Date: December 2011
Creator: Sperry, Benjamin R.
Description: Recent policy and regulatory actions by the U.S. government have revived interest in intercity passenger rail among transportation planners, policymakers, and the general public. As part of a fully integrated multimodal intercity corridor, passenger rail can provide a number of measurable impacts on urban, regional, and national mobility. This research examines these impacts using the Milwaukee-Chicago Hiawatha Service intercity passenger rail route as a case study. In addition to providing competitive travel times with automobile travel and frequent daily service, rail passengers can also seamlessly connect to airline service via a station at the Milwaukee airport. Two data sources--an on-board survey of Hiawatha Service passengers and a more detailed survey of air-rail transfer passengers at the Milwaukee airport--were used to identify the mobility impacts of rail service. If the rail service did not exist, most Hiawatha Service passengers would travel via personal vehicle, which indicates that the Hiawatha Service is providing congestion relief for the highways parallel to the route. The airport link allows for sustainable ground access to the Milwaukee airport and also extends the market area for the airport into the Chicago region, providing those residents with greater choices in air travel. The findings of this project provide ...
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