Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rail Draws Eyes as Airlines Struggle

As the airline industry struggles in South Africa, transportation officials are increasingly looking at rail as the sustainable transit investment of the future.

The high cost of fuel, security issues at airports, myriad taxes, the huge infrastructure needed to support air transport, a web of regulation and environmental pressures all make it virtually impossible to keep fares in check. While new technology can address some of these costs, the advances are slow, the benefits minimal.

Trains, on the other hand, have few of the hindrances of air travel, yet fulfil the same economic function of facilitating trade through the transport of goods and people. And while the cost of rail infrastructure is large, once in place the potential to grow is enormous.

South Africa: Slow, Slow Train
Business Day
February 10, 2010