AAR Study: Railroads Can Alleviate Highway Gridlock
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new study of 49 major cities shows that
freight rail can help reduce gridlock, according to this release issued by
the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The study reports that if by 2025, 25 percent of freight volume
is shifted from road to rail, commuters across America could save an
average of 44 hours each year.
The same shift would both save each commuter an average of 257
gallons of fuel each year and reduce congestion costs by an average of
$620 per household each year in the cities studied.
"With freight volume expected to grow by two-thirds over the next
20 years, freight railroads will become even more critical to easing
congestion," said Wendell Cox, a transportation expert and author of the
annual study. "In order to carry increasing freight volumes, railroads
need more capacity. Rail capacity depends on investment returns. Since
railroads are not meeting their cost of capital, government policy
makers may want to consider investment incentives to help meet the growing
demand for freight rail."
Transporting more freight by rail also would positively impact
the environment. The shift would lower air pollution by an average of
882,000 tons annually in the cities studied. Additionally, it would lessen
highway capacity challenges.
Overall, the study shows that, by 2025, a 25 percent shift of
freight from road to rail, on average, would:
-- Save each commuter 44 hours per year
-- Save each commuter 257 gallons of fuel per year
-- Save the economy $620 per household in congestion costs each
-- Reduce air pollution by nearly 900,000 tons each year
"One freight train can carry as much cargo as 500 trucks and one
intermodal container train can carry nearly 300 truck trailers," said
Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American
Railroads. "The intermodal partnership between the rail and trucking
industries combines the best abilities of the transportation modes and is
an important solution in the battle against traffic congestion."
To receive a copy of the report, contact Jon Hawkins at
202/326-1729 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit
(The preceding release was issued by the Association of American
Railroads on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004.)