in Mercian, and discussion, people got comfortable with the assignment, they were asked to vote on priorities and also the negative voting that went on as well. For eight investment bundles. That was how we structured our workshop. Not sure about the other five.
Chip Millard: Barbara or Chris, did you have comments as well?
Chip Millard: Okay. That's fine. We'll move onto the next question which is do you think this type of process is scalable for world planning commission, transportation planning commission with -- I lost sight of the question -- with a much smaller pool of potential participants and expertise? I'm wondering if the results would be more insightful over traditional methods of Scenario Planning.
Barbara Ivanov: This is Barb. I encourage you to consider this. The reason is, I’m not sure what is driving your economy. But if it’s Agribusiness, or Timber Wood Products, or maybe some extraction, Natural Resource Industry which is a lot of what happens in rural communities in our state, you are tremendously impacted by global trade shifts. Right? And if it's timber, wow. Suddenly Russia is our competitor. If you are doing week, and they have a drought in Ukraine or Australia, then you've got a lock on the market. So I encourage all of us to think, does not matter what size and in fact, in a sense, Seattle is a pretty small city compared to many. The smaller you are, the more influenced your economy can be by these vast economic drivers. And so if you need to reach out and find somebody with expertise in those areas, I encourage you to consider that.
Chip Millard: Okay. Anybody, either Ted or Chris have further follow-up comments as far as the scalability of the freight Scenario Planning webinar?
This is Chris. We've done this at MIT in groups; small companies, multinationals, all different ranges. It has different benefits for different sized groups but it's a beneficial practice to get people thinking outside of the normal day-to-day. As Barb and Ted have said, to get them thinking of larger impacts and things they should be paying attention to. We have not seen any size limiting factor, either too large or small over an organization.
Chip Millard: Okay. Thank you, Chris. I'll move on to one more question in the chat box and that is from Kenneth again, and that is, have they've been attempts to coalesce the services between the I-95 coalition and the American Transportation Research Institute?
Ted Dahlburg: Could you repeat that?
Chip Millard: Sure. Have there been attempts to coalesce services between the I-95 coalition and the American transportation research Institute? In terms of examining freight Scenario Planning needs, looking at the public sector with the I-95 coalition and with the private sector, if I'm interpreting it correctly.
Ted Dahlburg: I'm going to say yes. They are corridor coalition are both so active -- as I displayed some data that we had through the corridor coalition, I think they have.
Chip Millard: Okay. Okay. I think our phone lines are going to cut off here in a moment. So one more question is coming in perhaps, but I do want to thank all of the presenters for presenting today. I think there were some very interesting discussions during the webinar. And again, please be sure to visit the FHWA Scenario Planning website or contact any of us with FHWA, whose names are listed on the slide. And also I'll mention again for those of you who are interested and found this webinar interesting to inform your colleagues that there's going to be a second webinar on this topic on September 11th, from 1:00 to 2:30 Eastern time. Same time, same presentations. If you didn't get it chance to attend, you can attend again. As a reminder, the notes from this webinar and reporting will be made available on the website shortly. To download the presentation slides, please refer to the download file pod that you see on your screen. Finally, for the host and presenters, please stay on the line after the conclusion of this webinar to be transferred to a post-call room. Again, thank you, everybody. You can see the different poll questions up on the screen. And if you have not responded, please do so and give responses to the different questions. Thanks again, everybody, for attending. And once you're done with the poll questions, you can get it done or be done. So thank you.
Operator: That concludes our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T teleconference services. You may now disconnect.