Operational Cost Efficiency of Bus versus Heavy Rail: A Temporal and Regional Analysis
Ashley R. Haire,
Randy B. Machemehl and
Alison F. Mills
No 207623, 50th Annual Transportation Research Forum, Portland, Oregon, March 16-18, 2009 from Transportation Research Forum
This research examines the cost-efficiencies of heavy rail and bus systems with regard to their per-vehicle and perpassenger- mile operating costs. By looking at how these costs differ between the modes and how they changed during the 1997-2006 period, both nationally and by region of the country, we seek to determine which mode is more economical on an operational basis. Overall, the study found that rail systems cost more to operate than bus systems on a per-vehicle basis, but cost less than bus systems when considering cost per-passenger-mile, a result explained by the higher carrying capacity of railcars as opposed to buses. Furthermore, using theoretical occupancy levels, a threshold occupancy was calculated for rail, beyond which it becomes the more cost-efficient of the two modes.
Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:ndtr09:207623
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