Dr. Don Pickrell
Principal Technical Advisor for Transportation Economics
Dr. Don Pickrell serves as principal technical advisor for transportation economics, in addition to his role as chief economist in the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Economic Analysis Division. His most recent work includes developing a comprehensive framework for assessing the economic consequences of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, evaluating the significance of economy-wide benefits from investing in transportation infrastructure, and documenting the historical development of methods for economic evaluation of proposed infrastructure investments.
Other recent projects have included reviewing benefit-cost analyses of infrastructure projects seeking federal funding, developing comprehensive nationwide measures of vehicle travel time and delay, forecasting future growth in vehicle use, and revising procedures for valuing time savings and improved travel reliability for FHWA’s Highway Economic Requirements System. Pickrell has also contributed extensively to DOT guidance on benefit-cost analysis of infrastructure investment, valuing travel time and measuring benefits from safety improvements. He has received numerous citations for his published research.
Before joining the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, Pickrell taught economics, transportation policy, and government regulation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and while at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, he has taught transportation economics and policy at MIT. Pickrell also served briefly as DOT’s Chief Economist in 2015-16. He has both an MA and a PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA).