(1) Time includes local transportatin to Train Station or Airport.
|NY - Boston ||Amtrak ||Plane ||Auto
|Time (1) 215 mi. |
downtown - downtown
|4:15 ||2:50 ||3:553
|25 ||19 ||1: 36
(deaths/ billion passenger miles)
|.88 ||.87 ||11.7
(deaths/ billion passenger miles)
| ||.4 ||8.6
|Deaths/yr || ||128 ||42,000
|billion passenger miles/yr. (2000) ||5.5 (2) ||516 ||4,390
(passenger mi./ gallon)
|83 ||38 ||20-120
|3 ||174 ||10
|Govt Subsidies ||$1 B ||$16 B ||$32 B
Train was Acela which averages 90 MPH (not including stops) (Max. 150 north of Providence).
NY - Boston - 215 mi. - downtown - downtown
Plane: Downtown to LGA - 17 min., checkin - 1:00, Jetway to Taxi - :10, Airport Taxi to Downtown - :15
|Time ||Train ||Plane
|Terminal to Terminal ||3:30 ||1:05
|Downtown to/from Terminal |
|Total ||4:15 ||2:50
(2) Passenger miles for Amtrak only
(3) Driving Times: Yahoo Directions - 4:00, MapQuest - 3:54. Can be 6 hrs. or more in the snow or with delays from accidents or construction.
According to the 2003 Sierra Club Article: "Flying creates 13 percent of transportation-generated carbon dioxide worldwide, accounting for 3.5 percent of all global warming emissions. Other aviation gases include hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, which contribute to acid rain.
EPA estimates that commercial aircraft will generate as much as 10 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions from mobile sources in cities with heavy air traffic by 2010. And in an odd twist, some of today's quieter, more fuel-efficient aircraft engines generate an average of 40 percent more smog-forming nitrogen oxides than the engines they replaced.
When flights were banned following September 11, skies cleared significantly."
Auto death rates are also shown as deaths (1.6) per 100 million vehicle miles.
A 2005 study by the National Transportation Group (TRIP) (a private organizataion) showed that: "52% of deaths between 1999 and 2003 occurred on rural, non-Interstate roads and highways.
In 2003 there were 2.7 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on non-Interstate rural roads compared with 0.99 deaths per 100 million miles on all other roads."
Motorists on rural, non-Interstate routes are six-and-a-half times more likely to be killed while attempting to negotiate a curve than motorists driving on all other roads.
The five states with the largest number of rural, non-Interstate traffic deaths between 1999 and 2003 are: Texas, California, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
See Also: National Transportation Library
Sources: Trains, Planes & Pains, Nov/Dec, 2003 Sierra Magazine,
Efficiency: Car - 120 pasenger mi./gal. = 3 people @ 40 MPG
Safety: USA Railroad Passenger-Miles per Gallon 1936-1963
Air Traffic Statistics at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Accidents Involving Airline Passenger Fatalities at the NTSB
Efficiency: USA Railroad Passenger-Miles per Gallon 1936-1963
Sierra Club spokesman Dan
Becker said, "We've seen 50 percent increases in gas prices over the
past few years with no improvement in mass-transit ridership, increased
carpooling or a reduction in driving distances. I don't think there's price
elasticity" in gasoline.
National Safety Council data reveal that in the last half of the 1990s Americans were, mile for mile, 37 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than on a commercial flight.
In 1996, the NTSB came up the statement that scheduled commercial airlines had a fatal accident rate of 0.026 per 100,000 flying hours.
Miles per gallon
1. Includes trains with diesel or electric engines. A vehicle equals one passenger coach.
Average no. of Passengers
MIles traveled per gallon
Passenger-miles per gallon
For intercity, there are about 2 persons/auto as compared to 1.6 overall, and the auto gets more miles/gallon in intercity use (about 26 as compared to 22 overall). After making this correction, Amtrak is appears to be little more energy efficient that the auto (52 passenger-miles/gal).
7% of travel in Europe is by train; In the U.S. it is 0.3%.
In 1955 Amtrak passenger miles was 28.7 million. In 2000, it was 6 million.
U.S. Train Fatalities (Passenger only, excludes employee, crossing accidents, pedestrians on the tracks, etc.)
Average 0.71 deaths/Billion passenger miles
|Year ||Psngr- |
|1993 ||13.8 ||*58
|1994 ||14.0 ||5
|1995 ||13.7 ||0
|1996 ||13.6 ||12
|1997 ||14.1 ||6
|1998 ||14.6 ||4
|1999 ||14.9 ||14
|2000 ||16.1 ||4
|2001 ||15.7 ||3
|2002 ||15.2 ||7
|2003 ||15.6 ||2
* Amtrak's Sunset Limited, en route to Miami, jumped rails on a bridge, weakened when a towboat operator hit it, and plunged into Big Bayou Canot near Mobile, Ala. killing 42. This was Amtrak's worst accident. Story
Source: Office of Safety Analysis at the DOT
Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption at DOE's Annual Energy Review 2001
Comparison of Urban Rail and Freeway Passenger Volumes at "The Public Purpose" claims that
freeways are more productive than light rail, commuter rail, or even most heavy rail lines anywhere outside of New York City.
Personal Transportation Factsheets at the Center for Sustainable Systems at U. Mich.
The Past and Future of
U.S. Passenger Rail Service at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Plane Crash accident stats
Human Transit blog
Return to Travel.
last updated 1 Oct 2007