Modal Shift and High-Speed Rail: A Review of the Current Literature

This report provides a review of scholarly literature on the topic of modal shift and high-speed rail (HSR). HSR system planners assume they will attract "choice" riders who would have chosen other modes such as air, automobile, bus, etc. had the HSR not been created. Identifying and measuring the actual ability of HSR to effect modal shift is therefore critical. This report examines the evidence concerning HSR and modal shift in both secondary analyses of six previous studies and in thirteen newer studies that use primarily original data. The studies comprise a large variety of HSR systems, time periods, data sources, and means of analysis. The literature affirms that HSR has resulted in significant-to-dramatic mode shifts where it has been systematically evaluated. The most extensive and convincing information concerns HSR versus airline service, while research concerning direct competition with automobiles, express buses, and other modes is much less highly developed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: x, 50p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01533076
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CA-MTI-14-1223, MTI Report 12-35
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC21
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2014 12:48PM