A number of efforts by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) to "demonstrate" promising innovations in urban transportation is reviewed. It is maintained that government frequently confuses the concept of a demonstration with that of an experiment. Implementation of an innovation is an experiment if there is a substantial liklihood that the outcome will be a surprise. Experiments have uncertain timetables, and ideally should be carried out away from the glare of publicity. Government officials are under intense pressure, however, to oversell the readiness of new technologies, to insist on tight deadlines, and to seek high visibiliity. It is emphasized that this is not to say that all government demonstration are doomed to failure. Several key UMTA demonostrations that illustrate the range of its experience are examined, and effort is made to explain why even a "failure" may have substantial diffusion efforts.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Policy Studies Organization

    University of Illinois, 361 Lincoln Hall
    Urbana, IL  United States  61801
  • Authors:
    • Myers, S
  • Publication Date: 1977

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00451441
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1985 12:00AM