Economic Impacts of Intercity Passenger Rail Service Evidence from Passenger Surveys Book uri icon


  • Recent policy and funding developments have stimulated interest in high-speed and intercity passenger rail. Given the present economic climate of the country, particular interest lies in the impacts of new or expanded passenger rail services on local or regional economies. Using evidence from rail passenger surveys, this paper examines the economic impacts of existing state-supported passenger rail service in a growing intercity corridor of the south central United States. Economic impacts were measured by analyzing passengers' self-reported expenditures on selected items during their rail trip. The results of the analysis showed an estimated spending impact on local communities of more than $18 million in total, with more than $1.3 million of local sales tax generated by rail passengers in the study corridor. If the service were discontinued, an estimated 30% of these impacts would be lost. The findings of this analysis inform passenger rail planning efforts by providing better understanding of the financial considerations and also assist rail planners in developing local support for new rail projects.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sperry, B. R., & Morgan, C. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Sperry, Benjamin R||Morgan, Curtis A

publication date

  • January 2011