CZ/SK verze

Global Survey Reveals Strong Support for Banning Short-Haul Flights in Favor of High-Speed Rail

Global Survey Reveals Strong Support for Banning Short-Haul Flights in Favor of High-Speed Rail
photo: Ben / Flickr/High-speed rail
13 / 03 / 2024

A comprehensive study sponsored by Hitachi Rail, and conducted by SavantaComres across 12 global cities, including Berlin, London, and San Francisco, has unveiled that 64% of respondents endorse the prohibition of air travel on routes where high-speed rail options are available.

This result further demonstrates a broader push towards greener long-distance travel alternatives, with the survey revealing a shift in travel preferences among the 12,000 participants. Despite current tendencies showing a preference for driving (46%) and flying (16%) for journeys exceeding 2.5 hours, a significant 35% of respondents anticipate increased use of train travel within the next five years. Additionally, there's strong backing (56%) for the imposition of higher air taxes to fund the development of new high-speed rail networks.

The survey also shows the potential for a modal shift in long-distance travel choices, noting that 63% of car or plane travelers would switch to trains if travel time could be reduced by an hour, and 75% would make the switch if it proved to be a cheaper option. However, sustainability factors alone do not predominantly influence travel decisions, with only 14% of respondents considering it an important factor, according to Hitachi Rail. Yet, the majority supports legislative actions, such as banning short-haul flights where high-speed rail is an alternative. Notably, France, which has already implemented such a policy, recorded the highest approval rate (75%) for this measure, showcasing the public's support of governmental efforts to promote green travel.

Manuel Negrerie / Flickr

Within urban contexts, the study highlights a recovery in public transport use post-COVID, with train and bus ridership increasing significantly. However, challenges such as crowding and connectivity remain barriers to further adoption. The report indicates a strong desire for more integrated public transport networks, with 72% more likely to use public transport if it were better connected, despite potential cost increases.

“Policy makers and transport operators must take note of the high demand for better connected public transport. Almost two-thirds of people are prepared to see short haul flights banned where high speed rail alternatives exist, and 56% of people also back increased air taxes to fund high speed rail.

“Our new research shows that there is a genuine demand for more green travel. Over one-third of people expect to travel more by train in the next five years and 72% would use better connected urban transport even more. The challenge now as an industry is to continue to grow seamless and sustainable rail travel at pace to meet this global demand,” says Giuseppe Marino, CEO of Hitachi Rail.