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Impact of High-Speed Rail on Road Traffic and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Document pages: 85 pages

Abstract: This paper quantifies the substitution effects of high-speed rail (HSR) on road traffic. Employing the difference-in-differences (DID) method, we measure the effect of new HSR routes on the flows of vehicles on parallel ordinary national roads or highway segments in China. We find the HSR connection leads to a 20.5 log-point reduction in the number of passenger vehicles and a 15.7 log-point reduction in that of freight vehicles running on highways but not on ordinary national roads. The effects translate into an annual reduction of 14.758 million tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or 1.75 of GHG emissions in China’s transport sector.

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