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An up-to-date view of the competition between the high-speed train and the plane


Author/s: Judith Fernández Jáñez

This paper analyses some aspects related to the interaction between air and high speed rail traffic in Spain. In this sense, it complements and updates the conclusions of two examples of research work carried out in 2012 under the frame of the Optired project, which analysed several issues related to the competition between the high-speed train and the plane on Spanish national routes. The update is developed in the light of the very important evolution Spanish long distance transport market has undertaken in 2013 and 2014, as a result of the new commercial offer and price policies implemented by Renfe-Viajeros.
As this paper’s most significant contributions, we find that the train has grown to have more passengers than the plane on the routes both means of transport compete, thus recovering its leadership of collective long distance transport in Spain, something it had lost 25 years ago. Also shown is how the reduction of the AVE prices has allowed the increase of the traffic on the routes on which the train’s share was below the international experience, and now its figures are closer to those expected according to such experience. Finally, the formula that connects mobility on long distance routes with the Gross Domestic Product is updated, concluding that, the other factors being equal, long distance mobility increases when the GDP exceeds 0.88%.

Keywords: Competition in transport, high-speed train, mobility, demand, connection between mobility and GDP.

Publication: 360.revista de alta velocidad Nº 3 - Octubre 2015, pp. 19-32


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