April 12, 2013


Planes, Trains, and Emissions: A Study of Aviation and High-Speed Rail Demand and Their Climate Impacts


1:40 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


The continuous growth of global air transportation has significant implications for strategies to reduce CO2 emissions of the transportation sector. There is evidence to suggest that high-speed rail (HSR) might offer a competitive, lower-carbon alternative to aviation, particularly for short-haul intercity travel. From an aviation systems planning perspective, the introduction of HSR may also alleviate constraints within increasingly congested air transportation networks. This research examines three cases: 1) an empirical analysis of the European experience to study how high-speed rail has impacted system-wide air travel demand; 2) an analysis of the U.S. case, focusing on how transportation investment and climate policies might influence demand for HSR and aviation and their CO2 emissions; and 3) an analysis of passenger preferences in China, based on surveys conducted in Beijing and Shanghai to examine passenger choice, and passenger considerations of environment and safety.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Regina R. Clewlow is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) at U.C. Berkeley and a Research Affiliate in the Engineering SystemsDivision (ESD) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her current research is focused on developing advanced behavioral models of transportation and household choices, in order to improve large-scale simulation models of land use, travel demand, and the environment.

Dr. Clewlow’s doctoral work examined demand for high-speed rail and air transportation systems, the environmental impacts of these systems, and their performance under climate policies. Dr. Clewlow served as a researcher in the Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER), an FAA Center of Excellence. Her broader research interests include building an improved understanding of the factors that shape transportation and energy demand.

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