The High Desert Corridor (HDC) will provide new High-Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure facilitating services linking Victorville in San Bernardino County, CA with Palmdale in Los Angeles County, CA, providing a connection between the proposed California High Speed Rail (CAHSR) network and XpressWest’s planned line to Las Vegas. Prior to completion of the CAHSR segment from Palmdale to Burbank, the service will link to Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line. This will enable direct services between Southern California and Las Vegas, with travelers from Northern California using CAHSR services able to transfer at Palmdale to travel to and from Las Vegas.
How we helped
The High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority (HDC JPA) commissioned Steer to produce Investment Grade Ridership & Revenue Forecasts for HSR rail services using the proposed HDC line. Our forecasting approach focused on identifying or estimating:
- The current and future size of the “in-scope” market – subset of trips made between Las Vegas and California by travelers for whom the proposed HSR service is a viable travel option.
- How much of this market HSR can capture at a given fare?
- How much additional travel will be “induced” by the presence of the HSR service itself.
To quantify the magnitude of potential capture of this market by HSR we conducted a behavioral travel survey of over 4,000 current travelers, seeking information on their origins / destinations, travel purposes and potential response to alternative HSR service options. This was combined with demographic projections by age and ethnicity, which influence the propensity to visit Las Vegas, to produce annual forecasts of ridership and revenue.
Successes and outcomes
Our work demonstrates that HSR would provide a viable and attractive alternative to the existing air and auto modes.