A Delphi Study of Technology and Policy Implications of RIMI Research on Public Transit and Shared Mobility

Research Team: Michael McNally (lead) and Rezwana Rafiq

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: There is a need to assess the potential impacts of various technology and policy options for the Public Transit and Shared Mobility Pillar of the Resilient and Innovative Mobility Initiative (RIMI). One means to accomplish this is by conducting a Delphi study. A Delphi study is a sequential survey of experts where both the results and assessments of preliminary research are surveyed, collated, and assessed, and then recirculated to the same experts to allow them to update their responses given the responses and rationales of other participants. The logic is that forecasts from a structured panel are more accurate than those from unstructured groups. It is an iterative, anonymous approach that combines results from one iteration and feeds them back to the Delphi panel, in the process potentially eliminating outlying opinions. The iterations continue until a predefined criterion is met, typically a set number of iterations or achievement of consensus. The Delphi method was developed by the RAND Corporation in the 1950s to forecast the impacts of new technologies. As such, it is quite appropriate to assess the effectiveness of proposed policy options to critical problems facing California.

Project Description: This project will conduct a Delphi study with a panel consisting of the Principal Investigators of selected RIMI projects and associated statewide stakeholders. The tradeoff between panel size and the objective to achieve consensus will dictate the number of participants on the panel and the number of iterations. The data collected will not be limited to opinions from the participants but the researchers will also survey and provide participants with the results of research on current and proposed policies. Thus, for example, a participant’s initial assessment of the relative performance potential of a policy to address a particular problem may change after feedback from other participants (note that all panel members will be anonymous to other participants). The panel will include project stakeholders so the analysis results will reflect both research results as well as practical perspectives.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $150,000