It is recognized that hard factors such as travel time, cost, availability of public transport services, and car ownership have a major impact when people consider the choice between using an automobile or public transport. Nevertheless, there is evidence from the literature that rail-based public transport often is considered superior to bus systems, even in cases where quantitative hard factors are equal. This attraction of passengers is known as a psychological rail factor, and it is used to express a higher attraction in terms of higher ridership of rail-based public transport in contrast to bus services (Axhausen et al. 2001; Megel 2001b; Ben-Akiva and Morikawa 2002; Vuchic 2005; Scherer 2010a). The existence of this rail factor is widely accepted among experts, but little evidence exists about the reasons for this phenomena.
The idea of a rail factor is consistent with statements that the image of a transport system has an impact on demand. Furthermore, research…
This station area planning document is a reference tool for State transportation departments and local and regional jurisdictions working in partnership with transportation agencies implementing high-speed and intercity passenger rail (HSIPR) projects. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) encourages dialogue with Federal, State, regional, and local partners on ways to better integrate passenger transport and land use. FRA has included topics, concepts, and ideas to assist local jurisdictions and others accomplish successful station area planning and achieve an optimal integration of the station in its context — to ensure ridership growth and capture livability, sustainability, and economic benefits. Rail stations will differ depending on their location — downtown, airport transfer, suburban, and small town. While every station area is unique and should reflect local context, culture and climate, some common principles apply to the creation of forms and public…
The United States has embarked on a program of building high-speed rail corridors in the nation’s most urbanized corridors and regions. This is a bold step toward meeting the infrastructure needs of the coming century, including providing capacity for economic growth in regions where air and road congestion threaten economic competitiveness and quality of life.
However, given the newness of the program, there is a steep learning curve for states and regions in developing high-speed and even “classic” intercity passenger corridors. This report aims to educate the public and decision makers about the elements of success for high-speed rail as measured by factors that contribute to ridership demand for these services, particularly as they apply to the unique spatial attributes and travel patterns of America.
This report provides the first and only comparative study of close to 8,000 existing and proposed rail rights of way (of fewer than 600 miles in length)…
High-speed rail has the potential to offer Californians far more than the opportunity to travel quickly around the state. Throughout the world, high-speed rail systems have had profound and transformational impacts on cities, metropolitan areas and broader megaregions.
This research first seeks to gain an understanding of TOD attributes that encourage economic development at HSR station areas, with a focus on mid-sized cities located between two or more large metropolitan areas. Then, this research aims to apply the information gathered to two midsized California cities with planned HSR stations – Fresno and Bakersfield – by assessing how effectively those cities are planning for TOD in areas around their planned HSR stations. Finally, this research aims to produce a set of recommendations for policymakers in Fresno and Bakersfield to assist them in planning for TOD around HSR stations that maximizes economic development.
With the rise of New Economic Geography (NEG) the spatial dimension in economic thinking has celebrated an impressive comeback during the recent decades.1 Not least, the Nobel Prize being awarded to Paul Krugman in 2008 highlights how widely the importance of a deeper understanding of regional economic disparities has been acknowledged among economists. One of the fundamental outcomes of NEG models is that accessibility to regional markets promotes regional economic development due to the interaction of agglomerations forces, economies of scales and transportation costs.
Recent empirical research confirms that there is a positive relationship between regions’ centrality with respect to other regions and their economic wealth (e.g. HANSON, 2005) and that there is evidence for a causal importance of access to regional markets for the economic prosperity of regions (REDDING & STURM, 2008). From these findings, a direct economic policy dimension emerges.
Two Choices for the Region’s Future
High-speed rail (HSR) integrated with local transit systems will connect Florida’s Super Region in a way that provides an opportunity to reshape its future. Using computer-aided analysis based on population and job projections, this study presents two alternatives for the Super Region in 2050. In one alternative, new development follows the patterns already established in Florida, despite transportation investments. In the second alternative, the presence of HSR and local transit permits compact urban centers and infill development along transit corridors, while development away from the new transportation continues in current patterns. This second alternative creates a far more sustainable development future while preserving a range of lifestyle choices.
Saving The Region’s Natural Landscape
Florida’s landscape and lifestyle are great competitive advantages, but new development can threaten the unique natural character of…
The Need to Connect Transportation and Climate Change Policies
Nearly one third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. come from the transportation sector, making it the nation’s largest end-use source of emissions. Moreover, transportation is the fastest growing source of U.S. emissions, accounting for almost half of the net increase in total U.S. emissions between 1990 and 2007.1 Transportation GHG emissions are a result of three drivers — vehicle fuel efficiency, fuel emissions and how much people drive, as measured in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). In 2007, Congress addressed the first two drivers by improving Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and mandating reduced GHG intensity of motor fuels. However, Congress has not put the same effort into improving travel choices to address how much people drive. Historically, U.S. transportation policy and infrastructure investments tend to encourage more driving. If we do not change how we invest…
America’s automobile-centered transportation system was a key component of the nation’s economic prosperity during the 20th century. But our transportation system is increasingly out of step with the challenges of the 21st century. Rising fuel prices, growing traffic congestion, and the need to address critical challenges such as global warming and America’s addiction to imported oil all point toward the need for a new transportation future.
Rail, rapid buses and other forms of transit must play a more prominent role in America’s future transportation system. Clean, efficient transit service already saves billions of gallons of oil each year, reduces traffic congestion in our cities, and curbs emissions of pollutants that cause global warming. Transit also generates a host of other economic and quality-of-life benefits for our communities—indeed, every dollar we invest in transit generates approximately two dollars in these benefits.