Are Airplanes Cheaper Than High Speed Rail?


By Noel T. Braymer

Recently there have been news stories that implied expanded air service could handle the traffic that High Speed Rail is planned to handle between Northern and Southern California. If that is so, what’s stopping the airlines from expanding service and flying more people in California now? In most travel corridors of under 600 miles give or take, High Speed Rail service beats air service in market share, door to door travel times and fare price. Generally the major airlines are interested making money. Revenues are associated with passenger miles, which comes with passengers flying the longest trips possible. Most air travel in California is fairly short distance compared to transcontinental or international air travel.

The most profitable air services are low fare flights based on the model of Southwest Airlines.These low fare airlines fly only one model of airliner: the Boeing 737 has been the work…

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