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Title: On the modal shift from motorway to high-speed rail: evidence from Italy
Author: Borsati, Mattia
Albalate, Daniel, 1980-
Keywords: Trens d'alta velocitat
Infraestructures (Transport)
Enginyeria del trànsit
Modalitat (Lògica)
High speed trains
Transportation buildings
Traffic engineering
Modality (Logic)
Issue Date: Jul-2020
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Abstract: The development of high-speed rail (HSR) has had a notable impact on modal market shares on the routes on which its services have been implemented. The aim of this study is to analyse whether the HSR expansion in Italy has led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR. We empirically test i) whether HSR openings adjacent to motorway sectors have reduced the total km travelled by light vehicles on these sectors during the period 2001-2017; and ii) whether this reduction has been persistent or even more evident after the opening of on-track competition between two HSR operators. To do so, we carried out a generalized difference-in-differences estimation, using a unique panel dataset that exploits the heterogeneous traffic data within all tolled motorway sectors in a quasi-experimental setting. Our findings reveal that neither HSR openings nor the opening of on-track competition led to a modal shift from motorway to HSR services, as the two transport modes are non-competing. Conversely, HSR expansion had a slightly positive impact on motorway traffic. The extent to which HSR demand could be the result of a modal shift from motorways is a relevant issue in any cost-benefit analysis of HSR investments.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2020, vol. 137, num. July, p. 145-164
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ISSN: 0965-8564
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Econometria, Estadística i Economia Aplicada)

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