The Substitution of Ground Transportation for Service to Smaller Communities Now Receiving Essential Air Service Subsidies

Since the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been subsidizing air service to small rural communities through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The original intent of the program was to maintain some level of air service to rural communities that would otherwise not have any. The Rural Survival Act of 1996 established the permanence of the EAS program fueled by the idea that reliable air services are vital to local rural economies. This idea is somewhat challenged in recent research studies that found little to no economic impacts of air traffic. This project entertained the theory that intercity traffic volume, and not air traffic volume alone, is what affects economic outcomes of certain geographical areas. A cost-benefit analysis of substituting subsidized air service with a subsidized ground service is presented and concludes that an intercity ground service network can create substantial cost savings on both a per round trip and round trip-seat basis.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Midwest Transportation Center

    Iowa State University
    2711 S Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664

    University of Missouri, St. Louis

    1 University Boulevard
    St. Louis, MO  United States  63121-4400
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Missouri, St. Louis

    1 University Boulevard
    St. Louis, MO  United States  63121-4400
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mundy, Ray

  • Start Date: 20150101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20151231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579703
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Midwest Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC37
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2015 12:01PM