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Iowa rail route alternatives analysis.
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  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-ECONOMICS AND FINANCE-Economic Impacts ; NTL-ECONOMICS AND FINANCE-Rail Economics and Finance ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Economics and Finance ; NTL-PLANNING AND POLICY-Rail Planning and Policy ;
  • Abstract:
    The development of new rail systems in the first part of the 21st century is the result of a wide range

    of trends that are making it increasingly difficult to maintain regional mobility using the two

    dominant intercity travel modes, auto and air. These trends include the changing character of the

    economic structure of industry. The character of the North American industrial structure is moving

    rapidly from a manufacturing base to a service based economy. This is increasing the need for

    business travel while the increase in disposable income due to higher salaries has promoted increased

    social and tourist travel. Another trend is the change in the regulatory environment. The trend

    towards deregulation has dramatically reduced the willingness of the airlines to operate from smaller

    airports and the level of service has fallen due to the creation of hub and spoke systems. While new

    air technology such as regional jets may mitigate this trend to some degree in medium-size airports,

    smaller airports will continue to lose out. Finally, increasing environmental concerns have reduced

    the ability of the automobile to meet intercity travel needs because of increased suburban congestion

    and limited highway capacity in big cities.

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