Incorporating High Speed Passenger Rail into a Multimodal Network Model for Improved Regional Transportation Planning

With increasing demand and rising fuel costs, both travel time and cost of intercity passenger transportation are becoming increasingly significant. Around the world, high-speed rail (HSR) is seen as a way to mitigate the risk of volatile petroleum prices while alleviating demand on highways and at airports. Ridership is the critical element in determining the viability of a large capital, long-term transportation investment in terms of costs, revenue, and the resulting societal impacts. This research provides a systematic, consistent methodology for analyzing system wide modal ridership. The proposed methodology can be used to estimate the modal ridership under the proposed HSR network scenarios. The study analyzes the potential for high-speed rail as a part of the existing multimodal transportation system in a region in terms of ridership. Although this study does not explicitly consider capital costs, capital investment (e.g., network design and HSR speed), along with exogenous demographic, technological, economic, and policy trends, are used to project ridership over time. Population, fuel efficiency, HSR speed, and fuel price trends are the important variables considered for this study. The application of the methodology is two-fold, and the modeling approach makes a case for a fundamental shift from the current perspective of HSR viability. First, a user and community impact assessment (i.e., travel time, safety, and vehicle operating cost savings) of HSR is conducted in the same manner as traditional transportation system evaluation to provide comparative conclusions regarding intercity transportation alternatives. Emissions and energy consumption impacts are also considered due to the increasing national relevance of environmental sustainability and energy security. Second, the model presented in this study analyzes both ridership and impacts within the same systematic framework to assess the long-term impacts on the individual transportation modes, total system metrics, and efficacy of alternate policies. Although the methodology is extendable and modular to incorporate any mode in any region, experiments are conducted for the Midwest corridor in the United States. Average HSR speed is tested to demonstrate the model's ability to capture the sensitivity of ridership to a specific design consideration. This study represents an important step toward a consistent, comprehensive economic analysis of HSR in the United States

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
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    Purdue University
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    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

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  • Authors:
    • Peters, Jeffrey C
    • Han, En-Pei
    • Kumar, Amit
    • Peeta, Srinivas
    • Delaurentis, Daniel
  • Publication Date: 2014-5-14


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 60p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529452
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Project No. 055PY03
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-005
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2014 9:41AM