One reason why travelling by train is more expensive than flying is due to the presence of polluting subsidies in the aviation industry. These subsidies make it cheaper for airlines to operate and therefore offer lower ticket prices to consumers. However, these lower prices do not reflect the true environmental cost of air travel. Aviation accounts for approximately 3% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making it a significant contributor to climate change. By contrast, train travel is generally more environmentally friendly, with lower CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer.

Alfred Tang

Alfred Tang

Dec 28, 20232 min read

0

One reason why travelling by train is more expensive than flying is due to the presence of polluting subsidies in the aviation industry. These subsidies make it cheaper for airlines to operate and therefore offer lower ticket prices to consumers. However, these lower prices do not reflect the true environmental cost of air travel. Aviation accounts for approximately 3% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making it a significant contributor to climate change. By contrast, train travel is generally more environmentally friendly, with lower CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer.

The issue of expensive train travel can also be attributed to the lack of investment and infrastructure in rail networks. Many countries have prioritized the development of airports and highways, neglecting the expansion and improvement of railways. This has resulted in limited options for train travel and higher prices due to the lack of competition. In addition, maintaining and operating train systems can be costly, especially when compared to the relatively low operating costs of airlines.

Another factor that contributes to the cost disparity between train and air travel is the difference in demand and capacity. Airplanes can carry a larger number of passengers per trip compared to trains, allowing airlines to spread their costs over a greater number of customers. This leads to lower ticket prices for air travel. On the other hand, trains have limited seating capacity and may not be able to accommodate as many passengers, resulting in higher ticket prices to cover the operating costs.

Despite these challenges, there are several ways in which the cost of train travel can be reduced and made more competitive with air travel. One approach is to invest in the expansion and improvement of rail networks. This would increase the availability of train services, create more competition, and potentially lower ticket prices. Governments can also consider providing subsidies or incentives for train travel to make it more affordable for consumers. Additionally, promoting the benefits of train travel, such as its lower environmental impact and potential for scenic journeys, can help generate demand and increase ridership.

In conclusion, the higher cost of train travel compared to flying can be attributed to a combination of factors, including polluting subsidies in the aviation industry, limited investment in rail infrastructure, and differences in demand and capacity. However, by investing in rail networks, providing subsidies or incentives, and promoting the benefits of train travel, it is possible to make train travel more affordable and competitive with air travel. Taking these steps can not only help reduce carbon emissions but also provide consumers with more sustainable and cost-effective transportation options.

Resource:

  1. "Launch of the Thailand Green Taxonomy will accelerate the country’s decarbonization drive", https://www.climatebonds.net/2023/07/launch-thailand-green-taxonomy-will-accelerate-country%E2%80%99s-decarbonization-drive (Glasp)
  2. "Why is travelling by train so much more expensive than flying?", https://www.eco-business.com/news/why-is-travelling-by-train-so-much-more-expensive-than-flying/?utm_campaign=Daily%20Digest%20EDM (Glasp)

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