Cost-and energy-efficiency will be an increasingly important factor in passenger transportation during the next few years. For example, the Amtrak intercity rail passenger system has proved to be inefficient compared to bus service over all and should be pruned and limited to those densely populated regions, such as the Northeastern corridor where it would be most cost effective. In the meantime, bus travel will be at a disadvantage due to the subsidy of rail transportation and will continue to lose ridership. This could be offset however, by increased fuel costs making private automobile travel less desirable. Due to decreased rates of economic growth, the emphasis of economic efficiency also obtains in the airline industry (Aviation users have demonstrated that low fares are more important to them than technological virtuosity). The latest models of aircraft tend to concentrate on more economical operation, improved energy efficiency, and reduced noise levels. As in the case with intercity travel, it is the author's opinion that local public transit planners should de-emphasize capital-intensive rail systems in favor of bus systems, particularly in low density suburbs which would also be more amenable to demand-responsive rather than fixed-route system.

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 189: State Transportation Issues and Actions.
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  • Authors:
    • Mulvey, Francis P
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  • Publication Date: 1980

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  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 67-76
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  • Accession Number: 00315330
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 536
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1981 12:00AM