In this article we study whether and to what extent the introduction of HSR can lead to inter-modal substitution and we identify the segments of demand which are less captive to the currently chosen mode. We use a discrete choice experiment to determine the optimal modal choice under the current set of available alternatives (train, bus, flights, car-pooling, private car) and the planned HSR services on the Bari-Rome and Brindisi-Rome route. The comparative analysis of the two routes allows us to investigate the effect of distance/time on the modal choice, in a similar geographical context characterized by the same set of modal alternatives. Using original data gathered through a stated/revealed preference exercise we find that the probability of changing the modal choice toward HSR increases with age, income and education as well as the purpose of the trip (Business), but the latter only for long-distance connections (above 500 km). Finally, we find that the potential shift in demand is more likely to come from air transport (air-to-HSR) and conventional rail services (rail-to-HSR).
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