A new study commissioned by HNTB, a Kansas City, Mo.-based infrastructure design and engineering firm, has found that given comparable fares and travel time, 54% of Americans would choose modern high speed trains over automobile (33%) and air travel (13%).
The survey was conducted at a time when high speed raill has achieved high visibility as a potential, if not actual, travel option. The passage of a $10 billion high speed rail bond measure in California last fall was followed by the set-aside of $8 billion for high speed rail in this year's American Recovery and Investment Act.
HNNB said its latest research, the second in series of America Thinks surveys, "found even greater acceptance of high speed rail among the 18% of [respondents] who have experienced such travel here or abroad. An overwhelming majority of high speed train travelers (82%) found it more enjoyable than plane travel, and slightly more than half (51%) said they would be most productive in high speed trains when traveling for business."